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Request for Prayer May 22, 2013

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5.

Summary: Paul begins by stirring up the Thessalonians to pray for him so that:

  • the Gospel would be disseminated
  • his preaching would effectively renew men in the image of God, since the Thessalonians had been renewed in this way.

He also asks them to pray that he would be victorious over the Jews and treacherous people who lurked in the church – since not all who profess faith possess real faith. He then calls them back to God and strengthens them against all the devices of men; indeed, He will protect them from Satan. Since the Lord is able to give them obedient hearts, he has hope in them; he knows that they are willing to obey his commands. Paul concludes by praying that the Thessalonians would persevere in the love of God and in the hope of Christ’s coming.

Thoughts: In verse 2, we see that Paul warns the Thessalonians about false Christians. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point:

The wicked and evil men Paul referred to were treacherous people who lurked in the church, bearing the name of Christians, or at least Jews, but who with a mad zeal for the law persecuted all followers of the Gospel. Paul knew what great danger Christians faced from these groups of people…Our faith is bound to buckle unless we remember that among those who profess to follow Christ and bear his name there are many unbelieving, disloyal, and treacherous people.

Clearly Paul had to deal with many “treacherous people” in the church over the course of his ministry; they caused him countless frustrations and difficulties. Now I wonder if present-day well-established churches need to address this problem. My impression is that nowadays, those who want to work against Christianity clearly define themselves as either atheists or agnostics; they openly persecute Christ by writing books, penning screeds on Facebook, etc. I cannot think of an example of a present-day church where at least one of the regular attendees or members was working (either openly or secretly) against that church; any comments in this regard are welcome.

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