Delivered from the Wicked
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 of the Lord is not what is speeding ahead and being honored here in America within today’s modern church movement. What is being honored and is speeding ahead like a tsunami is the cheap grace gospel which appeals to human flesh, and which pacifies them in their sins.
For, it requires no forsaking of sins or obedience to Christ or submission to his Lordship as part of believing faith in Jesus Christ, even though the Scriptures teach that the true gospel does make such requirements. Thus, the cheap grace gospel offers multiple alternatives to the true gospel of God’s grace.
The cheap grace gospel, therefore, is not of God but of man, and it is of the flesh of man. For, it allows the adherent to choose his own life course instead of submitting to God’s life course for him. He can choose his own path while claiming Jesus as his Savior and heaven as his eternal destiny.
It is the wicked and evil men (and women) who are spreading this false gospel of the flesh of man, but they are also the ones accepting and living in this cheap grace gospel, too. They are the ones in the driver’s seat, establishing their own relationships with God their way, not God’s way.
And they are not content just with making up their own gospel to suit their own fleshly desires, but they are fiercely coming against the true gospel of grace and its messengers, and they are attacking the truth with lies, and they are turning darkness into light and light into darkness.
For, they are teaching that the true gospel is works-based salvation, which is not to be followed, and that the false gospel is the true gospel which is to be followed. So, what they are teaching, in essence, is that to leave our lives of sin behind us and to follow Jesus in obedience is wrong, while deliberately continuing to live in habitual sin without guilt is right.
So, we need to pray against these lies, and it is essential that we pray for the truth to speed ahead and to be honored, instead. And it is of necessity that we pray for deliverance from evil people who are opposing the truth of the gospel and who are attacking the Lord’s messengers with lies.
And it is critical for us to not let this opposition take us out, but we must remain strong and steadfast in our faith which comes from the Lord and which will be perfected by him. And we need to continue in him in obedience to his commands and in dying daily with him to sin and to self. For, the Lord will give us all that we need to endure and to persevere.
Any Brother who is Walking in Idleness
2 Thessalonians 3:6, 13-15 ESV
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.”
“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”
Idleness is not just the refusal to work for a living, but it includes spiritual laziness and apathy. A person can still work and earn a living but be spiritually idle, refusing to follow the Lord in obedience, and by choosing to chart his own course and to not follow the ways of righteousness.
“But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” 1 Co 5:11 ESV
And bearing the name of brother (or sister) does not mean he or she is an actual brother or sister in Christ, but that they are professing to be in Christ by faith in him, but that by their lifestyles they are living in opposition to the will of God in deliberate disobedience to him.
So, if anyone is claiming to be a brother or a sister in the Lord, but spiritually they are idle (inactive, lazy), and if they are living in deliberate sin against God, with a refusal to turn from their sins to walk with the Lord in obedience, we are not to have close associations with them.
This would mean there is no Christian fellowship between them and us if we are walking by the Spirit and not by the flesh but if they are willfully living in adultery, sexual immorality, idleness, greed, idolatry, and/or in intoxication to sin. So, we shouldn’t try to engage in Christian fellowship with them.
So, instead of treating them as though they are living for the Lord, when we know they are not, we are to warn them against the way in which they are living, and we are to speak the truth in love to them in hopes that they will turn from their sins and follow Jesus in obedience to his ways.
And this is not being mean or hateful. This is showing them genuine love and concern for their welfare. It is for their good that we not closely associate with them as though there is true Christian fellowship between us, so that they may be ashamed of what they are doing and turn back to God.
Now, if they are in need, we should help them in their need and not neglect them, for we are taught in Scripture to love even our enemies, and to do good to them, and to pray for them, and to do to them and for them what is for their good (what is God’s best for them).
But doing for them and to them what is for their best also includes tough love, i.e., speaking the truth in love to them, confronting them in their sins, calling them to repentance, warning of judgment, and backing away from close contact with them if they refuse to repent and they continue in their sinful practices deliberately, habitually, and even premeditatedly.
And then we must continue in the Lord, in following him in obedience, in doing what he asks of us, and in praying for wisdom and guidance in doing what is right, and for him to rescue us from the enemy of our souls. For, we do need the Lord’s help, power, and strength to obey him. Amen!
Jesus, Rescue Me
An Original Work / September 18, 2011
Based off of Romans 7:7-8:39
Jesus, rescue me today.
Listen while I bow and pray.
I need Your help to obey You;
Live for You always.
Meet me in my hour of need, Lord,
As I pray to You.
Help me walk in fellowship, Lord,
Living in Your truth.
Jesus, how I long for You to
Change my heart anew.
Father, God, my heart’s desire
Is to live for You this hour
In Your Holy Spirit’s power
Living in me now.
Teach me to walk in Your love, Lord,
Guiding me each day.
Help me to show love and kindness
To the lost, I pray.
Father, teach me to love others
As You love always.
Holy Spirit come in pow’r.
Revive our hearts in this hour.
Change our hearts to be like You, Lord;
Live for You each day.
Help us to forsake our sins, Lord,
As we humbly pray.
Teach us how to live for You, Lord,
Obey You always.
Holy Spirit come in power,
Revive us today.