The Enduring Church
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; 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: (2Th 1:3-4)
Here Paul is thanking God for the church at Thessalonica for two reasons: for their abounding and enduring. Last time we looked at their abounding, today we will look at their enduring.
Remember, we all must be both abounding and enduring if we are going to accomplish and be all God desires for us.
To endure without abounding is boring and is of no lasting value or impact.
To abound without enduring is no more than a flash in pan and of not much more value than fools gold.
Now, let us see their enduring.
The Reason for Endurance – The Kingdom of God (vs5)
The worthiness of entering the Kingdom of God is assessed (vs5, Luke 9:62)
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: (2Th 1:5)
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luk 9:62)
The wondrousness of the Kingdom of God in its entrance
The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that sinners may enter
Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him. (Mat 21:31-32)
The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that suffering is often associated with entering
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Act 14:22)
The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that spiritual rebirth is required for entrance
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:3)
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:5)
The Reflection of Endurance – The Glory of God (vs4, 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. (2Thes 1:10)
As with all things in our lives, the purpose and intent of all we do is to glorify God. So must the purpose of our endurance be that God be glorified. Any praise should be “reflected” back to Him!
The Resistance to Endurance – The Opposition to God (vs4, 5, 6)
The blessings and pleasures of persecutions
Therefore I take pleasure in infirnities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2Co 12:10)
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (Mat 5:10-11)
The glories of tribulations
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (Rom 5:3)
The Resolve of Endurance – The Power of God (vs4)
It takes the power of God working in our lives to endure. Patience from God and faith in Him is required to endure through the persecutions and tribulations.
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: (2Th 1:4)
The Rest in Endurance – The Judgment of God (vs7)
The many that are troubled can take rest in the fact that God will bring all things to view and judge them righteously We need not fret nor seek our own revenge.
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (2Th 1:7)
Endure! Keep going for Him! He is soon returning!
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