Standing in the face of gross sin and persecutions.

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with affliction those who trouble you… 2 Thessalonians 1:3-6 NKJV.

enduring-clock-personal-discipline-lf

Endure, anechomai, Strong’s #430—from ana, “Up” and echo, “To hold.” The word carries the idea of persevering, tolerating, bearing with, putting up with, standing firm, and not losing courage under pressure.  This verb has seven synonyms. See Strong’s numbers, 3306, 5278, 5342, 430, 2594, 3114, and 2553.

The occasion of the second letter to the Thessalonians was sent to encourage the church to endure. Then as now erroneous teachings abound. The Apostle Paul set down clear guidelines for the believers in Thessalonica. That day, he clarifies, will not occur until certain events take place. First there will be a falling away among so-called believers, and more importantly, the Man of Sin will be revealed—the “son of perdition” (2Thess. 2:3).

This person in the letters of the John the Apostle is called the Antichrist; he will call himself God (2Thess. 2:4). He will deceive many, for he will possess charismatic powers, including the ability to perform miracles (2 Thess.2:9). Miracles, surprisingly, are never a sufficient ground for faith (Matt. 7:21; John 2:23-25): they can be imitated. Remember Moses and Aaron in the Pharaohs court.

But the enduring love of God, which is poured out daily moment by moment in the hearts of true believers by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5).

The fact that the Thessalonians are increasing in faith and love while bravely enduring persecution is clear evidence that God is at work in them preparing them for His kingdom.

 

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