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Author Topic: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR  (Read 3064 times)

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Dedication

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2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« on: September 10, 2012, 11:02:31 PM »

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1:1   Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 
 1:2   Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
 1:3   We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 
 1:4   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: 
 1:5   [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 
 1:6   Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 
 1:7   And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 
 1:8   In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
 1:9   Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 
 1:10   When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 
 1:11   Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: 
 1:12   That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Does the thought of the Second coming frighten you, or does it bring you hope?

.
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Dedication

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 08:32:13 AM »

Rephrasing the third and fourth verse:

"We cannot help it, we must praise the Lord when we hear how you Thessalonians, who are enduring so much persecution and trouble, are growing exceedingly in your faith and your love for one another."

Persecution did not diminish their faith, instead their faith "grows exceedingly" they cling more intensely to Christ.
Also their love is growing.   Persecution drew the members closer together.

But now compare the introduction of this second letter with the first letter, for something is missing.

In the first letter Paul is thankful for their  faith, love and steadfastness of hope.
In the second Paul is thankful for their increasing faith and love, but there is no mention of their hope.
They are steadfast or patient under the continuing persecution, which implies that there is hope, but apparently the Thessalonians are starting to wonder "where is justice",.

Paul affirms them telling then that their unshaken faith in all their persecutions indicates that God judged them to be worthy to partake in God's eternal kingdom of righteousness. 
Their hope and faith is directed to the second coming when everything will be made right.

The letter doesn't give much hope that things will get better before then, indeed it will get worse as the "man of sin" will arise and in pretended role of being the "voice of God" will cause many to be lost.  But hope and faith will continue in steadfast patience in those anchored in the love of truth and faith of Jesus.

There will be justice
everlasting life in the kingdom of God for those who in steadfast patience continue in faith and love,
everlasting destruction for those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Dedication

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 10:44:51 AM »

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Matt. 5:9   Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 
 5:10   Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
 5:11   Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 
 5:12   Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
 

" Jesus does not lose sight of His people who have so many discouragements to encounter. It requires little effort to float with the popular current, but those who would gain the immortal shores must struggle against wind and tide. There is a form of Christianity--a spurious article--which has no reformative energy. Its possessors delight to oppose and decry the faith of others. Their religion is not seen in the market place, in the family, or in the workshop. Their religious experience runs in the corrupt channel of the world.  {OHC 359.5} 
     "The true follower of Christ should not be dismayed at receiving reproach from this class. Said the beloved apostle, "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you." 1 John 3:13. And our Saviour reminds His disciples, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." John 15:18. Those who are faithful to God will not be harmed by reproach or opposition. Nay, rather, virtues will thus be developed that will not flourish in the sunshine of prosperity. Faith, patience, meekness, and love will bud and blossom amid clouds and darkness.  {OHC 359.6} 
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Dedication

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 10:55:44 AM »

In the first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gave a beautiful picture of the second coming.
In this second letter Paul sought to correct the misunderstanding of his teaching, what do you think they were "misunderstanding"?


My opinion --

In 1 Thessalonians the emphases was on the positive aspect of the Second Coming.
Jesus will come -- the dead in Christ will be resurrected
Together the resurrected and those who never died will rise into the air to meet Jesus
And thus they would be forever with the Lord!


Were the Thessalonians thinking everyone would be saved?
Were they thinking the world would all be converted and everyone would enter the kingdom of God?

In 2 Thessalonians Paul makes it clear there will be judgement.


 1:8   In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
 1:9   Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 

He makes it clear that there would be a "falling away" in the church itself.
He exhorts them to continue in the way.



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Johann

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 02:50:52 PM »

The NIV gives an interesting insight into verse 3:
2 Thessalonians 1:3

New International Version (NIV)
Thanksgiving and Prayer

3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,[a] and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.

Footnotes:

    2 Thessalonians 1:3 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 2:1, 13, 15; 3:1, 6, 13.

It is important to recognize that the Word of God is sent to all people.
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Dedication

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 04:31:02 PM »

It seems the "falling away" included making scripture sound like religion and spiritual things was something mainly for men.

In the early church where persecution was often exercised against Christians there were many women who stood courageously for their faith even when faced with death.

(203 A.D.)The account of the martyrdom of  Perpetua, a recently baptised young woman, who at the time of her death was twenty-two and had a nursing infant, along with her servant,  Felicitas, who also had just recently given birth to her first baby, shows that persecution showed no respect for gender.
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Dedication

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 08:58:05 PM »

It has been said that we, in the western countries, are not suffering persecution because we are too much like the world.  Our lives fit in too well to arose persecution.


