FAITHFUL TO THE DAY OF DIVINE REVELATION
- Key Verse
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
- READ THE CHAPTER
There will be great evil and suffering, and it will appear evil is prevailing, as we approach this appointed time. Know all these things are within God's timing and plan. Look not to the future or past, but in all things continue in your good works, waiting patiently on the Lord.
I have a hard time watching the evening news. It brings a real sense of the depth of sin and violence enslaving our world. I would have never imagined that, as an adult, I would travel the world, experiencing firsthand some of the darkest regions, fraught with hurting people. Lawlessness and darkness were expansive, yet I always encountered God's people in the turmoil. I hope that can be said for all of us, as we stand firm for the faith.
In the Gospels (Mathew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), Jesus foretells the end of days because the disciples wanted a sign of His return. Like many of us, I look at the world events, and I cannot help but think we are, with increasing speed, approaching that glorious day. During WWII, many people thought we were on the edge of Christ's return. The horror of another World War, the Jewish Holocaust, and increasing seismic events in so many areas were all signs -- what Scripture calls "birth pains."
We do know what to look for -- Jesus tells us we will see the Son of Man is coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus states no one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven. So until then, we should be faithful workers of His field, fruitful in our tasks. Christ has given us this foreknowledge to enable us to remain steadfast. We can evaluate all things by biblical truths: 1) Is this what Christ foretold? 2) Does it glorify the Father? 3) Is it supported by the inerrant Word of God?
Let me encourage you to fight the good fight with confident assurance "that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
1. How would you evaluate your pursuit of diligence?
2. If you stood firm for Christ in your life, are there areas in which you might face persecution?
3. Do you think we are beginning to see "birth pains"?
4. Who holds back the lawless one?
5. When is the last time you evaluated your friendships that would help you remain steadfast in trying times?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
August 27-31 (1 Thessalonians 3- 2 Thessalonians 2)
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18.
• Verse 12 talks about those who are leaders over you, guiding you in God's truth. Who are these people in your life? How do they guide you in God's truth?
• Who are the different people listed in verse 14 and how are you to care for each of them differently?
• Verse 16 calls you to "[r]ejoice always." Does this mean to always be happy? How can you be joyful even in hard situations?
• What does verse 17 call you to do? How do you keep praying even in the middle of your day while you are working or at school?
• And how can you be thankful always? Is it easy for you to be thankful even when things are really hard? What are some of the things going on in your life that are hard to be thankful for?
Activity: Have each person choose some of the leaders from your answer to the first question. Take time to pray for each of them. Then write them a thank-you note and include some encouraging verses.