Second Thessalonians 1:1     

 

 

 

The Bible says in Second Thessalonians 1:1, “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Of course, we all know that Paul wrote this great epistle as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. It is important to notice that Paul included Silvanus and Timothy as equals in his introduction. Paul was not on a power trip. He was not out to consolidate his influence or to gain an advantage over others who were in the ministry. Because Paul was led by the Spirit, he saw other Christians as fellow-workers. We have a big job before us: to spread the teachings of Christ around the world. We need each other.

 

Paul said that he was writing to “the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Father and Christ are inseparable. Along with the Holy Spirit, they are God. What one is, the other is. What one does, the other does. If you are in God, then you are in Christ. The word “in” speaks of a close personal relationship. It speaks of spiritual life. Paul is writing to those who have spiritual life because of their relationship with God through Christ. Without this relationship there is no true spiritual life.

 

Paul wrote to the believers in the city of Thessalonica and said in Second Thessalonians 1:2, “Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” If you want to hope for something for a Christian or pray for something, then make it grace. Every Christian needs grace every day. We were saved by grace, and we also continue in fellowship with Him by grace. A wise Christian relies upon the grace of God, and not upon one’s own efforts. 

 

To serve the Lord Jesus Christ in this world of woe we need grace because of our many frailties and weaknesses. We also need peace within our hearts and minds. There may be no peace around us, but there can be peace within us because of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Think of the truths about Jesus and you can have peace: He is God, He has all power, He can do anything, He loves us, He is always with us, He has a plan for us, and He will come again and receive us unto Himself. We pray that His will be done in all things that happen to us, and therefore we know that His will shall be done.

 

One thing that is important to notice is that Paul prayed that these believers in Thessalonica would receive grace and peace, and these were very spiritual Christians already. If they continue to need grace and peace from the Lord, then obviously we do also. Paul wrote in Second Thessalonians 1:3-4, “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; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure.” These Christians are commended for their faith, their love for one another, their patience, and their endurance.

 

Of course, they had some faith. They would not be Christians if they did not have faith. But in order to grow as a Christian, there are many things to be added to faith. The Christians in Thessalonica had added many things to their faith. They had added one of the most important things of all: Christian love. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that ye have love one to another.” If you do not have love for other Christians, something is terribly wrong. It says in First John 2:11, “But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not wither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes 

 

It is interesting to notice that these Christians had “patience,” and that they did “endure.” The word that is translated “patience” means to remain under whatever burden has been given for you to bear. Instead of bearing to the end their God-given burden, some Christians throw it off through self-will. They miss the blessing because they do not stay to the end to see what God will do. “It is no secret what God can do. What He has done for others, He will do for you.” But you must remain under the burden until His appointed time to deliver you. “He that endures unto the end shall be saved.” This is not the salvation of the soul, but it refers to being saved from some calamity or burden or sorrow of life.

 

The Christians of Thessalonica were enduring “persecutions and tribulations.” Persecutions refer to the mean things that non-Christians or unspiritual Christians do against believers. The spirit of the world hates the Spirit of Christ. If the Spirit of Christ rests upon you, those of the world will pursue you to do you harm. Tribulations refer to the unpleasant or difficult circumstances that will weigh down upon you sometimes when you serve Christ. Jesus said to His disciples, “In the world you shall have tribulation.” Even though tribulations of some sort weighed down upon the Thessalonians, they stood firm in spite of the difficulties. The problems did not cause them to fall or to weaken. Paul had just stated that these believers had faith and love. Evidently their faith and love carried them through. Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation,” but He also said, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world        

 

Concerning the faith, love, and patience possessed by the believers in the city of Thessalonica, the Bible says in Second Thessalonians 1:5, “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.” Verse five is a continuation of the last thing that was said at the end of verse four which is “the persecutions and tribulations” that were endured by the believers in Thessalonica.

 

Sufferings in this world are directly associated with heaven in many ways. For one thing, Jesus promised that those who suffer in this life will be rewarded in the next. Jesus taught it in the Sermon on the Mount when He said in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” He also said in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus told about a rich man who died and went to hell and a poor man who died and went to heaven. Jesus said in Luke 16:23-25, “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, an Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented

 

Jesus Himself came into the world to suffer, and then He ascended into glory. And Jesus said, “The servant is not greater than his Lord.” The Bible says in Second Timothy 3:12, “They that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” One of the reasons that those who follow Christ look forward to the Second Coming of Christ is because only then will our sufferings be over. Once we get to heaven, no doubt we will find that those who are in positions of highest authority and honor will be those who suffered the most in the will of God in this life. It is no wonder that Jesus said to those who are persecuted in Matthew 5:12, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” If you do not bear a cross, then you cannot wear a crown. This life was meant to be a life of suffering for those who follow Jesus. Jesus was called “a man of suffering and well acquainted with grief,” and we are called to follow in His footsteps.

 

Read Second Thessalonians 1:5 one more time. It says, “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.” The phrase, “for which” ye suffer indicates that there is a benefit to suffering. The kingdom of God gains benefits when believers suffer. That is because the work of God is done through suffering. The way to heaven is paved with the tears and the blood of the saints. It started when the Son of God was nailed to a cruel cross, as His mother wept silently nearby. All that suffering was brought by sin. What a heavy price is paid because of sin. Jesus paid the eternal price so that souls could be forgiven and could go to heaven. But we all must suffer the effects of the sin that is still in our own lives and that is all around us in this world. Hearts that are right with God must carry their burdens, suffer their injustices, and cry their tears.

 

We may suffer now, but we suffer because we follow the King: the Righteous Judge. The day is coming when all wrongs will be righted. Those who are not forgiven will receive the punishment that they deserve. Paul wrote of the judgment to come against those who persecute us in Second Thessalonians 1:6-7 that says, “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.” God will bring trouble to those who cause trouble. When will this happen? It will happen at the “apocalypse.” That is the word from which is translated “revealed.” The day is coming when Jesus Christ will be revealed from heaven.

 

That day will be a great contrast to the first coming of Christ. Jesus will be “revealed from heaven.” In contrast to the false christs, there will be no question that it is truly Jesus Christ the Son of God because of the manner in which He will be revealed to all the world. This will be a spectacular, heavenly, world-wide event. It will include the “mighty angels.” It will be a supernatural event with supernatural creatures appearing with Christ. One of the main reasons that Christ will appear at this time and in this way is to finally bring judgment upon those who deserve judgment, and that list is long and growing.

 

God is holy. He must punish sin. God is a just judge. A just judge cannot overlook a wrong-doing. A just judge must punish the guilty. Part of the responsibility of being God is to judge all mankind. God loves His children. He loves the followers of Christ. Jesus is a great shepherd who will take care of His sheep. He will lead His sheep to green pastures to rest, and the ultimate rest is the rest of heaven. He will punish those who have persecuted his children. The day will come when enough with will be enough. Sin will have had its day, but its day will be over. It will be time for a righteous judgment of a holy God, and in that day nothing will hold back His wrath against sin.

 

Second Thessalonians 1:8-9 speaks of the day of the coming of Christ and the judgment that Christ will bring. “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 

 

Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day when good news is preached throughout the world about Jesus Christ and His grace and forgiveness. The message is this: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.” Those who have rejected that message have rejected God and have become evil and dark within their souls. Souls who have rejected the gospel of Christ have made an eternal decision to remain forever apart from God. They did not obey the gospel when they were given the chance. What a terrible destiny they have chosen for themselves. Do not join them. Turn to Christ while you have time. 

 

 

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Copyright; 2006 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved