Grace Baptist Church

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Caring for Faith and the Coming King

Caring for Faith and the Coming King

Sep 06, 2015

Passage: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:3

Preacher: Jared Longshore

Series: Book of 1 Thessalonians

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: care, concern, encouragement, faith, fellowship


In a message entitled Caring for Faith and the Coming King, Pastor Jared Longshore continues his study of 1 Thessalonians teaching on Chapter 2:17 through Chapter 3:5. In echoing the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the pastor encourages believers to stir up each other. Paul shows a similar concern for the Thessalonian saints in the passage at hand.

Paul’s concern for the faith of the Thessalonians serves as an example to modern believers. One reason for Paul’s distress was that his own glory and joy was bound up, according to v. 18, with them. When the Lord returns Paul’s joy would be these Thessalonians. Perhaps Paul was thinking of the principle shown in Matthew 25:31 where Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. What joy he would have as the Thessalonians were counted among the sheep. Paul’s fear for the Thessalonians serves as an example; we should be concerned about the faith or straying of our brothers and sisters. Continuing with The Matthew 25 thought, Jesus gives rewards for faithful servant and so Paul’s future glory, as well as ours, hangs on our faithfulness to His calling for us. Work done, sacrifices made, effort put forth on behalf of the faithfulness of the saints will not be in vain!

Paul’s alarm about the Thessalonians was based on the reality of Satan. Satan, ever working against God’s Kingdom, was tempting the church. He desired to crush the faith of the believers. Paul notes Satan’s work over the years going back to his being “torn away” from them (v. 17). He had not left because he desired to leave but because he had been torn away. Furthermore, Paul was being hindered (v. 18) from returning. Paul attributes neither the being-torn-away nor hindered-from-returning to the regular vicissitudes of life but rather to the specific work of the enemy. It is, as 1 Peter 5:8 claims; “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” While this is a warning to be applied personally, in the context of the 1 Thessalonian passage it also applies corporately; we all need to watch out for the brethren.

Oftentimes, as with the Thessalonians, suffering for Christ comes early in the Christian’s walk. A faithful shepherd such as Paul was alert to the dangers that could befall children of the faith; so must we all be alert. But for the unbeliever there is a message too. Just as Satan seeks to hinder the church so he seeks to blind the eyes of the world to the truths of the Gospel of Christ. To some these truths seem foolish. Others ignore the message. But all must know it is only as one looks to Christ, the bearer of the true good news, in the faith about which Paul writes, for salvation that both escape from eternal doom and true joy for this life is possible. The day approaches when the sheep indeed will be separated from the goats!