MP3: The Tribulation Road Thru 2 Thessalonians 3
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Welcome to The Truth Will Set You Free podcast teaching series titled “The Tribulation Road!” Nathan Jones and Vic Batista have been your guides since the very first installment, going verse by verse through the Bible’s prophetic book of 2 Thessalonians. In chapter 3, Paul will explain how the Christian can have confidence during trials and sufferings.
The Lord Is Faithful
Vic Batista: Let’s pick back up in our study of 2 Thessalonians with verse 3, but first I’ll read through 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.”
Notice how Paul in verse 3 presents such wonderful truths when affirming that the Lord is faithful, that He will establish believers in Christ, and that He will guard us against Satan. These truths help us guard our hearts against the lies of the enemy.
Nathan Jones: How true indeed! God is always faithful. He will establish His children and guard us from evil.Nathan Jones: God is always faithful. He will establish His children and guard us against evil. (2 Thes. 2:3) Click To Tweet
How do these truths jive with the fact that the Lord will at times allow His children to suffer? Do Christians suffer? Yes. Will God even allow some Christians to suffer to the point of death? Yes, again. After all, look at what ISIS and other Islamic groups continue to do to Christians in the Middle East. Is what Paul is preaching here then a lie?
Not at all! God will always protect His children from all unnecessary attacks, but there will at times come attacks necessary to the spreading of the Gospel. After all, isn’t the spreading of the Gospel why we as Christians are still here and not yet in Heaven? Christ has left us here to share the Gospel and further Christ’s spiritual kingdom before His physical kingdom is set up upon His Second Coming. Even if our lives are forfeit, we gladly sacrifice them as a testimony for Jesus Christ.
Vic Batista: The days are getting closer and closer to when Christians here in the West will begin experiencing greater persecution. The persecution against Christians has been really heating up all around the world. Even the United States of America, the supposed “Land of the Free,” has marked an increase in the persecution of Christians. Therefore, we Christians need to be expectant that we will suffer for the cause of Christ. We need to recognize that there’s an evil one lurking about seeking to destroy men’s souls. And yet, God will guard us, though from time to time He will allow certain persecutions to filter through in order to spread the Gospel and strengthen the Church.
Nathan Jones: Good point! The evil one sure is busy. He knows that his time is short. Satan is looking for those whom he can devour, in other words, destroy their faith and so take them to Hell with him. We then have to expect that the persecution against the Church will continue to ratchet up, especially as we get closer and closer to the Rapture of the Church.
Patience Is a Virtue
Vic Batista: That’s why verse 5 is so important. “Now may the Lord direct your heart into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ.” Patience is a whole other area where we Christians need to work at getting better. We have to learn to be patient with what God is doing. I know for me, I really need to pray for patience. But, then again, maybe we shouldn’t pray for patience, because when you pray for patience, what happens?
Nathan Jones: You get exactly what you’ve ask for, including the sufferings and trials that develop patience.
Patience is so hard for so many of us. We want Christ’s Kingdom now. We want Jesus to come back now. We want peace, righteousness, and justice now. And yet, the Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 that Jesus is patiently waiting for all of those pre-Christians to come to salvation. There are people out there who are part of the Church, but they just don’t know it yet, for they haven’t surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. So, God is patiently waiting for all of His sheep to come to Him. And, that’s what we must be doing. We have to wait and pray.
Clearly, anyone who has a heart for Jesus longs to see Him rule and reign on this earth right now. We want Jesus to finally put an end to Satan and his evil followers. We long to see the evil in our nations and the corruption in our governments cease. We pray for the suffering that so many people are going through to finally end. We want to see all these terrible things end right now. But, Jesus isn’t ready to do that just yet, for there are still people waiting to become saved.
Therefore, as we wait, patience should be the virtue for anybody who calls themselves a believer in Jesus Christ. And, we need to get out there and share the Gospel and lead these lost people to Jesus’ salvation.
Vic Batista: Christians are called to have a passion for evangelizing the lost. We see a dying world out there, and yet most of the Church remains sound asleep. We don’t even want to get out of our comfortable seats. And yet, look at the cults such as the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are traveling around everywhere witnessing. They are not afraid to spread their unbiblical views of Christ and salvation. Christians hold God’s truth as revealed in the Bible, so we need to get out there and perform the work of the evangelist in order to win people to Jesus Christ, for the time is short.Vic Batista: #Christians are called to have a passion for evangelizing the lost. We see a dying world out there, and yet most of the #Church remains sound asleep. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: The Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are cults that teach a works-based salvation, so if they don’t go out and perform their two years of missionary service, then they are not going to get what they believe is their eternal rewards. Mormons even believe that they’ll each rule their own planet as a god one day. So, they have a stake in going out and evangelizing.
God gives Christians choices, but He also gives us commands. One of the greatest of God’s commands comes from Acts 1:8, which we call the Great Commission. Jesus commanded each of His children to go out and share the Gospel, and not for just two years, but over our entire lives.
I agree. Our modern-day churches have grown too comfortable. We’ve become timid. In this post-modern, tolerant culture we’ve become too worried that we’ll offend some people. We shouldn’t be that way because lost people’s eternal lives are at stake.
In the eleventh part of our travels along the Tribulation Road and our verse-by-verse study of 2 Thessalonians, Paul doles out some harsh words on those who are causing the Thessalonians such trouble.