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May 07. 2019

A Word from Mike…

 

Kept by the Power of God

 

When Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians, he commended the people for their faith in Christ and their love for one another, but he conspicuously left out an element mentioned in his greeting to them in his first letter. That element was hope. Hope, in the NT, refers to the believer’s confident expectation in Christ’s sure return. Paul says, in 1 Thes. 4:14, that their hope in Christ’s return was based on the same confidence they had in the effectiveness of Christ’s sacrificial, propiatory death. But something happened between Paul’s first letter and his second letter that caused them to lose hope in Christ’s expected return. According to 2 Thes. 2, it was false teaching disguised as though from Paul and company, that caused them to think that the Lord had already come, and that they, somehow, had missed it. As a result, they were feeling hope-less.

The Thessalonians lived in the midst of difficulty and persecution, and needed hope as much as they needed faith and love. When living in difficult times, along with faith and love, WE need hope as much as they did. Difficult circumstances, the presence of wayward philosophies (even within the church), and a myriad of speculative teachings on Christ’s return, can cause us to have false hope in promises that God never made, or else rob us of the legitimate hope that is rightfully ours. Pressures and influences from all sides constantly rip and tear at us, threatening our sense of perspective in doctrine, ministry, and just plain living. I want to remind us all that these things which skew our sense of peace and security are temporary. All this will one day pass when Jesus returns as He promised. All the temporals on which we focus, over which we fret and fight, about which we fear, easily keep us from our biblical priorities. As followers of Christ, we must stick to the basics: faith in Christ’s certain redemptive work, intense love for the brethren (and others), and unshakable hope in our Lord’s promised return that will end this temporal turmoil and madness that wars against our souls. May we also remember that all that is promised for us on that last day is safely in God’s hands. Peter said we have “…an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:4-5). As we press on, let’s all maintain perspective and be diligent for all our days on earth, while resting fully in the fact that our confident expectation to come is being kept securely in His hands!

 

     Blessings !

     Mike Manning

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grief Share Support Group
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Greenlee Memorial-4901 Old Warren Road, Pine Bluff
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Grief Share Support Group
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6 pm each Tuesday for 13 weeks
(info Pastor James Watson 870-329-4713)
Greenlee Memorial-4901 Old Warren Road, Pine Bluff
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