2 Thessalonians, part 2
Our study today is the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians. There are three sections for this chapter. The first five verses tell us about a Second Coming deception then current in the Thessalonian church, and also meaningful to us. Next, verses 6-12, deal with the restraining of the man of sin and with what we love. Finally, verses 13-17 urge to hold fast to the traditions that have been delivered to the Thessalonian believers by their church leaders. We will find helps and lessons and warning in all three sections.
Remember, both Thessalonian epistles especially have to do with issues surrounding the Second Coming of Jesus--issues false teachers were creating pushing their own ideas in contrast to what God's representatives had taught. The letter is sent to correct the strange fire. Let's look at the first part of this section.Read more...
2 Thessalonians, part 1
Them that Know Not God
Today, the first in a three part series covering the book of 2 Thessalonians.
Protestants long have understood the "man of sin" in this passage as indicating the power of the papacy or as being the pope of Rome. But now there is a new Pope, Francis I. Stories are appearing in the news outlets of his great humility, kindness, and solidarity with the poor. No doubt there is something in these stories. However, we shall be looking at what the Scriptures say in this book about the Second Coming of Jesus and what then shall happen to those who prefer to generate their own "good news," those who place themselves in the temple of God and proclaim themselves to be god (2 Thessalonians 2:4).Read more...
Driving Forces: Culture or the Holy Spirit?
Because the people of God are not ready, our Lord has not yet come. Let's be clear; we are not waiting for the world to become more wicked, for men and women to become more confused, more immoral, more worthy of destruction. That time has already come; we are living in its midst. When God commanded Noah to build the ark, it was no contingency plan just in case men became more evil. God saw what was happening. The degree of chosen rebellion in the world condemned the world. God set out to preserve a remnant, or, at least, seedbed for the remnant. But they were not ready.Read more...
From the Beginning it was not So
The passage we start at today is about an understandably dark topic: divorce. And, that is a very important topic for Christians to address. But we look at this passage more for another idea today, and we want to consider it at least briefly. Let's capture the flow of Jesus' speech. We'll spot it. The message today is NOT primarily, even secondarily, about divorce.Read more...
Consider these Scriptures:
Matthew 5:13: You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."
Mark 9:49, 50: For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."
Luke 14:34: Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Colossians 4:5, 6: "Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."
Salt. We are supposed to be salt, be salted, be seasoned with salt. We are supposed to be "high sodium." Why? What does this all mean? Let's look at the New Testament passages that have to do with salt.Read more...
The Blessed Hope
Let's get the whole statement. Let's back up a notch and read Titus 2:11-14:
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."
We should notice a pattern in this passage. See the idea of appearing in verse 11. In whom did God's grace appear to all men? In Jesus Christ dying on the cross. The result of this is that you and I are called to live in a different way than before.Read more...