Is Our Faith Growing Abundantly?

2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 ESV

“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.”

Now this is addressed to a specific group of people in a particular place at a given period of time in history. So this doesn’t apply to everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. So, we can only apply this to our lives if the words expressed here are true of who we are and what we are doing. But if this is a true description of who we are and what we are doing, then praise Jesus. All glory to God! For this should be who we are.

Our faith should be growing abundantly. We should be trusting in the Lord more and more each day. We should be walking in closer fellowship with the Lord, growing in our understanding of his will for our lives, and responding with obedience to the things he calls us to do. And our love for one another should be increasing as more and more we put on Christ and his love and we love one another with a godly love.

And we should be those who are being persecuted for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. We should have enemies coming against us. We should be being opposed. Everyone should not like us and want to hang out with us, because we are different, unlike the world, because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus. And we should be those who are steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ despite persecutions and afflictions we are enduring.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 ESV

“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.”

Now, we as followers of Jesus Christ should all be living lives worthy (fitting, suitable) of the kingdom of God, which was described for us in the previous passage. We should be living holy lives, pleasing to the Lord. We should not be living in sin, but righteousness and obedience to our Lord should be our practice. And we should be growing in our faith, and our love for one another should be increasing, and we should be steadfast in faith despite persecutions and afflictions.

For if we are true followers of Christ, we will be persecuted, and we will face many afflictions for our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. But one day Jesus is coming to take his bride home to be with him for eternity, and then our suffering will be no more. We will have no more pain and sorrow. We will no longer be the persecuted. But we will be at total peace. For we will be with our Lord for eternity in a place where sin does not exist and where evil people will not dwell. Only what is good will be in heaven.

But for those who are enemies of the cross of Christ, it will not go so well for them. He will repay them for the evil that they did on this earth. He will inflict his vengeance on those who do not know God. But please know here that if we say we know God but we do not obey him, then we don’t know him. So those who do not know God are not just those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. They are many who profess Jesus as Lord but who by their actions deny him, for they will not obey him.

And so, yes, this includes those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And what is that gospel? Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him (see Luke 9:23-26). And the Scriptures teach that we must not make sin our practice, but that righteousness and obedience to the Lord must be our practice or we will not inherit eternal life with God.

So those who continue in deliberate and habitual sin and who do not obey the Lord will face the wrath of God even if they say they are Christians. They will not go to heaven as they expected they would, but they will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints. For Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Pie Jesu

Songwriter: Andrew Lloyd-Webber

Merciful Jesus,
Pie Jesu,

Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi

Give them rest, grant them rest
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem

Lamb of God
Agnus Dei,

Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi

Grant them eternal rest
Dona eis requiem

Forever
Sempiternam

Requiem
Requiem

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