Monday, March 3, 2014

The Theme and Purpose of 2 Thessalonians

Transcribed excerpt from an audio message by Bro Ron Knight...

The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written by Paul to explain the time of Jacob’s trouble1– the end times, latter times or the last days of Israel’s prophetic program, particularly regarding what God will do in the earth future from us.

The reason he had to write it was because grace believers, people who weren’t appointed to that wrath,2 because the body of Christ will go out of the world through the rapture, the resurrection of the body,3 and go into the heavenly places to be with our Lord.  We are not going to be involved with that day of the Lord’s wrath.4 that time of Jacob’s trouble.

But because of the lack of right division, men were preaching and teaching that the church the body of Christ would go through that wrath.  They were mixing what Jesus Christ says through Paul to us believers in the body, with what Jesus Christ said to Israel in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  They were mixing prophecy and mystery, law and grace; and when you don’t rightly divide, you’re going to have people thinking they’re going to go through the [tribulation].

Second Timothy 2:15, the verse about right division, comes in because some men named Hymen├Žus and Philetus5 had taught the Ephesians that the resurrection (rapture) had happened already, and that overthrew people’s faith.  They were teaching that the body of Christ will go through the wrath.

Even among grace believers in our day there is a falling away from this truth.  Paul says that in the latter times of the dispensation of grace men and women will fall away and not endure sound doctrine.6   Grace churches will get smaller because people will have itching ears to hear something other than what Paul says.  You don’t want to be that person.  The way you get your reward at the judgment seat of Christ7  is to endure to the end as a part of the grace body of believers; not just in name as a Christian, but in your doctrine and walk.  God has given that to us as the goal of our Christian life8.

But there are so-called grace believers who are leaving these Pauline doctrines about the rapture; about justification by God’s grace through faith plus nothing.  They’re mixing up things.  You don’t want to do that.  It is my goal to stay in the scriptures because Paul says:

1 Timothy 4:16
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

I can save myself from that apostasy by listening to Paul, and I’ll make sure that you can be too by preaching it to you, if you believe in God’s word.
So Paul wrote the book of 2 Thessalonians to deal with the confusion of the end times of prophecy (what people call eschatology).  He wanted to explain the day of the Lord, the time of that future wrath when Christ will come as Israel’s avenger, deliverer and king to set up his earthly kingdom.

Transcribed excerpt from Bro Knight’s message:

1 Jeremiah 30:7   Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

2  1 Thessalonians 5:9   For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

3 1 Thess. 4:13-18 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.

4  Zephaniah 1:18  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

5  2 Timoothy 2:16-18  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;   Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

6 2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

7   1 Corinthians 3:10-17    According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;   Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.   If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.   If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.   Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

8 Philippians 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Hopefully this helps!

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