"Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."
Psalm 50:15 NKJV
Are We Nearly Home?
I'm seated on an airplane. A grounded airplane.
I'm surrounded by kids. Restless kids.
The kids are mine. The plane is not. The plane is late, however, and my kids are restless. I took them with me on a trip so we'd have a bit of time together. This is more than I had in mind.
They ask the questions you'd expect of a five and eight-year old. "Are they bringing drinks yet?"
"When are we going to leave?"
"How much more time?"
"Are we nearly home?"
"Why is it taking so long?"
Questions. Lots of questions. The kind of questions that were circulating through the church at Thessalonians. They, too, were restless. Somewhere they got the idea that Jesus was returning tomorrow so they got ready. Some were selling their homes, others were quitting their work, and all were twiddling their thumbs while awaiting the return of Christ.
Paul gets wind of their assumption and writes them this. He urges them not to buy into the reports that the final days have already begun (2:1-2). Several things still need to occur first (2:3-12); and until they do, their task (our task, emphasis mine) is to be patient and alert.
No easy task. Human nature tends to one or the other. We tend to be so patient we aren't alert, or so alert we aren't patient. The church become a hybrid of the restless and the resting. The results can be squabbling kids. Just like mine. They've done their best to be patient, but after a while a person can only take so much.
"Hang in their," I say.
"We'll be home soon, " I urge.
"Try to get along," I exhort.
(I'm starting to sound a lot like Paul.)
Page 1456, Introduction to the Book of 2 Thessalonians, The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado, General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers
Paul Talks About God's Judgment
2 Thessalonians Chapter 1 -- 1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,
5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Evil Things Will Happen
2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2 -- 1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
You Are Chosen for Salvation
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
Personal Note: Sometimes bible verses are written past, present and future. This is why when we study the bible its important to not only see what has been, but what is relevant and what hasn't happen yet. For example my Life Application Study Bible reads:
"Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. " 2 Thess 2:3
I've always believed for many years that the word "rebellion" is time marker of future events that must occur right before the man of lawlessness is revealed. And why he is called the man of LAWLESSNESS!
"You Can Always Come Home"- Andrew Peterson
I love this video featuring someone's sweet baby girl named