"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS"
Obtaining The Glory Of Our Lord (2:13-17) INTRODUCTION 1. In clarifying possible misconceptions about the coming of Christ, Paul warned of two ominous events that must occur first... a. The falling away must occur - 2Th 2:3 b. The man of sin must be revealed - 2Th 2:3 2. Both events portend a sad end for many people... a. The falling away would necessitate the apostasy of many people b. The man of sin would deceive many people who were perishing 3. Yet Paul writes of "Obtaining The Glory Of Our Lord"... a. Thankful that the Thessalonians appeared destined for that blessing - 2Th 2:13-14 b. A blessing to be received when Christ comes - cf. 2Th 1:10 c. A blessing for which Paul prayed diligently they would indeed receive - 2Th 1:11-12 [In our study I wish to address the question: What is necessary for "Obtaining The Glory Of Our Lord"? From Paul's remarks in our text (2Th 2:13-17), obtaining this glory is possible...] I. BY BEING CHOSEN A. THE THESSALONIANS HAD BEEN CHOSEN... 1. For which Paul was bound to give thanks - 2Th 2:13 2. Which was evidence of God's love for them - 2Th 2:13 3. From the beginning - 2Th 2:13 a. Likely referring to God's election before the foundation of the world - Ep 1:4-5 b. Which I understand to be general, not particular; corporate, not individual 1) God chose the body of Christ, the church, to be the recipients of His grace and purposes predestined before the world began) 2) Not select individuals, as per Calvinism c. While in the "corporate" sense this choice is unconditional and final, as "individuals" we must be "diligent to make your calling and election sure" - 2Pe 1:10 1) Just as Israel (as a nation) had been chosen by God to receive His blessings 2) Yet individually, the Israelites had to "make their calling and election sure" 3) Thus Paul would need to exhort the Thessalonians to "stand fast" - 2Th 2:15 4. For salvation - 2Th 2:13 a. Salvation from the wrath to come, as vividly described in 2Th 1:7-9 b. Salvation that will include participation in the glory to come - cf. 2Th 1:10; 2:14 B. HOW THEY BECAME PART OF THE CHOSEN... 1. Through sanctification by the Spirit - 2Th 2:13 a. They had been sanctified (set apart) by the Spirit b. This sanctifying work of the Spirit included: 1) His work in revealing and confirming the Word of God through the apostles - Jn 17:17; He 2:1-4 2) His work of regeneration and renewal in conversion - Ti 3:5 2. Through belief in the truth - 2Th 2:13 a. They had believed the testimony of the Spirit through the apostles - 2Th 1:10 b. This was their part to become one of the chosen, God's elect 3. Through the call of the gospel - 2Th 2:14 a. Here is how it all came together... 1) Through the preaching of the gospel God was calling them 2) Those who believed the preaching of the gospel, were sanctified (set apart) by the Holy Spirit in their conversion b. Thus set apart... 1) They became God's beloved, part of His elect 2) They were among the chosen to receive salvation [This salvation, involving "Obtaining The Glory Of Our Lord", is available to all who answer the call of the gospel, and believe the truth concerning Jesus Christ. But in light of the earlier warning of apostasy, and the danger of deception by the man of sin, how can we "make our calling and election sure" and obtain the glory of the Lord? Paul's answer...] II. BY STANDING FAST A. THE THESSALONIANS ARE CHARGED TO STAND FAST... 1. Similar to charges given to other churches - 1Co 15:58; Php 4:1 2. Why such a warning, unless the danger of apostasy is real? a. The danger is real - cf. He 3:12-15 b. The Scriptures are filled with many such warnings -- So we need to stand fast if we desire to obtain the glory of our Lord! B. HOW THEY WERE TO STAND FAST... 1. Holding to the traditions of the apostles - 2Th 2:15 a. Traditions are teachings "handed down" 1) Such as those delivered by those apostles - cf. 1Co 11:2 2) Whether by word (orally) or by epistle (written) b. The apostles' traditions were to be kept - cf. 2Th 3:6; Ac 2:42 1) If we desire to stand fast, we must hold to the teachings of the apostles 2) Like the Jerusalem church, we must continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine 2. In the comfort of God's love and grace - 2Th 2:16-17 a. God and Jesus have already: 1) Shown Their love 2) Given everlasting consolation and good hope by grace -- This God and Jesus did by saving them through the gospel b. Thus Paul prays that God and Jesus will also: 1) Comfort their hearts - cf. 2Co 1:3-5 2) Establish them in every good word and work - cf. 1 Pe 5:10 -- Established and comforted, they would be able to "stand fast" CONCLUSION 1. "Obtaining The Glory Of Our Lord" is made possible only with the help of God, and from our text we learn that... a. God loves us b. Jesus Christ Himself loves us c. They have given everlasting consolation and good hope by grace d. They are willing to comfort our hearts e. They desire to establish us in every word and work -- For such reasons we should feel "bound to give thanks to God always"! 2. Yet while God and Jesus stand ready to help us obtain the glory of the Lord, let's not forget our obligation... a. To believe the truth b. To accept the call of the gospel c. To stand fast d. To hold to the traditions of the apostles Do we desire to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ? May Paul's words always serve to remind us how it is possible, and encourage us never to become slack in our dedication to the Word of God!