See It Through

“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the
church of the Thessalonians in God our
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
 II Thessalonians 1:1 

There is a difference between flattery and compliments.  When we hear one or the other a decision must be made which it is.  Flattery could be defined as fawning, honey words or curring favor.  One could almost say a compliment is the opposite.  Compliments are respect and are freely bestowed.

When the opening verses of II Thessalonians 1:1-3 are read Paul was complimentary to this church at Thessalonica.  If one characteristic of Paul exist it was he did not flatter people, churches or individuals.  As the saying is in our age he told it like it was.

One can read this in II Thessalonians 1:3

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet,
because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every
one of you all toward each other aboundeth.” 

This book of II Thessalonians was written a short time after I Thessalonians.  When one reads chapter one of each I and II the same people and companions are mentioned.  These were Silvanus and Timothy.  There had been no change in who was with Paul.

It appears there were certain issues that arose which Paul could answer.  Here again is a small remark Paul was a person who did not let some problem or question not be answered or resolved.

This church was founded in about 51 A.D. while Paul was on his second missionary journey.  We learn in Acts 17:2 Paul was there for a short time.  It could have been weeks.  See Acts 17:2. 

“And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath
days reasoned with them out of the scriptures.”

This was a brief time but Paul quickly took advantage of the time.  A church then began.

Paul moved on to Athens and then he traveled to Corinth where probably this letter was dictated and sent back to Thessalonica.

From reading this letter it appears that a question had arisen about the second coming of Jesus.

Thessalonica

Image courtesy of www.HolyLandPhotos.org

SEEK HELP

Evidently there had been some communication between Paul and the church.  The church leaders of Thessalonica would be complimented.  The reason for this is that they sought an answer to an issue.  The issue was an interpretation when Christ would return.

In the age we live this is not an issue.  There are two reasons why it is not.  First, few people really care since it is not being taught.  Second, He will not come during their life.  O yes some have read or heard of the Apocalypse but of course that idea is for the Bible thumpers and fundamentalist.  These people are not scholars or scientist so we are told.

The truth is these people do not want to believe Jesus will come again.  It would require them to examine their immortality.  These people were braver than this generation because at least issues could be raised.  There is generally some political pundit that slips in a remark what Christians who hold to these beliefs.  You know the names such as Bill Maher. He states religion is a lie.

The person who brought Christ to them was asked the question.  Never believe you have the answers to life’s dilemmas.  You do not.  As a person you go to a source that knows more about the subject than you.

Here is an example.  Do you want to know the future?  Yes!  Then you must study the past.  Paul could give answers because he knew the Holy Scriptures and these had been a revelation to him personally.

There is a significant question about this age.  The government has taken over science by issuing regulations drawn up by the bureaucrats whose sole purpose is to expand the money spent.  It is harming not only the local economy but also the world’s economy.

Here are some examples.  The World Export/Import Bank will not lend funds to India  to build coal-fired plants. This hurts the people of India. The bureaucrats are trying to destroy the coal industry in the United States.  This science is wrong. It is hurting India.

There have been students that try to say fracking causes earthquakes and hurts the water tables.  There has never been any proof of this.

Be careful going to any government for authority on any subject.  Choose who your authority is on any subject.  If possible go to the source.

DID THEY WANT TO HEAR?

From reading the II Thessalonians 1 it seems that the persecution had now started.  See II Thessalonians1:5-6.

“Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye
may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer;
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them
that trouble you.”

Yes, there has been some persecution in the United States.  On the scale that the Muslims are killing people in some parts of Africa or the Middle East the answer is clear.  No! We have not had this.

Paul intentionally states that tribulation makes us worthy to be in the kingdom of God.  Yes, this remark goes against what we want to hear.  We want ease. We want food.  We want to travel.  We want luxury.  There can be no acceptance by modern Christians that such makes us worthy.  Try to explain this idea to modern Christians who travel to Las Vegas, New Orleans or Atlantic City.

The Muslims are killing Christians in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.  The politicians are not discussing this.

God has promised that punishment will be heaped upon those who seek to hurt us.  As for as I am concerned destroy evil. The Muslims are evil.

Look around what is happening.  Europe is being punished by the influx of the evil Muslims upon their culture because they have not stood for God’s way.  The blood will have to flow in France, England and Germany sooner or later.

Paul said it was going to?  See II Thessalonians 1:8,9

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and, that
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory
of his power.” 

There are some special doctrines that are taught again and again in Scripture.  Take a look at these teachings:

  • Sin is in the world
  • Christ gave His life to remove sin
  • He arose from the grave
  • He will come back
  • He will judge sinners and the righteous

The manner He will return is with a shout and a mighty group will come also.  This will happen when he comes with fire.  In our day fire is a great possibility because man has learned some of the secrets of the control of the atom.  If there is a way for rulers, politicians and governments to get it wrong, it is a given it will happen.

Gerald, that is so pessimistic.  No!  It is not.  Actually the outcome is positive.  You are given (grace) a way out of the dilemma.  See II Thessalonians 1:8 

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

COMMUNICATION FOR OTHERS

The first church of the first century had a policy of much prayer.  We could go into a long list of such prayers.  Thus words as ceasing were used to state for future generations.  The way the first known convert in Europe was Lydia and her household who were by the river in a prayer meeting.  Acts 16:13

“And of the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer
was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which
resorted thither.” 

The prayers of church services seems to be only remarks when we are instructing God.  The deep meeting is not there.

Those Christians at Thessalonica were called to fulfill the Gospel.  It is my belief that when you are a Christian there is a special calling for you.  There is a task for each of us.  Our faith will be endowed through power.  It was obvious that it was God who would empower them.  What they were to do was to let Christ be honored.  People would know we are different.  We are supposed to be.

There are some people who have and do think ahead.  These people are different.

In December, 1944 the Germans launched a counter offense to go to Antwerp to cut off the supplies to the Allies which were coming from America.  Antwerp was a deep water port..  This took the Allies by surprise.  At a meeting of the Allies high command there was a certain panic.  When asked what to do George S. Patton said he was working on a plan to move the Third Army.  He would come to the rescue of the army at Bastone.  He saw it coming.  Patton had all ready thought it through. Patton’s army would make a 90% turn to the left and rescue Bastone.

Patton like Paul saw the solution. Seemingly the others had not seen it coming.

As a Christian I must see it coming.  You would think the major denominations would have seen it coming in the loss of membership.  There has been a huge drop in membership in the Methodist, Presbyterians, Disciples and Roman Catholics.  The reason is clear.  There has been preaching that a fuzzy feel good position on Christ’s gospel.  The little people sense it is false.  It does not glorify God.

What these groups have done is to tell the homosexual, adulterers, fornicators, divorced, thieves, liars, gluttons, and other sinners it was all right to be in the church as they are.

No change would be necessary.

What is not told to them is the doctrine of repentances, confessions and immersion.  Only under these circumstances they should be brought into the body.

Peter wrote about this and that time period.  See I Peter 1:7

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold
that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise
and honour and glory at the appearance of Jesus Christ.”

++++++ 

“All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy Who thro’ life has been my guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, what-e’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know what-e’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.”
                                                                                                                    Lowry

 

 

Gerald Fugit
October 5, 2014

 

 

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