WHEN FACING TROUBLING TIMES
Rob Carlson – Pastor, Golden Plains Baptist Church, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
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2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
1. The believers’ CONCENTRATION – “bound to give thanks always to God for you.” It is a decision. Will you choose to be thankful for God’s people.
2. The believers’ COMPANY – “you, brethren beloved of the Lord.” If God loves the brethren, we should love them, too. God’s people at their worst are still better than the world’s company at its best. The word “brethren” is used more times in the letters where we could least expect it – Paul’s epistles to the carnal believers in Corinth (36 times in 1-2 Corinthians).
3. The believers’ COOPERATION – “our gospel.” We are laborers (1) together (2) with God. In the passage “sanctification of the Spirit” is God’s part and “belief of the truth” is man’s part. (Sorry you can’t get the demonstration of irresistible grace on the sermon audio!)
4. The believers’ CORONATION – “obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9
THEREFORE, stand fast (1 Corinthians 15:58).
At the beginning of Paul’s Christian life, he stood for the Lord (Acts 26:16).
At the end of Paul’s Christian life, he was standing for the Lord (2 Timothy 4:16).
And the Lord stood by him all the way (2 Timothy 4:17).