2 Thessalonians 1 is a concise chapter in the Bible. With only 11 verses many people will think it doesn’t have much to say.
And they would be wrong in that thought process.
2 Thessalonians 1 begins with greetings from Paul but ends with Paul talking about how they’re being persecuted.
Many people in America fail to realize how persecuted the Christian Church is across the globe. I’m not sure of the actual stats but we have martyrs that nobody except God knows about.
However here in America, we’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security. Our prayers are for the next promotion, and we ask God to help us get along with our coworkers. All along our brothers and sisters have been tortured and killed on the other side of the world.
I’m not saying these things to hurt you. I want you to understand we have been blessed with a unique opportunity that the world has never seen.
America has been blessed beyond measure and it’s our duty to support the people who are going to spread the gospel.
If we don’t go, we should be helping send them.
It was similar during the early church. The Roman Empire had created great stability and wealth throughout the known world. People were able to make and earn great wealth.
However, there were many people groups that hadn’t been told about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And the more people who went to share the gospel, the more persecution happened.
2 Thessalonians 1: Greetings from Paul
1 This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy.
We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2
In the verses above we can see that Paul was traveling with Sila and Timothy, I’m not sure where they were writing from but they were excited that the church was growing and flourishing.
What I love the most about Paul is how much he loves the people around him. He doesn’t care who you are he just wants to share the love of Jesus with you.
Personally, I need to become more like Paul, and as I read 2 Thessalonians 1 I’m realizing that more and more.
2 Thessalonians 1: Encouragement during Persecution
3 Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. 4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5 And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6 In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.
7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.
9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.
11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 is extremely encouraging. Verse 7 is what stands out the most to me as I reread this text.
I need this rest that Paul is describing. I’ve been working so much trying to get some ministries and businesses off the ground that I’m exhausted and wiped out.
In America, we don’t have widespread persecution yet, but that could happen in the future. We don’t know when things could go against us.
That’s why we need to be strong now. Reading the Bible and praying are extremely important. We need to be the people God has created us to be, and many of us don’t realize this.
Many of us don’t know that we were made to be with him, and only in him will we ever be fulfilled.
Our job is to share the gospel of Jesus, it doesn’t matter if we are being persecuted or if we are living in America where we are still relatively free.
Live for Jesus and share the good news. The eternity of everyone depends on it. And when you think you’re at the end of your rope. Remember the words of 2 Thessalonians 1. “The name of our lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live.”