This week we study the Suffering Church. First Thessalonians 3 reveals what a Christian’s life should be in light of the Rapture. It reveals the rapture as a purifying hope.
We conclude our study of 1 Thessalonians 3 with Paul praying for the Church. He prays for God to do specific things for the Thessalonians.
Paul prays for the Thessalonian Church. (10-13)
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
a. Paul prayed that he could return to them to help perfect or mature that which was lacking in their faith. (10-11)
b. Paul prayed that they would increase their love for one another. (12)
c. Paul prays that they would be established in the faith. (13)
1) Inwardly-In their relationship with self- “To the end he may stablish your hearts” (13a)
2) Outwardly-In their testimony with others-“unblamable”. (13b)
3) Upwardly-In their relationship with God-“in holiness before God… at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. (13c)
a. Notice that Paul ends this chapter by again referring to Christ’s return. This time he uses it to call us to holiness.
b.The reference to the Coming of “Christ with all His Saints” here refers to the spirits of “the dead in Christ” returning with Him at the Rapture (4:14), not to the Glorified Saints returning with Him at the Second Coming (Zechariah 14:5). (13d)
Expect suffering and affliction
Grow in the Lord
Pray for your Pastor, missionaries, friends, and new believers. God hears and answers our prayers.
Next week 1 Thessalonians 4.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001