Temple Baptist Church - 3-5-2017
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
A. We have looked long and hard at the churches of Macedonia which were standing fast in the faith and doing a great job in missions. (2 Corinthians 8:1-5) Thessalonica was the capitol city of the 2nd Province of Macedonia under Roman rule and Rome did not like the infiltration of Christianity as they thought Caesar to be god.
B. In this second epistle to the Thessalonicians, Paul commended them for their work and labor of live in chapter one and gave warning in the first part of chapter two concerning the “falling away” that was in progress. Paul alluded to that same “falling away” when writing to Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
C. As the great Apostle preached, witnessed, and established local churches—Satan’s crowd infiltrated very quickly.
1. Thus, in our day, Bible believing people have gone from the being the rule to being the exception in my short lifetime. Good churches are getting harder to find.
2. As more and more churches get in to the “numbers game,” they give in to the worldliness and false doctrine that so quickly infiltrates. I am all for numbers, but—in out day—churches that still preach sanctification are labeled by those who do not as “legalistic” and are to be avoided.
3. Salvation is so much more than a “wink wink nod nod” pray this little prayer. Salvation is to those who repent and turn to Christ. It is not a prayer alone that brings one salvation but a heart condition that turns one to Christ. He is Lord and the repentant bow!
D. Paul is exhorting a great church to remain great!
1. Their greatness was not found in numbers because they were but few.
2. Their greatness was not found in finances because they were in poverty.
3. Their greatness was not found in peace because they were in great affliction.
4. Their greatness was found in obedience to the Word of God.
5. Their greatness was found in their love for each other as well as the missionaries that came their way.
E. The message is this: you can run well and stop! Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (A spiritual church is like your body’s weight: if you do not strictly maintain it, it begins to go up and is almost impossible to stop. Once a church begins to slip, it becomes virtually impossible to pull it back to where it once was.)
1. We Must Stand Fast In Our Faith
a. Suffer The Word - Hebrews 13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
b. Magnify The Word - Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
c. Pray For The Word - 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
d. Preach The Word - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
e. Continue In The Word - 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
2. We Must Stand Fast In Our Freedom – be not entangled “again” with the yoke of bondage – Christ’s yoke is not bondage, it is light – the blessing of coming to Christ is “free indeed”
a. Beware Of The Yoke Of Bondage - Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
b. Beware Of The Yoke Of False Brethren - Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
c. Beware Of The Yoke Of Phariseeism - Colossians 2:20-23 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
d. Beware Of the Yoke Of Inexpedient Things – Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (Yes, we are free. But we must be careful how we use our freedom lest it become bondage.)
3. Stand Fast In Our Fellowship –persecution brings the church together. The world hated Christ as Christ loved them. The world hates us as Christ loves us.
a. Fellowship In Unity - 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
b. Fellowship In Separation - 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (Separation is a must!)
c. Fellowship In Light - 1 John 1:5-7 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: (7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
4. Stand Fast In Our Fight
a. We Need To Fill The Gaps - Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. (Our older generation is passing off the scene and the need is great for men and women to “step up to the plate!”)
b. We Need To Withstand The Onslaught - Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
5. Stand Fast In Our Finishing - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.