"Last Days Living" 2 Thessalonians 3:1-17

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“Last Days Living”
2nd Thessalonians 3:1-18

QUESTION:  What examples can you describe of people who are hard workers?  Why would you call them that?

1.  In these last days we are meant to be people of prayer.  2 Thess 3:1-2
This includes:

A. Praying for our spiritual leaders. 2 Thess 3:1

B. Praying for the rapid advance and acceptance of the Gospel. 2 Thess 3:1

C.  Praying for those who advance the Gospel to be rescued from the schemes and opposition of those who are controlled by evil. 2 Thess 3:2

  • Evil exists.  Evil people exist.

             QUESTION: What causes people to be controlled by evil?

  • We overcome evil with good. We overcome evil through prayer.

             QUESTION: How does good overcome evil?  How does prayer overcome evil?

2.  In these last days, we are meant to trust in the Lord’s strength.  2 Thess 3:3-5
QUESTION: Where do you need the Lord’s strength the most right now?

A. The Lord is faithful, at all times.  He has overcome the enemy and will be our guard.  2 Thess 3:3

B. With the Lord as our strength, we can step into faithful action and obedience. 2 Thess 3:4

C. It is the Lord who gives us both the revelation of, and the ability to express, the Father’s love with patient endurance. 2 Thess 3:5

3.  In these last days, we are meant to be engaged in the work God has for us. 2 Thess 3:6-15
    QUESTION: What is the specific work that God has for you in this season?

A. Our faith in Christ is meant to be experienced in community; we are influenced and affected by those with whom we spend time.  2 Thess 3:6

B. As followers of Christ, we are meant to be known by our willingness and determination to work hard. 2 Thess 3:7-10

C. When we are not given to the diligent work of the Kingdom or the on-going work of living, we can all too easily get caught up in unimportant side issues and situations that are really none of our business. 2 Thess 3:11-12
    QUESTION: What are some examples of this?

D.  In order to be about the Father’s business, we must disassociate from those who want the benefits of the Kingdom but refuse the responsibilities, in hopes that we will shake our brothers and sisters from their apathy.

  • We must lead by our “hard work” example. 2 Thess 3:13
  • Even when others believers refuse to join us, we must regard them as family and act responsibly, being sure not to enable their idleness. 2 Thess 3:14-15

4.  As these last days unfold, the Lord wants to fill us with His peace, His presence and His grace.  2 Thess 3:16-18

A.  His peace brings us a sense of wholeness and contentment.

B.  His presence brings us a sense of joy and belonging.

C.  His grace assures us of the enablement to become and do all that He has intended for us.

"The Day of the Lord," 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

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“The Day of the Lord”
2nd Thessalonians 2:1-17

 
QUESTION: What do we know about the return of Christ?  How might that come about?

1.  We are meant to understand the unfolding of these last day times as we anticipate the return of Christ, standing confident in His goodness and giving no place to fear. 2 Thess 2:1-12
    QUESTION:  In what ways have you perhaps witnessed a spirit of fear associated with discussions of end times?

A. There is a Day coming when we will be gathered to the Lord.  2 Thess 2:1

B. As that Day approaches, we are not to fear terrible persecutions or the idea that we have somehow entered into the Great Tribulation. 2 Thess 2:2

  • The believers have already received a promise of rest from current persecutions, not an increase. 2 Thess 1:7
  • Though it is true that there are persecutions in this life, God does not intend for His followers to experience the terrible calamities of the Great Tribulation. 1 Thess 5:9

C.  The Day of the Lord will correspond with other simultaneous events. 2 Thess 2:3-5

  • There will be a great rebellion against God.
  • The “man of lawlessness” will be revealed.  Revelation 13, Revelation 17 ???
  • Someone who is determined to exalt himself over God.
  • He will usurp the place of God in the Jewish Temple.

