SUNDAY, 20 AUGUST 2017
After teaching and explaining about what is going to be happened in the last days, Paul finish his second letter with something that very practical about being a real Christian. We do really need to know and understand about eschatology (the part of theology concerned with death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind) but at the same time we must not ignore about having important value of being Christian. What we know and we believe must be expressed correctly as practical values in our daily life. Honestly, it will be easier for people in common to observe what we are doing everyday rather than join with us in such an intensive Bible class about eschatology. However, the strong Christian value only could be produced from a strong foundation in Biblical understanding so we can have the right beliefs and the right target. What Paul already explained before at chapter 1 and chapter 2 is about the foundation of our faith in term of the last days. The last thing that Paul want to give to the Thessalonians is the Christian value that need to be strengthened in relation with the last days.
A CHRISTIAN THAT LOVE TO PRAY
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 2Thessalonians 3:1-5 NKJV
More we understand about last days should bring us more to pray even love to pray! After explaining about how much trials and persecutions the Christians will have in last days, Paul encouraged Thessalonians to be more fervent in prayer and also prayed for Paul and his teams. The real Christians need to understand that they will never ever able to face everything with their own strength. The real Christians are those who understand their limitation and willingly humble themselves to come in God’s presence asking for His favour, His guidance, and His protection.
Paul wrote that the power of prayer will make the word of the Lord (1) run swiftly and (2) will bring glory to God. The power of prayer is able to (3) deliver them from the evil and wicked men, even (4) establish and guard them from the evil one. The power of prayer is also able to (5) draw us closer to God and direct our hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ (KJV: into the patient waiting for Christ)!
A real Christians must have their prayer time just like what Jesus like to do Mrk.1:35, Mat.26:40-41. We can arrange our daily job as best as we can do but only God is able to make it all run swiftly! We need to acknowledge that we need God’s hand in everything we will do in every single new day. Isaiah remind Israel people how they need to have some rest in quietness in God’s presence rather than choosing swift horses to run away.
15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, 16 and you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”—Therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”—Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift! 17 One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain and as a banner on a hill. Isaiah 30:15-17 NKJV
In many times, the Bible seriously told us how big and how fast all trials and persecutions will cover this earth. There are not any better strategy believers can do other than plug into the power of prayer and start praying for each other! Only God Himself is able to deliver us from all the evil things in last days. That’s why He ask all His people to be a serious continual prayer. Let’s always remember the prophecy in Revelation 11 that only those who worship inside the temple of God will be measured and be saved from the reign of antichrist Rev.11:1-2! The power of prayer is able to keep the heavenly love in our life to be in the right temperature so we will not be found as a lukewarm Christian Rev.3:16, Mat.24:12.
A CHRISTIAN THAT LOVE TO WORK
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labour and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 2Thessalonians 3:6-9 NKJV
Knowing about what will be happen in the last days could bring people into 2 extreme response. First, people may choose to be idle and doing nothing as they know that God is in His way coming back and this world will be destroyed—just like what some Thessalonians choose to be busybodies and did not work. Or the second one, people may choose to be passionate and work in excellent way—just like Paul and other man of God did.
During the ministry of Paul and his team in Thessalonica Acts.17:1-9, they gave them an outstanding example how the Christians should do in their workplace. Even we understand that Jesus is coming soon and He will take us in rapture, we should not neglect our job or ignore our responsibility. Knowing and understanding about His second coming should bring us more diligent and take care our job in such exceptional way as we know that (1) whatever we do, we need to do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men Col.3:23, and also (2) that our labour is not in vain in the Lord 1Cor.15:58.
Even in the midst of trials and dangers of persecutions, Daniel gave us an incredible example how he distinguished himself above all his colleagues with an excellent spirit—which is the Spirit of God Dan.6:3. As we are expecting for the latter rain—the massive pouring of Holy Spirit to bring church into perfection—we need to be prepared as well that the characteristic of Holy Spirit is always dynamic Act.1:8, always keep moving, and helpful. Paul never let himself to be a burden for anyone, he always chooses to be helpful so he could be a blessing for others. The real Christians in last days will get a full advantage as Holy Spirit will be poured abundantly, giving power to all real Christians to do their work amazingly!
A CHRISTIAN THAT LOVE TO CARE
13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2Thessalonians 3:13-15 NKJV
Doing good is not always easy, moreover in the last days. As Paul aware about that challenge, he encouraged all believers to take care and support each other so they do not grow weary in doing good. In letter for Hebrews Paul wrote that our journey of faith is like a race, we need to strengthen each other.
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:12-13 NKJV
Somehow, in last days we may find some people that choose not to obey the word of God. In fact, we may find lot of peoples rise up and want to be our enemy. Even though, the real Christians will not count anyone as their enemy since our real enemy is the devil himself Eph.6:12. No matter how bad other people will treat us, we need to treat and admonish them as our brother since we expect for their repentance so that they may know the truth 2Tim.2:25.
Finally, let us pray, encourage, strengthen, and support each other so we could be a real Christian in this last days, having a real victory as we desire to keep and love the truth, and together we will receive a real relief with Jesus in His eternal kingdom. AMEN.