Encouragement from God’s Heart

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 ESV

“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

The Word Under Attack

The word of God is under enemy attack. There is an army of people who are working for Satan, being used as his tools, whether with full knowledge or not, who are on the offensive against the whole counsel of God, and who want to destroy the full gospel message of our salvation from sin.

They are those who, spiritually speaking, are lazy, fruitless, idle, and ineffective for God’s eternal kingdom. They are both believing the lies of Satan, and they are spreading his lies, too, in opposition to the truth.

For, the authority they are resting in is not the authority of God and of the word of God (the whole counsel of God). But they are submitting themselves to human authority, and to the authority of a spiritual bond that is worthless and empty regarding the power to save human lives from their sin. And, one day they will hear God say, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

For, although many of them have made a confession of Christ as Lord, they do not submit to him as Lord. He is not the one in control over their lives, for the flesh is still what is ruling their thoughts and actions. So, they are not bearing fruit in keeping with repentance and for God’s eternal kingdom, for they are still living worldly, fleshly, and self-centered lives.

The Rebuttal

But, the Word of God has something to say on this issue. For, the Word of God is pure, upright, virtuous, and blameless. And, it has an observation about these who are working in opposition to God’s word and to his gospel message. And, it has an analysis of what is being taught, too. For, the Word of God serves as the standard by which we are to examine the things being taught by these who are attacking the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, we are to use God’s Word to examine what we are hearing and reading to see if what we are hearing and reading is truth, i.e. if it is in line with the teachings of Scripture under the New Covenant. But we must study the Word of the Lord in context. For, many false doctrines are being spread from taking Scriptures out of their context to make them mean something other than what was intended.

So, when we examine what we are hearing, and what is being presented to us, against the word of God, then if what is being presented to us is contrary to the teachings of Scripture, as a whole, then we need to reject it.

Thus, we need to reject this gospel message which teaches a superficial faith in Jesus Christ, which grinds up (pulverizes) the meat of the Word, and which mixes it all together with insolence and disrespect toward God. For, it teaches (or it implies) that we don’t have to leave our lifestyles of sin behind us, that we don’t have to obey the Lord’s commands, and that we don’t have to surrender our lives to Jesus, making him truly Lord of our lives.

The Counterattack

When we make these observations about what is being taught, by examining their teachings against the Word of God (in context), and we present our findings, and we expose the lies, and we proclaim the truth, we will most likely be met with opposition. And, we may be accused falsely of teaching works-based salvation, or of being legalists, or of being unloving, intolerant, bigoted, and hateful, etc.

And, we may be kicked out of institutional churches, asked to leave small groups, banned from church properties, lied about, yelled at because we don’t conform to the majority, and falsely accused, put on church discipline, and/or reported to authorities, etc. For, the worldly fleshly church will not want us, for they reject Jesus Christ and his authority and the authority of the Word of God over their lives.

For, those who are buying into an adulterated gospel message, which permits them (gives free license) to continue living sinful lifestyles, they will not want to hear the truth that says that faith in Jesus Christ means we must die with Christ to sin, and that we must live for Christ and his righteousness, and that this is why Jesus died on that cross (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).

They will not want to hear the truth that says that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. They will not want to hear that we, by the Spirit, must be putting to death the deeds of the flesh if we want to have eternal life with God. And, they will not want to hear the truth that says that if we live by the flesh that we will die in our sins (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17).

The Drivers

Those who are the drivers behind this adulterated (cheap grace) gospel are determined to continue to direct people on this course of no death to sin and no obedience to Christ and of no submission to Christ as Lord. They are pushing their false gospel hard, gaining many followers after themselves who have chosen the broad road which leads to destruction, while rejecting the narrow road which leads to eternal life with God.

They are pushers of this superficial faith in Jesus Christ which provides fun and entertainment in place of true worship of God, and which discourages its followers from getting too serious about God or about holiness. For, it mocks, and it criticizes, and it treats with dishonor those whose lives are dedicated to following Jesus Christ in submission to his will for their lives.

For, the armor of God is not what these falsifiers of faith in Jesus Christ take up. What they take up is disrespect for God, dishonoring of his Word, playing games with religion, cheating God out of what is due him, and mocking those who take God and his word seriously.

Rather than upholding the Word of God, they want to squash it. They want to suppress it. Their goal is to hinder and to block the truth from getting to the hearts of the people, and that is why they go all out on the offensive against the true gospel and its servants and messengers. For, they attempt to discredit the true gospel to deter anyone from believing it.

The Prayer

So, this is a call for prayer that the Word of God would not be hindered, but that it would continue to spread so that many people will find genuine faith in Jesus Christ, which will deliver them out of their slavery to sin, and which will empower them to walk with Jesus in his holiness and righteousness, and which will give them true hope of eternal life with God.

And, it is a call for prayer that the Word of God will be honored instead of treated with disdain and disrespect. It is a prayer that asks that people treat the word of God with respect by doing what the Word teaches, too, and not just be “cherry picking” which Scriptures they will adhere to. For not all have genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ.

It is an encouragement to those of us who are walking by faith in Jesus Christ, in the ways of the Lord, according to his truth and righteousness, that the Lord is faithful, even when humans are not. He will carry us through every attack against us and against the Word of God, and he will help us and strengthen us to remain faithful to him, despite all the opposition against us.

And, it is an encouragement to those of us who sometimes are called to suffer for righteousness’ sake, and for doing the right thing, that we are doing the right thing by standing on the truth of God’s Word, and by calling out the lies and exposing them, and by proclaiming the truth for all to hear who will listen, so that they can find true hope of salvation. And, the Lord will direct our hearts to the love of God and steadfastness of Christ.

Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer

Lyrics by Margaret Becker
Music by Keith Getty

“Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more…

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2 thoughts on “Encouragement from God’s Heart

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