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October 15, 2023

Living on the Edge of Eternity (2 Thessalonians 3)

Passage: 2 Thessalonians 3
Service Type:

In 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2, the Apostle Paul urges the brethren to pray for the swift and glorious spread of the Word of the Lord. Paul emphasizes the urgency of this prayer, likening the rapid spread of evil in the world to a pandemic. Just as COVID-19 spread rapidly, the Gospel must also spread throughout the earth. Paul notes that even someone on death row inquires about the state of Jacksonville, revealing the dire need for the Gospel's reach.

While praying for the Gospel to spread, we must also remember those who actively spread lies about it. There are those who oppose the Gospel vehemently, such as atheists and anti-theists like Penn Jillette, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Nye, Carl Sagan, Bill Maher, and even Charles Darwin, who disavowed the Bible and Jesus Christ. Additionally, Christian persecution remains a harsh reality with hundreds of Christians losing their lives, churches being destroyed, and countless acts of violence committed against them each month. Missionaries risk their lives daily to carry the Gospel, emphasizing the importance of our prayers for their safety.

2 Thessalonians 3:3-4 reassures believers that the Lord is faithful. He will establish and guard their faith even amidst persecution. This isn't a promise of physical protection but a promise to guard their faith from failing. Jesus himself said, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you," highlighting the need for divine grace and strength.

Paul's prayer in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 echoes the importance of love and patience. He prays that the brethren continue to love God and be patient with Him. This serves as a reminder of the various types of Christians: Sinning Sandy, Lazy Larry, and Faithful Franky.

Sinning Sandy represents those who act recklessly, thinking they can indulge in sin while Jesus delays His return. Matthew 24:48-51 warns against this attitude. Lazy Larry procrastinates, neglecting his responsibilities until Jesus returns. However, the Bible admonishes believers to provide for their households, or they deny the faith. Faithful Franky, on the other hand, diligently carries out his responsibilities, ready for the Master's return.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7, Paul commands the brethren to withdraw from those who walk disorderly, not following the traditions received from the apostles. This admonition reflects the need to maintain order and discipline within the church, refusing to tolerate sinful behavior.

2 Thessalonians 3:8-12 addresses the issue of Lazy Larrys who refuse to work and yet expect to eat. Paul reminds believers that even when he was with them, he worked to set an example, emphasizing that those who do not work should not eat. This underscores the Christian responsibility to provide for one's own and not be idle.

Faithful Franky, found in 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15, embodies those who continue to do good without growing weary. The scripture advises noting those who do not obey the Word and not keeping company with them, but still admonishing them as brothers.

Concluding the passage in 2 Thessalonians 3:16-17, Paul prays for the Lord's peace to be with the brethren always. The internal evidence of the unity of the Scriptures, fulfilled prophecy, and its transformative power reinforces the authority of the Bible.

Discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the root cause is identified as the influence of Satan and the Quranic teachings. To counteract this, we are urged to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as stated in Psalm 122:6.

In summary, the message of living on the edge of eternity from 2 Thessalonians 3 calls for prayer for the spread of the Gospel and those who actively spread it, addresses different types of Christians, and emphasizes the importance of unity, fulfilled prophecy, and the Bible's transformative power. Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, led by Pastor Allen Victor.

#LivingOnTheEdge #GospelSpread #ChristianResponsibility

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