2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV)
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
I found our verse this morning to be a timely word for those who believe … a confirmation of the trust we must place in the Lord our God. Either we believe the Lord is faithful, as He has wholly demonstrated through His great mercy and love, or we in essence do not believe He has spoken with truth. The Apostle John cautioned about the theological implication of unbelief: “We make God to be a liar.”
1 John 5:9-11 (NIV)
9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
God has not been ambiguous in the revelation of His will or His love. “But God demonstrates HIS OWN LOVE FOR US in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Cf. Romans 5:8) “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (Cf. 1 John 4:10)
Hebrews 1:1-3 (NIV)
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
If we accept the testimony of God … if we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ … then we can trust Him at His Word! The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. And now, let’s read the verse in the context:
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (NIV)
1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2 And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 4 We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
Again, our mission … the task of the Church … is to share the testimony of God and to spread the message of Jesus Christ – His Son. This is why we pray … pray for strength and pray for protection from the evil one. And this is His faithful promise to those who are at work and not idle in these times. It is necessary for each of us to “release” whatever hinders us or binds us in unbelief. Yes, right now, I pray in name of Jesus, for “RELEASE” of whatever stronghold, whatever attachment, whatever sin, whatever doubt or fear, that abide in our hearts and keep us from TOTAL TRUST in our Lord and Savior. I declare, “RELEASE!”
Why? “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (Cf. 1 Peter 4:17)
1 Peter 4:12-19 (NIV)
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (Quoting Proverbs 11:31) 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”