Worship with us!
- 8:15am - Prayer Time
- 9:15am - Bible Class
- 10:30am - Worship
Every Sunday morning at 8:15 I meet with a group to pray. We are especially mindful of all the events that will be happening that particular day. I have developed a routine of praying over the passage that I will be preaching that morning. This morning as I was reading the text aloud in the presence of God I was struck with how often this particular text (2 Thess. 1:4-10) has been misused and misapplied.
In my study during the week I was impressed with the fact that Paul was writing these words to be an encouragement to these new Christians. It was his desire that this image of Jesus coming in fire with powerful angels taking care of evil doers would help this struggling church to continue to persevere and not lose heart. Is it acceptable to preach a text written for this purpose as a means of “scaring” people into baptism or reminding the people who sit in our pews how evil their hearts really are? To be sure there is a time to warn people in an effort to help them over the hump in making Jesus Lord (see, for example, Acts 2:40 “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’) It is certainly also appropriate at times to let people know that we think too much of ourselves and are in reality “unworthy servants” at best. However, using a text like 2 Thess. 1:8-9 for such purposes surely constitutes misuse or even abuse!
One of our teenagers commented after the sermon that she liked it. When pressed she said that what she liked best was that when Jesus comes he still loves people but that he will let some people have it; and she agrees that those people need to get it! I think that’s where Paul was leading his original readers; not to a cringing fear of the Lord’s coming but to a joyful anticipation of his coming when those who have been inflicting pain and suffering on others will be justly punished.
When Jesus’ glory is revealed every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Until he is revealed let’s keep encouraging one another to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord!
How he loves me, how I love him
He is risen, He is coming
Lord come quickly, Hallelujah!