“Until He Comes” 5May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.(2 Thess 3:5) • We are to live with the inner expectation that Christ may come today, but with an outward lifestyle that says He might not come in our lifetime.
“Until He Comes” • In other words, we are to work like He is coming back in the next 5 minutes, while realizing that He may choose to wait until after our lives are over. • Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians to comfort the church about the imminent return of Christ.
“Until He Comes” • Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct an error in thinking about the imminent return of Christ. • How do we do this? • How do we live a balanced life, that expects Jesus to appear at any moment, but lives as if He may not appear in our lifetime? • How do we balance hope and responsibility?
“Until He Comes” • PRAY for one another (vv. 1-2) 1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.(2 Thess 3:1-2)
“Until He Comes” • Pray for us. • Pray for the spread of the gospel. • Pray for the protection of others. • Prayer is vital to creating that inner expectation, as well as that outer balanced lifestyle that Paul is talking about.
“Until He Comes” • Personal (i.e. individual) prayer is needed. 11 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chron 16:11) 41“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matt 26:41)
“Until He Comes” 1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1) 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24)
“Until He Comes” 17 Pray without ceasing. (1 Thess 5:17) • Corporate (i.e. church wide) prayer is also needed. 19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. (Matt 18:19)
“Until He Comes” 4 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:14)
“Until He Comes” • TRUST in God’s faithfulness (v. 3) 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thess 3:3)
“Until He Comes” • If God’s faithfulness is taken out of the picture, is there any way for us to succeed in the Christian life? NO! • If God’s faithfulness is working for us, is there any way for us to fail at the Christian life? NO!
“Until He Comes” • Deliverance of Israel through the Red Sea. • Deliverance of Elijah on Mt. Carmel. • Samson’s last stand against the Philistines. • Two disciples on road to Emmaus. GOD’S FAITHFULNESS IS ABSOLUTE.
“Until He Comes” 9Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. (Deut 7:9) 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23)
“Until He Comes” • OBEY what we have been taught (v. 4) 4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. (2 Thess 3:4) • Concerning obedience, who was Paul’s confidence in? • Our ABILITY to obey comes from God.
“Until He Comes” • LEARN love and patience (v. 5) 5May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thess 3:5) • What two areas of our life are mentioned in this verse, which we should be working to improve?
“Until He Comes” LOVE and PATIENCE 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)
“Until He Comes” • We need to learn to love God like He loves us. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deut 6:5) 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)
“Until He Comes” • We need to learn to love others like He loves us. 19 And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. (Deut 10:19) 39 …‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matt 22:39) 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
“Until He Comes” • How do we learn to love like God? • By experience (we must know Him and His love for us personally) • By observation (we can see how He loved others, and how others who know Him love)
“Until He Comes” • By repetition (we learn by actually doing it) • Learn patience like Christ’s patience.
“Until He Comes” • WORK while we wait (vs. 6-12) 6In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,
“Until He Comes” 8nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.
“Until He Comes” 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thess 3:6-10)
“Until He Comes” 11We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. (2 Thess 3:11-12)
“Until He Comes” • The Problem • Some of the believers didn’t think that Christ’s return was imminent (inner expectation), so they were just standing around waiting (no outward lifestyle).
“Until He Comes” • The cause for such thinking. • Correction for the problem. • They were to get to work (v. 12). • They were to follow Paul’s example (vv. 7-9).
“Until He Comes” 6 …to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.(2 Thess 3:6) 14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. (2 Thess 3:14)
“Until He Comes” • Our attitude that should be ‘brotherly love’ (v. 15). 15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. (2 Thess 3:15)
“Until He Comes” • Consequences of the problem. (v. 11) 11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. (2 Thess 3:11) “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
“Until He Comes” • DON’T QUIT, ever. (v. 13) 13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.(2 Thess 3:13) • Sometimes we just need to hold on. • Sometimes we wonder why we seem to be the only ones doing any work!!!
“Until He Comes” • AT THOSE TIMES, we just need to hold on... DON’T QUIT. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9) 11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. (Job 23:11)
“Until He Comes” Conclusion What do we do until He comes? • Pray • Trust • Obey • Learn to love and be patient • Work, and Don’t Quit!