The Strength that Holds Us
Pastor Sam Stallings
INTRODUCTION: Followers of Christ can be confident of salvation & sanctification because of the work of the Holy Spirit. We’re to stand firm & hold to the truth of the Bible in these final days. These young believers had lost their footing. They were unsettled & alarmed because they thought the 7-year Tribulation period had already started. He assured them that this was impossible because Believers in Jesus Christ will not be left behind. 2 Thess. 2:13. “but” serves to introduce a transition from the bad news to the good news as Paul describes his obligation to offer thanks for the work of God in their lives. Based on everything that God has done, he tells them to “stand firm & hold to” the truth, 2:15. 3-STRANDED CABLE OF TRUTH/STRENGTH:
I. THE STRAND OF SALVATION, 2:13. Nothing more comforting than to know that I am the object of God’s unconditional love, Eph. 1:4; 1 Thess. 1:4. Even our ability to believe is ultimately a gift from Him, John 6:44.
II. THE STRAND OF SANCTIFICATION, 2:13, 16-17. The Holy Spirit is doing His work of transforming us, day-by-day. As we’re hanging on by our fingertips, we realize that God is hanging on to us, encouraging & strengthening us, John 10:28-29.
III. THE STRAND OF SHARING IN HIS GLORY, 2:14-15. We are called to Christ through the Gospel. ¬ We can’t be saved apart from someone sharing the good news with us. We are saved in order to share in the glory of Christ. What begins with grace always leads to glory! John 17:24; 2 Thess. 2:8, Rom. 8:30.
OBSERVE THE LORD’S SUPPER. To honor His redemptive work, He marked the moment with a meal so that whenever we eat it we will remember what He did for us, 1 Cor. 11:23-24, 28.
THE PLEA FOR PRAYER, 3:1-2
1. PRAY for PROCLAMATION, Heb. 4:12; Psa. 147:15; Acts 13:48; 1 Thess. 1:8.
2. PRAY for PROTECTION, 3:2.
INVITATION: Do you see the missionary application here? We’re located here in this community with our own struggles and successes. Yet we have missionaries literally scattered around the globe who are in desperate need of our prayers. Let’s spend some time praying for the upcoming opportunities that we each will have to proclaim the gospel. Pray for protection against any opposition that may come. Pray for our missionaries and for our own ministry. 2 Thess. 3:3-5.