Summary: The Thessalonians needed to know how God really felt about them, so God spoke some “Truth is” statements through Paul. We can look at these statements and realize that God feels the same way about us!
Lovers of Truth
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Intro: The last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about the coming of the Lord Jesus back to this earth to gather His people to Himself. We also touched on the Day of the Lord, which these Christians were falsely told had already begun. This was troubling to these relatively new Christians b/c they had expected to be gathered up already before what Joel calls the great and terrible Day of the Lord began. They were left wondering if they had missed the Lord’s return. No doubt the early churches were familiar with the words and teachings of Jesus through the apostles – even if they had not yet been compiled together into what we call our Bible. And Jesus had said in Matthew 24:44 “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” It didn’t take long for some of them to wonder if maybe they were not ready and Jesus had come and gone without them. But Paul reassured them and said that if the Day of the Lord had come, there would have been a great revolt or rebellion. The Man of Sin would have been revealed, b/c the restraining power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers would have been taken out of the way. He goes on to describe how people will be deceived by this man of lawlessness and believe his lies. He says that they are perishing b/c they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
-Then, Paul switches gears in v.13 and thanks God for these Thessalonian believers who do love the truth and have been saved.
-On Facebook there is a silly game called Truth is, where you write, “Truth is,” on your status update, and then when someone clicks like on your status, you are supposed to tell them how you really feel about them. Well, the Thessalonians needed to know how God really felt about them, so God spoke some “Truth is” statements through Paul. And what is really cool is that we can look at these statements and realize that God feels the same way about us! So, as lovers of the truth, let’s look at these truth statements and respond appropriately to the One who IS the way, the truth, and the life.
Truth is…here is how God feels about you.
1. God loves you and wants you to be saved
A. Through the work of the Holy Spirit
-The HS draws people to God (John 16:8-9)
B. Through belief in the truth (as opposed to those who believed the lie)
-What truth is Paul talking about? Truth about who God is, His character and nature, who we are, and what we have to do with Him. Truth about life and death, heaven and hell, eternity. Truth about how to live, how to love, how to worship. And we can find this truth in God’s word, the Bible! Truth is, those who read it and love it, and believe it find freedom, hope, and life!
C. Through the message of the gospel
-The term is derived from the Greek euangélion, which literally means, good message or good news. Paul & his team first brought the gospel to the Thessalonian people, which resulted in many of them calling on the Lord so they could be saved.
Romans 10:13-15 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
-We are called to bring good news to the people in our lives. God will open doors and give you opportunities to give good news about Jesus to family, friends, neighbors, and anyone who will listen.