Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
The book of 2 Thessalonians is a short letter written as a follow-up to 1 Thessalonians. Things had become worse concerning the issues Paul had written about in 1 Thessalonians. The persecution had intensified, false teachings concerning Jesus’s return had amped up, and people were not being biblically responsible when it came to work. It was becoming more difficult to …. rejoice always, pray continually and to give thanks in all circumstances as instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Paul was concerned and rightly so; for if thing continued, people might lose sight of the comfort, hope, and peace that Jesus is for them. There is nothing new under the sun, and people can still become discouraged even in our world today. There is still persecution in many places, false teachings, and our eyes watch for the promised return of Jesus. How does a person live in such times? Be it then or now? …In peace that only the Lord can give. Paul prayed it for the believers in Thessalonica, and it is a prayer that could be echoed through the ages.
For Those In Persecutions…. Peace
There are places in the world today that are experiencing persecution because of their faith in Jesus. Places where churches are burned, people are tortured, families killed while other family member are forced to watch, and children taken captive to suffer greatly at the hand of their captors. (More information concerning these types of persecutions can be read in the magazine, “Voice of the Martyrs” or by visiting the web site, www.persecution.com) How do people endure such moments? They endure by grace that comes from trusting in Jesus. Peace is given by Jesus for those who endure such difficult times. Jesus spoke these words to us from John 15:20 … “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecute me, they will persecute you.”
During Times of False Teachings…. Peace
There were those who were teaching that Paul said “The Lord has already returned.” Paul had never taught such a falsehood. Today, we are still looking for the coming of Jesus and must not grow weary in doing so. Keep looking up with anticipation for His return. The world is full of all kinds of false teachings which can cause frustration and fear just as in Thessalonica. Never believe the lies of false teachings and always hold on to the truth of the written word such as the teachings by Jesus…. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And behold, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, TO THE END OF THE AGE Matthew 28:19-20 and Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN AND WILL TAKE YOU TO MYSELF, THAT WHERE I AM YOU MAY BE ALSO. John 14:2-3
When People Cease to Work…. Peace
Do not look to the lack of action by others but keep on keeping on until Jesus returns. We are not called to be idle but working until His return. Be one who sets an example for other in how you live by not being idle. There is no retirement in the Christian walk of faith. Have you ever heard someone say “Why should I do _______, no one else is?” We are called to live on purpose for the Lord until He comes, as described in Luke 12:35-40 ….. We must be ready!! While we don’t work to gain salvation, there is a peace that comes from God in our work for Him. It is a peace that knows why we do what we do.
Paul ended the second letter to the Thessalonians with a prayer for them to experience peace from the Lord. Peace, because it is the guard of our hearts to keep us keeping on. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS. Philippians 4:7 ESV When we lack the peace that comes from faith in God, we will tend to wander from truth. We look for answers in places where there are no answers. When tempted to look for answers anywhere other than in Christ, may we have the mind of Peter in John 6:68 ESV when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David