Wednesday, November 9, 2022

           Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians cleared up some misconceptions that the believers in that town had about the Lord’s second coming and how they were to prepare for such an event.  He began by encouraging the believers in Thessalonica not to be “unsettled or alarmed” that they had in some way missed the Lord’s coming (2:2).  They were not to allow themselves to be deceived “in any way” (2:3).  Through the generations, some misguided individuals have attempted to assign dates and times to the Lord’s coming and each one has been completely wrong—all the while thousands of believers have been duped and deceived.  Be careful about gullibly falling for deception, false teaching and smooth sounding tall tales.  Theories about the end of the planet are a dime a dozen and easily peddled by those looking to make a name or a buck.   
            The antidote to deception is the truth and thinking clearly and soberly about important matters of faith.  Paul encouraged the Thessalonians with these words about standing firmly on truth alone.  “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2:15-17).  Keep Scripture’s commands and teachings about the Lord’s return in the forefront of your thinking.  Do not be deceived by questionable best-sellers, slick teachings and people who may claim to have all the answers.  We trust that the Lord will come again at a time of the Father’s choosing.  Our mission is simply to stay ready.
            Paul prayed that his readers in Thessalonica might be encouraged “in every good deed and word” (2:17).  They were to continue doing what was right.  They were to press on in their service to the Lord.  They were to continue to share the gospel.  They were to continue to grow in their faith and understanding of God’s Word.  A bit further in chapter three, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians not to become idle or passive.  “Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you” (3:11-12).  There is no need to drop out and look to the sky waiting for the Lord’s return. 
We are to press on with whatever God has given us to do.  We are to work at our jobs, engage in family life, worship, serve the Lord and share the gospel.  Paul challenged his readers to resist urges to drop out and drop off and live in an idle and passive way.  Stay on target and stay focused on the work the Lord has entrusted to you.  Paul even went so far as to warn the Thessalonians not to associate with those who made a mockery of the Lord’s second coming or marginalized the daily work of serving, worshipping and making the gospel known.  The apostle did not want to see believers corrupted and misled by false teachers who simply were wrong in their beliefs and behavior.
            To prepare for the Lord’s return, we stay focused on loving Him, serving Him, making the gospel known and living as salt and light in the places and situations where God may call us to be or place us.  God does not expect us to abandon the daily ways that we have to serve Him.  Be not anxious about the Lord’s return but rather be at peace.  Indeed, Paul ended his letter by saying to his readers (and us), “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way” (3:16).  We can confidently trust God to manage both the present and the future while we serve Him in the ways that He has given us.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!  Remember you can share our worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis. 
               

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