Journal – May 9, 2021
Dominion Baptist Church
May 9, 2021 AD
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
GOD’S FINAL JUDGMENT AND GLORY (PART 1)
2 THESSALONIANS 1:1-6
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,
This second letter to the Thessalonians was written soon after the first one. Paul provides some further clarifications on some of the same issues that were addressed in his first letter. There appears to be some confusion about the events of the end times, that Paul clarifies. He also wisely encourages the believers in the basics he has taught them in his role as a caring pastor.
Vs. 1, 2 Paul, Silvanus (Silas), and Timothy. To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The address is the same as the first Epistle, but he writes to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. In the first epistle it was to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul claims a personal relationship to our Father, the same address Christ made in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:8 Our Father in heaven. (v 2) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle thanks God for the Thessalonians, for their spiritual progress, and for their patience under persecution and afflictions, those afflictions being tokens of God’s righteous judgment, which will reward them and punish their enemies; and the period of retribution is the personal revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven in glory at the final day.
Vs. 3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, Not only does Paul give thanks, but he feels a deep-seated lasting obligation to give thanks. Not that he was ever reluctant or forgetful to bless God; nor that his thanksgiving required a special impulse to express itself; but that in this case there sprang up, from all circumstances, a sense of duty so profound that the thanksgiving is not simply a becoming form at the opening of the epistle, but a devout act which, from the healthy condition of the Thessalonian Church and his intense fatherly interest in it had become to him a holy necessity. Your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all to each other flourishes. Paul had prayed for an increasing abundance of love among them, and here he thanks God that his prayer had been heard. For the evidence of their faith growing and their love being enlarged formed the apostle’s thanksgiving. Not simply your love of the church as a whole, but the love of each one of you all towards one another—the whole body of believers in Thessalonica. This love is brother-love, not man-love, or love of all, but the love of fellow Christians, there being no reference to those without the church as in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 or to any supposed dislike to the heathen unbelievers. Paul had a peculiar pleasure in Thessalonica, and he gave it an honorable and prominent place in his addresses and ministry among the other churches.
Vs. 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, we ourselves as well as others who know you and honor, appreciate, and praise you for your spiritual prosperity; we who prayed and labored for you and have a tender and abiding interest in you, as being instruments by which God has brought you into this happy condition, we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God. Paul and his companions never looked upon their labor as enabling the Thessalonians patience and faith in all persecutions and tribulations that (they you) endure, as an opportunity for their boasting, but humbly and gratefully ascribed it to God whom they served and boasted about. If we give thanks and glory to God for you among men, much more you Thessalonians ought to do the same for your own good deeds. Persecution and tribulation had not uprooted their faith, but God had given them a spirit of serene firmness and earnest expectation that He would also give them final deliverance at the Second Coming. The Greek diogmos translated persecution, did not uproot their faith or bring it into question, it had an enduring quality, their faith was their stability and was the inner element of that patience which was one of its fruits. The Greek thlipsis translated tribulations had to do with that injury that came upon them because of their faith, hardship, poverty, disease, loss of friendship, rupture of family ties, the pressure, the pressure of other trials all because of their Christian profession which they maintained boldly and patiently.
Vs. 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; verses 3 through 8 are really one sentence and should not have been divided into separate verses. The verse we are looking at does not have reference wholly to the future tribunal, because God’s judgment begins now, not simply by the effect of such suffering in purifying and protecting them; the judgment is for condemnation to enemies and unbelievers and the patient sufferings of believers demonstrates that there is now righteous judgment on the part of God, the grace that now sustains the believers is from Him. God as Judge accepts and approves the believers by the bestowal of such gifts of patience and faith; and this experience is a further token or warning that a period of fuller manifestation is coming when the persecutors shall receive retribution, and their victims shall be brought into perfect and eternal comfort. Their condition and that of their persecutors, both here and hereafter are placed in contrast, but there is a mutual reversal in the world to come, the future compensating the present, But Abraham said, “Son remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and you are tormented (Like 15:25). Suffering here especially the suffering of the good at the hand of wicked oppressors, implies under God’s righteous government a future state of balancing and compensation, of rewards and penalty, equitably administered (DeWette, Lunemann, Hoffmann). Paul is setting forth God’s sovereign power which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer. The Greek dikaiokrisa translated righteous judgment means that such sufferers in patient heroism for Christ should be accounted worthy for or declared meet for the divine inheritance. The righteous sentence of God, efficient even now in the creation and sustenance of faith and patience, in the midst of suffering shall at the appointed time relieve and accept the sufferers and translate them into God’s eternal kingdom.
Vs. 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you. This statement confirms the previous verses. The path of suffering, and that path alone, leads to the Land where sorrow is unknown. The term dikaiov a state of being right, or right conduct, judged whether by the divine standard, or according to human standards of what is right. Said of God, it designates the perfect agreement between His nature and His acts (in which He is the standard for all men). Translated a righteous thing in our verse. In order for his statement to be sound the apostle appeals virtually to our innate sense of justice, which by analogy declares that it is a right thing with God, and the hearer cannot but respond. What is just or righteous is the divine retaliation, affliction to those who afflict you, like sin like penalty, for with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you (Matthew 7:2).
KEEP TO THE WORK OF GOD
Keep about your work that God has given you. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits. Do your work. Let liars lie, let corporations resolve, let the devil do his worst; but see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work that God has given you.
He has not commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you to defend your character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood about yourself which Satan and his servants may start to peddle. If you do those things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.
Keep at your work. Let your aim be steady. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, wounded and rejected; you may be abused by foes, by friends by friends, and despised and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.” —Anonymous
Catechism Question 63
Q: What is required in the fourth commandment?
A: The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God one whole day in seven to be a Sabbath to Himself.
30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.