Summary: Our lives as believers project a representation of who Jesus is! Jesus is coming back in POWER! In the meantime, God is working in us! Let’s be sure that we are fully cooperating with Him and His plan for our lives. Our God is a consuming fire!
The Untamed Savior
2 Thessalonians 1:1-10 1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
4 Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
5 All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
I. What is God doing in you?
1. Your faith is growing
2. Your love is increasing
3. Your endurance is inspiring
-Suffering is promised, which is why we need endurance. There will always be trials of varying degrees. God will help us persevere! We can live a life of victory right now – even in the midst of problems, trials, and suffering.
[Show video clip of Lisa Harper- Untamed Jesus]
-Would Paul be able to write these things about you? If you were part of the church to whom Paul was writing, would he be able to describe you with growing faith, increasing love, and a testimony of faithful endurance during the hard times?
-God is working in us! Let’s be sure that we are fully cooperating with Him and His plan for our lives.
II. What does your life say about God?
1. His judgment is right
-He judges you as worthy of His kingdom b/c of your faith in Christ and willingness to suffer for Him.
2. He is just
-He will pay back trouble for trouble
-He will give relief to those who are troubled
-The great reversal is that those who cause the people of God to suffer now will themselves suffer later. How much later? We’ll see in this next point. God’s promise of relief in the future gave them hope to make it in the present.
3. He will return in Power! (Rescue & retribution)
-In 1 Thessalonians, the focus is on Christ coming for His church (4:13-18), but in 2 Thessalonians the emphasis is on Christ coming with His church in judgment on an unbelieving world (1:6-10; 2:3, 12).
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – Rapture - Christ returns in the clouds. He comes secretly for the church. Believers escape the Tribulation. Occurs at “any time”
-2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 - Day of the Lord / Christ returns to the earth /He comes openly with the church / Unbelievers experience Tribulation / Occurs at end of Tribulation
4. He will punish all who reject Him
-There is no other salvation! It’s not so much that He is mad at those who reject as if His feelings got hurt and He retaliated. It is that there is no other way to survive eternity without eternal life found only in Jesus!
-Bill Hybels described what Hell might feel like:
“The bottomless pit…conjures up dreamlike feelings of falling away -- falling, falling, falling. You’ve all had dreams like that; where when you woke your heart was beating because you were falling. Picture in your mind hanging over a precipice, and God is hanging onto you, and you’re hanging onto him. And you decide you don’t need him anymore. So you let go. But the moment you let go you know you made a mistake. You’re falling and every moment you fall further and further away from the only source of help and truth and love, and you realize you made a mistake and you can’t get back up and you fall further and faster and further and faster into spiritual oblivion, and you know you’re going the wrong direction and you’d give anything to go back but you can’t and you fall and you fall and you fall and you fall. How long? Forever. And all the while you’re falling you’re saying, ‘I’m further now; I’m further. I’m further from the only source of hope, truth, and love.’ In hell there is never the bliss of annihilation. You’d give anything for annihilation, but it’s unavailable, only the conscious continuation of emotional anguish, physical anguish, relational anguish, and spiritual anguish forever.”