2 Thessalonians 1:4 Encouragement

2 Thessalonians 1:4 (KJV)
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Early Christianity was persecuted in general but there were places where the persecution was worse. Thessalonica was one of them.

The second letter to the church there must have been written shortly after the first. It is possible that when the one who had delivered it returned with news from the church Paul got immediately to work on his response.

In this first chapter Paul encourages these suffering believers:
By thanking God for them
Just to know that you are an encouragement can be an encouragement.

By sharing their testimony with others
They were heroes in his eyes and he was quick to tell others of their steadfast faith in spite of tribulation.

By reminding them of their future
Christianity is not about today as much as it is the eternal future. We are to be a testimony today. We receive our reward in eternity.

By assuring them of judgment
God is not blind to those who trouble the believers. Retribution is coming. Knowing that to be the case I can pray for their salvation.

By praying for them
Specifically praying that the name of Christ would be glorified in them through their suffering.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Thessalonians 1:4 Encouragement

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1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 Escaping Destruction

1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 (KJV)
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

The day of which Paul spoke will come as a thief in the night and those of the world will not escape it. But the Apostle says that these believers would escape.

  • They were not in darkness.
  • They were not asleep to the danger.
  • They would not be hurt by it.

The manner in which the believer escapes this sudden destruction is provided in the context immediately previous to this,
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (KJV)
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

The rapture of the believers, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4, takes place immediately before the sudden destruction.

Pre-Tribulational Rapture of all believers is the doctrine of the Bible.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 Escaping Destruction

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1 Thessalonians 1:4 Their Place In God’s Plan

1 Thessalonians 1:4 KJV
Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

The commentators are want to call this an election unto salvation. I think that is a preconceived notion. Protestant theology, both Calvinist and Arminian, view election as relating to salvation. The context, I believe, points otherwise. There are two key words Paul says motivates his prayers for them:

Remembering
This appears to be concerning their salvation.

  • The work of faith that had been wrought in them
  • The labor of love that God has accomplished in them and
  • Their patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ

Salvation is a work all of God and in the sight of God the Father.

Knowing
He knew of the election of God to:

  • Be followers of Paul’s afflictions
  • Be examples to others in Macedonia and Achaea and abroad

The election was not one to salvation. That had happened the moment they hoped in Christ. The election concerned their place in the plan of God to make known the gospel.

(I wrote another blog on this subject here.)

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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1 Thessalonians 1:4 Their Place In God’s Plan

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Colossians 3:3-5 He Is Our Life, But…

Colossians 3:3-5 (KJV)
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Note the conflict of the text.
Theologically we are hidden in Christ
He is our life.

Practically we are to mortify our members
The death with Christ enables us to mortify sin but does not itself mortify the sin. This is a choice the believer makes for himself. And he makes it on a daily basis.[1]

[1]1 Corinthians 15:31 (KJV)
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Colossians 3:3-5 He Is Our Life, But…

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Colossians 2:16-18 How To Avoid Being Judged

Colossians 2:16-18 (KJV)
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Within these verses we find two “Let no man…” phrases. In the first we have a subject with which we can have little to do. In the second is a subject we may have much control over. I can have little control whether another judges me. I can have complete control over whether they are able to beguile me.

Therefore it seems to me that the same way in which I would not be beguiled I would not be judged:

  • I disallow them influence in my life.
  • I pay no attention to their judgments or their teachings.
  • I choose to occupy my mind and my attention on those who have headed in the same direction God’s Word has led me.

Those who have chosen a path otherwise are free to take their course but I won’t give them liberty to interrupt my own.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Colossians 2:16-18 How To Avoid Being Judged

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Psalms 145:18 Near God

Psalms 145:18 (KJV)
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

What an encouraging passage. “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him…”

He is nigh unto all
No doubt there is no one so far from God that He cannot hear and help. No one so far He cannot save. No one so terrible He does not love.

He is nigh unto all that call upon Him
This limits then the “all.” He is nigh unto all but He is especially nigh unto them that call upon Him. When my sons were small we might have been physically near most of the time but we were near emotionally, attentively and etc. when they called out to us. There is a difference between being close at hand and being at hand.

He is nigh to all that call upon Him in truth
This limits the promise still further. God is not far from anyone but He is closer to those who call upon Him and closer still to those who call upon Him in truth.