Though thankfully we live in a land that has stood up for religious freedom.
Freedom from persecution has been part of the laws of the land in contrast with the laws of combined church and state that will always lead to persecution.

How has this freedom from persecution benefited the church?
How has it hindered the church?
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Dedication

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 08:42:42 PM »

Additional Questions for Discussion
 
1. What evidence demonstrates that church members are growing in faith and increasing in love?
 Can a person grow in one of these attributes and not grow in the other? Explain your answer.
 
2. Can growing in faith and increasing in love lead to persecution?  Why?
 Shouldn't it  attract others to the Christian way of living? Why do those who try to live godly in Christ Jesus sometimes suffer persecution ?

3. Is persecution something that comes from non-believers only, or can it come from fellow church members?
 
4. How does God demonstrate  that He reigns as a just judge?
Why must a just God  exercise  judgment against those who oppress and persecute His people?
 
5. How does this chapter in Thessalonians encourage a  Christian who is suffering and/or is being persecuted?
 
6. Why (or why not) is “the punishment of eternal destruction” a necessity? Give a reason for your answer.
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Battle Creek

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Re: 2 Thess 1:1-12 Promise to the Persecuted #11 2012, 3rd QR
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 01:26:32 PM »

Towards the end of this lesson are given some quotations by Ellen White on inspiration.  Here below is a little more from the same source:

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  The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit. Because of the imperfections of human understanding of language, or the perversity of the human mind, ingenious in evading truth, many read and understand the Bible to please themselves. It is not that the difficulty is in the Bible. Opposing politicians argue points of law in the statute book, and take opposite views in their application and in these laws. {1SM 19.3}
The Scriptures were given to men, not in a continuous chain of unbroken utterances, but piece by piece through successive generations, as God in His providence saw a fitting opportunity to impress man at sundry times and divers places. Men wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. There is “first the bud, then the blossom, and next the fruit,” “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” This is exactly what the Bible utterances are to us. {1SM 19.4}
There is not always perfect order or apparent unity in the Scriptures. The miracles of Christ are not given in exact order, but are given just as the circumstances occurred, which called for this divine revealing of the power of Christ. The truths of the Bible are as pearls hidden. They must be searched, dug out by painstaking effort. Those who take only a surface view of the Scriptures will, with their superficial knowledge, which they think is very deep, talk of the contradictions of the Bible, and question the authority of the Scriptures. But those whose hearts are in harmony with truth and duty will search the Scriptures with a heart prepared to receive divine impressions. The illuminated soul sees a spiritual unity, one grand golden thread running through the whole, but it requires patience, thought, and prayer to trace out the precious golden thread. Sharp contentions over the Bible have led to investigation and revealed the precious jewels of truth. Many tears have been shed, many prayers offered, that the Lord would open the understanding to His Word. {1SM 20.1}
The Bible is not given to us in grand superhuman language. Jesus, in order to reach man where he is, took humanity. The Bible must be given in the language of men. Everything that is human is imperfect. Different meanings are expressed by the same word; there is not one word for each distinct idea. The Bible was given for practical purposes. {1SM 20.2}
The stamps of minds are different. All do not understand expressions and statements alike. Some understand the statements of the Scriptures to suit their own particular minds and cases. Prepossessions, prejudices, and passions have a strong influence to darken the understanding and confuse the mind even in reading the words of Holy Writ. {1SM 20.3}
The disciples traveling to Emmaus needed to be disentangled in their interpretation of the Scriptures. Jesus walked with them disguised, and as a man He talked with them. Beginning at Moses and the prophets He taught them in all things concerning Himself, that His life, His mission, His sufferings, His death were just as the Word of God had foretold. He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. How quickly He straightened out the tangled ends and showed the unity and divine verity of the Scriptures. How much men in these times need their understanding opened. {1SM 20.4}
The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers. {1SM 21.1}
It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God.—Manuscript 24, 1886 (written in Europe in 1886). {1SM 21.2}

It would be nice if all SDA writers would adhere to this understanding of inspiration, and we might have less problems in our interpretations.
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It is not always men who are best adapted to the successful management of a church. —Manuscript Releases 19:56.{PaM 36.2}
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