The Revealing

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!

Jesus is Lord, my Redeemer
How he loves me, how I love him
He is risen, He is coming
Lord come quickly, Hallelujah!
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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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One Response to “The Revealing”

  1. avatar Tommytwotoez says:

    I think its important to be reminded of Paul’s intentions in his sermon to the Thessalonians, so that we (in today’s age) may properly receive the message.

    I have learned three main points so far in your sermons. One, we must consider the style of writings to best interpret the lesson, such as the prophets, this may change our point of view of Christs return. Second, the beautiful blessings that has been promised to us and the Kingdom of God. Third, we should not live in fear but in joy, because our King will return. Also, it is a warning to not misinterpret the texts written for our knowledge; and be reminded of the real message the Apostles were giving of Christ’s return.

    Why should I be scared of Christ’s return to earth? I am living in joyfulness of my Lords second coming!

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