It is important then that we not only know that we know the Lord but that we rightfully divide His Word so we know the truth.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Psalms 145:18 Near God

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Ephesians 2:4 Inexhaustible Mercy

Ephesians 2:4 (KJV)
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

It happens that I read today both Ephesians 3 and Psalms 136. The literary style of the Psalm is poetic as it drives home, in 26 verses, that, “His mercy endureth forever.” Now this verse in Ephesians gives us the reason for His mercy; “His great love wherewithal He loves us.

As enduring as is His mercy, His love for us is that great. It is unending, inexhaustible and eternal. God’s love extends to:

  • The Jew and the Gentile
  • The saved and the lost
  • The child and the adult
  • The male and the female
  • The faithful and the unfaithful
  • The obedient and the disobedient

No doubt, the desire of God, and the purpose for the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the saving of souls and the sanctification of the saved. But God’s love is greater than our relationship with Him and therefore His mercy endures our sin to give us, over and again, opportunities to make right our walk with Him.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
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Ephesians 2:4 Inexhaustible Mercy

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Galatians 5:13-15 Liberty vs Law

Galatians 5:13-15 (KJV)
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

The book to the churches of Galatia is written almost entirely to dispel the errors of Judaizers who, in Paul’s day, had confused the purpose of Old Testament law. In these three verses we find:
Liberty vs Law
We are set free from the law so far as salvation is concerned. We are, however, to be careful not to allow our liberty to be license. I am afraid we have far too much license in modern Christianity.

The fulfillment of the Law
In one Old Testament law, love our neighbor as ourselves. Genuine love will, it seems to me, compel us to embrace those lessons of the Old Testament (and New) that make for neighborly action.

A warning concerning disobedience
To live by the Law means to be judged by the Law rather than having already been judged in Christ. But to reject this commandment “Love thy neighbor as thyself” sets one at risk of being consumed in the judgment of others.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Galatians 5:13-15 Liberty vs Law

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Galatians 4:20 The Concern Is Truth

Galatians 4:20 (KJV)
I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

In a previous verse to the believers in the churches in Galatia Paul wrote,
Galatians 4:16 (KJV)
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

It was not his desire to alienate anyone. His only concern was the truth and imparting it to them. He was their friend. He wanted their best. He wanted their affection and their companionship in the Lord. But his primary concern had to be with the truth. Were they really willing to spoil that over the doctrines of those Paul knew to be false teachers?

Now here is the truth that so risked his friendship, New Testament Christianity and Old Testament law cannot co-exist. We do not mean that no truths of the Old Testament have application today. Those things were written for our example. But they are the shadow of the truth. All truth is to be discovered in the New Testament. The Old Testament serves to give illustration and life to those truths. Never should the Old Testament be taken in exclusion of the New Testament. The concept that righteousness in any manner may be obtained by obedience to Old Testament law must be:

  • Cast out
  • Abandoned
  • Forsaken

Galatians 2:21 (KJV)
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Galatians 4:20 The Concern Is Truth

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Galatians 2:4 Compelled To Come Out

Galatians 2:4 (KJV)
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:

This would probably not technically be a double negative but that’s what struck my mind. Apostle Paul argues a double negative why Jewish law is not to be compelled upon others.

  1. Peter, who was by birth a Jew, lived as a Gentile and not as a Jew.
  2. It is therefore incongruous to compel a Gentile to live as a Jew.

We might assume that Paul’s rebuke of Peter implies that both Peter and Paul, New Testament Christians from Jewish homes, had abandoned Jewish law.

These were two very different men. Peter, a fisherman by trade, was once accused of being ignorant and unlearned. Paul was just the opposite. These men, of approximately the same age, had come to Christ from very different parts of the same culture and religion. Yet both of them had come to embrace a new culture and practice of faith. They had both been tested and had both come to the same conviction not to lay those burdens that the Jews were unable to bear on the Gentiles. When Peter wavered on this conviction Paul corrected him.

The conclusion of the passage then is that neither the Jewish believers nor the Gentile believers were required or expected to “live as do the Jews.”

If anyone is to be compelled, it is those who attempt to follow Jewish law to come out from it.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Galatians 2:4 Compelled To Come Out

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.