Mark 4:3-9 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And others fell on good ground and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some a hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Hello everyone, my name is Kevin President and Founder of the Spectacle for Christ. Today we would like to continue with our review of 1 Thessalonians and the reason behind Paul’s writing to the Church in Thessalonians. We are today reading from chapter three of 1 Thessalonians.
Hearing reports of the great work being performed by the Church in Thessalonians, Paul wanting much to see for himself and confirm the reports he heard concerning the Church send Timothy on a mission to investigate the reporting coming back to Asia concerning their faith and endurance.
Paul was himself unable to visit the Church because he was prevented from leaving Asia, maybe because of his imprisonment for preaching the gospel, therefore, he wrote saying he sent Timothy a minster of God to comfort and build up the Church in their faith.
He did this because of the afflictions being experienced by the Church. They were being persecuted on all sides, nevertheless, Paul reminded the Church as he encourages the church to stand firm in their faith, that as a result of our commitment to Christ we are appointed to afflictions.
1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 “Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; and sent Timothy, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
For truly, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.”
Paul was concern that on account of the afflictions faced by the Church some may be tempted to turn away from the faith and back to the world to the losing of their salvation. However, Paul was happy to know after report came back from Timothy that although the Church was facing such great persecution. The Church was still standing firm in their faith in Christ.
In this Paul was comforted, his heart was placed to rest because of the good tidings that came back from Timothy, and because of these good tidings Paul said, “Now we live if you stand fast in the Lord.” .
1 Thessalonians 3:6-10 “But now when Timothy came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that you have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now, we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.”
But with all the work being done, and the endurance of the church that filled Paul’s life with joy, there was a concern among the church concerning those who had died for the cause of Christ. The Church was facing great persecution, and they were losing members and loved ones, and the concern of the Church was to know what would become of those who had died before the return of the Jesus Christ.
It was also for this reason Paul was writing the Church. It was to confirm the reports coming back concerning their work of faith, labor of love, and endurance in the face of persecution. And it was also to build up its members in the faith in the face of persecution. And it was to also address the concerns of the Church regarding the dead in Christ at the return of Jesus Christ.
The Church was aware Christ will one day return to establish his kingdom because they were aware of the prophecy of Isaiah, and the faithfulness of God as a result of the resurrection of Jesus. But sending message back to Paul by the hands of Timothy, they wanted to know what will become of those who died in Christ.
The Church had received the gospel, and came to faith in Christ because of the assurances that came with the preaching of the gospel. And the impact of these assurances led the newly formed church to lay down their lives for the gospel. Many were witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the raising of the dead through the work of the apostles, and account of these assurances many turned away from idols to worship the true and living God.
1 Thessalonians 1:5-7 “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that you were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
The saints became followers of the apostles and Jesus Christ who gave their lives for the gospel, and Jesus Christ. This was the suffering to which the Church was appointed, and it was widely known among the believers.
On account of their faith and love for Jesus Christ, they will suffer persecution, they would be falsely accused and be thrown into prison for the sake of the gospel. And knowing these things, the church in Thessalonian was committed to Christ even unto death.
John 16:32-33 “Behold, the hour comes, yea, is now come, that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Persecution, and death at the hands of the world was something to be considered by anyone choosing to come to Christ. Therefore, when Paul heard about their faith, he wanted to confirm and build up the Church in their faith. And because of the endurance of the Church in the face of hardship, Paul knew based on the reports coming back to him, the faith of the Church was genuine because if it was not, they would have by now turned away from the faith on account of the persecution.
But when it comes to what was lacking, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy wanted to assure the Church that those among the believers who had fallen into the hands of the world, and were put to death, will one day return we Christ to rule and reign with him, and we shall all be together with Christ in the end.
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 “Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end that he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Those who were killed for the sake of the gospel, will return with Christ to judge the world with Christ to the glory of the Father which is the reward and honor of the saints for what they suffered for the name of Jesus. And that is why Paul’s hope is that we are to live blameless lives because his desire is for us not to miss the reward in store for us. Therefore, “abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end that he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints.”
Psalm 149:5-9 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.