Date: September 24, 2017
Speaker: John Fonville
Category: Second Coming
Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2:13–2:17
Tags: law and gospel, election, perseverance, assurance, Prayer, Day of the Lord, Gratitude, thanksgiving, Second Coming, antichrist, last days, end times, apostasy, hope of the gospel, prophecy, good works
The young, Thessalonian believers were crippled by fear concerning the ultimate outcome of their faith. They wondered, “Will I fall away in the rebellion and ultimately receive condemnation when Christ returns (2 Thess. 2:10-12)? Or, will I be able to stand firm against the satanic workings of the Antichrist and be able to hold to the truth of the gospel (2 Thess. 2:15). Or, will I ultimately believe what is false (cf. 2 Thess. 2:11)." These questions plagued Paul's young converts in the faith.
So, as a faithful shepherd of his sheep, Paul assures them that their ultimate outcome is glorification (2 Thess. 2:14). Paul's assurance is intended to motivate the Thessalonians (and us!) to stand firm and hold to the traditions which they were taught by Paul, Silas and Timothy (2 Thess. 2:15).
Yet, Paul knows that the Thessalonians need the continual empowerment of God in order to stand firm and hold to the Apostolic traditions, which they were taught. So, he concludes chapter 2 with a prayer for inner strength in vv. 16-17. What he calls on the Thessalonians (and us!) to do in v. 15 (stand firm and hold to the Apostolic tradition), he prays for God to give.