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.”
Make Sure It’s the Truth
The first thing I thought of when I read this is how, before we pray for people, we need to find out what they are actually teaching. For there are many people claiming that they are spreading the gospel message, either as missionaries or as pastors or as evangelists, or just as regular people like you and me. But according to what most appear to be teaching today as the gospel, I would imagine that most of them who are asking for prayer and/or for support are not teaching the truth.
So, what is the truth? Jesus said it well, as recorded for us in Luke 9:23-26, where he said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily, and follow him. Now I believe that means to die daily to sin and to self, and to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And, in essence, he said that if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self that we will lose them for eternity. But if we die with him to sin and live to his righteousness, then we have eternal life.
He also said that if we are ashamed of him and his words that he will be ashamed of us when he returns, i.e. he will deny us if we deny him (Luke 9:26; Matthew 10:33; 2 Timothy 2:12). And that means that heaven will not be our eternal destiny. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father in heaven. And many will make claim on that day all that they did in Jesus’ name, and he is going to say to them, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23).
So, if they are teaching that we can profess faith in Jesus Christ once in our lives and now all our sins are forgiven and heaven is guaranteed us when we die regardless of how we live, please know that is a lie from hell. Test it against what Jesus taught and what his NT apostles taught, on the whole, and in context, regarding the gospel message. For the Scriptures teach we must repent of our sins and walk in holiness and in righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, by God’s grace, in his strength and power.
Pray for Them
Now, I am not saying that we should not pray for people who are not teaching the truth. We should pray for them to come to the knowledge of the truth and to have genuine salvation in Jesus Christ, our Lord, surely. But we should not pray for “the word of the Lord” to speed ahead and to be honored if it is not the word of the Lord but it is lies of men disguised as truth. And even if half of what they say is truth, but the other half is lies, that is still a lie. And just because they quote Scriptures doesn’t mean what they are teaching is the truth according to the Scriptures.
But if what they are teaching is the truth, the full gospel message, the whole counsel of God, as Paul said that he taught, then pray for the truth of the gospel to speed ahead and to be honored, for it is greatly being dishonored today among the gatherings of what is called “church” here in America. Yet I am not saying that everyone is dishonoring the gospel truth, but it appears that the majority are, for the majority appear to be accepting a diluted and altered version of the gospel which is appeasing human flesh and which is non-offensive to the ungodly of this world.
And I believe I am teaching that truth that Jesus and his NT apostles taught, so I would ask that you pray for me, for I am doing this full-time, as called by God. And since the majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ apparently are now following after the diluted gospel, and not the true gospel, we who are still teaching the truth are being opposed by them, usually because we are teaching death to sin and living to righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, and they are being taught the opposite of that. So, pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people.
And then pray for all who profess faith in Jesus Christ that we will all be faithful in service to our Lord, and that we will actively be doing the will of God in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And pray that the Lord will direct all our hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ, and to steadfastness of faith and practice, and that we will continue to resist the devil and flee temptation and draw near to God in full assurance of faith and in practice. And pray that the truth of the gospel will speed ahead and be honored and no longer dishonored, to the glory of God.
[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]
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Should I Not Preach Jesus
An Original Work / July 4, 2013
Based off 1 Corinthians 9:16-10:13
Woe to me should I not preach Jesus.
I’m compelled to preach the full gospel.
I make myself a slave to ev’ryone
To win their hearts to Christ.
All this I do for my Lord Jesus,
And for the sake of His Name;
Do it for the sake of His gospel,
So that I, its blessings gain.
Scripture notates the sins of others;
Written down for us as examples
To keep us from setting our hearts
On evil as did those of old.
Do not worship other gods of man;
Do not give your hearts to them;
Not partake in immorality.
Do not test your Lord and King.
So, be careful if you think you are
Standing firm in your faith in Jesus.
God has given his word to warn us,
So through faith we will not fall.
No temptation has o’ertaken you
Except what is commonplace.
God is faithful to not let you be
Tempted past what you can bear.
He gives the way of escape.