2 Thess 2:13-17
13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Another encouraging word from Paul to the Thessalonians, and to you this morning.
Know this: God has a plan and a purpose for every day of your life – not only on this earth, but beyond it. “He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm…”
Two statements from today’s passage are important. The first relates to our predestination, the second to our final destination.
Many Christians get worked up on what it means to be “predestined” to be saved. Does it mean that God only wants some Christians to be saved? Of course not! That would make him a bias, predjudice God. Rather, He is a love, gracious God who has given free will to every person. But – it was His desire that every single person end up worshipping Him in heaven. That’s the prize. Every person, of all time, saved. That’s what He predestined. That’s what He wants. But free will means that some choose to accept His grace and salvation, others choose to reject it. If you are saved, if you have responded to Jesus, you have stepped into His predestined plan for you.
Because you have accepted His salvation, glory awaits. An indescribable joy of heaven and eternity in the presence of God awaits. Perfection awaits.
But, Paul warns, in the mean time, stand firm and hold onto the teachings we passed on to you. In other words, live like God needs you to live. Obey His teaching. Love His people. Serve Him.
A CALL TO ACTION
It won’t always be easy. That is why Paul uses the words “stand firm” – because sometimes you will be tossed from side to side by false doctrine, life’s difficulties, doubt and fear. But do not let those things sway you. STAND FIRM!
That is our call to action today. Whatever may be swaying us in any direction, do not let it! Stand firm in the truth and knowledge of His saving power and love.
A PRAYER TO PRAY
Lord this morning I confess that at times there are things that sway me; things that make me doubt or cause me to fear my eternal destination. Please would you help me to stand firm and not allow these things to affect me, but rather to hold onto the promise of Your Word. For Your glory, Amen.