D. The revealing of the “man of lawlessness” is something that is currently being held back and deliberately delayed until its appointed time.  2 Thess 2:6-8

  • There is a lawlessness that is at work in the world, but it’s not operating at full strength, neither has the author of it been made plain.  2 Thess 2:7
  • When the “man of lawlessness” is revealed, Jesus shall effectively deal with him! 2 Thess 2:8

E.  The “man of lawlessness” will be a tool of Satan, steeped in demonic power and false miracles. 2 Thess 2:9-12

  • Signs and wonders can deceive those not rooted in the Truth, and especially those who have already chosen to reject the Truth. 2 Thess 2:10
  • All who reject God and the Gospel are prone to believe delusions and falsehood. 2 Thess 2:11-12

2.  Despite the terrible delusions and lawlessness coming to the world, God will save those who love the Truth. 2 Thess 2:13-17

A. The Spirit of God is cleansing and perfecting us as we cling to the Truth. 2 Thess 2:13

B. The Lord called us to Himself through the proclamation of the Gospel.  2 Thess 2:14

C. Not swayed by the things we see and the dire circumstances around us, we are meant to stand strong, holding fast to the teaching of the scripture.  2 Thess 2:15

D. God the Father and the Lord Jesus together impart encouragement, hope and strength for living, enabling us to overcome as the Day of the Lord approaches.  2 Thess 2:16-17

QUESTION: What is the state of your heart today?  Do you feel encouraged?  Are you in need of strength?

"The Honorable Life" 2 Thess 1:1-12

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“The Honorable Life”
2nd Thessalonians 1:1-12

 
QUESTION:   What is something that you can do better today than you could long ago?  What has made the difference?  Are you still growing in that area?  How so?

1.  We are meant to rejoice and give thanks for how the Lord works in the lives of our fellow believers. 2nd Thess 1:1-3

A. Walking in faith is not about an arrival point, but something we are meant to grow in more and more.
QUESTION:  What is faith?  How do we grow in faith?

NOTE:  Spiritual maturity is about growth.  Here at HCF, we are looking to become more and more Adorational, Relational and Missional.  QUESTION:  What do each of these terms mean?

B.  Just as faith is meant to grow, so too our love for one another is to be ever increasing.
QUESTION:  What does it take for people to increase in their love for one another?  How can we pursue this?

2.  The Lord is looking to honor people who will endure in the midst of difficulty and opposition. 2nd Thess 1:4-7

A. Character is proven in times of testing. 
QUESTION: How do we tend to respond in times of testing?  How can we better endure?

B. Although difficult to experience in the moment, God works in the midst of persecution to accomplish His purposes.
QUESTION: Why do you think God allows us to experience seasons of persecution and difficulty?

C. Rather than grumble or lose heart during seasons of persecution, we can trust that God takes note and exercises His justice in His time.

  • He will deal with all who oppose Him and His work in us in due season.
  • He will pour out rest and relief to all who choose to trust Him and persevere.

QUESTION: How do we generally act when we’ve been mistreated?  How can we learn to trust God in those situations?

3.  When Christ returns, He will exercise His authority and judgment over all people. 2nd Thess 1:7-10

A. All who don’t know God and who have refused to obey the Gospel will experience the terrible consequence of being forever separated from the Lord with all the destruction that separation brings.

B. Among those who belong to Him (those who have believed and actively embraced the Gospel), the Lord will receive praise and honor as we marvel before Him.
QUESTION:  What does it mean to “marvel” (NIV) at the Lord?  In what ways do we marvel at Him already?

4.  In light of the Lord’s return, we are to live worthy of the call to belong to Him.  2nd Thess 1:11-12

A. Living worthy of His call is not about our strength, our ability, or our will-power.  It is about living surrendered to Him and embracing the power and grace that He offers us.

B. How we live matters…and God works in us to enable us to live in such a way as to bring Him honor.
QUESTION: What would you say to the believer who feels that he or she constantly struggles, who believes that God is not honored by their life?