The English Reformation

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

See attached link for my PPT presentation on The English Reformation.

https://app.box.com/s/x15isla77wekprzc3egcyed02v2jfo37

Advertisements

Nimuel Chhatria India Missions Report November 2017 through January 2018

Tags

, ,

1. REPORTING TIME PERIOD , November 2017 to January ,2018 ,

2, DONATION RECEIVED THIS PERIOD ,  email for details.
3, DONATION SPENT THIS PERIOD ,  email for details.
4, ACCOUNT BALANCE END OF THIS PERIOD , Rupees, email for details.
5,LIST OF PEOPLE SERVED THIS PERIOD , Total ,206 people professed to Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and God ,
6,LIST OF PLACES VISITED THIS PERIOD ,Total ,6 New Villages visited
7, TOTAL MISSIONARIES ( Pastors) , 30
8, TOTAL MEMBERS OF HOUSE CHURCHES AND Hope-cells ,590 ,We have total 30 House Churches and 12 HOPE Cells
9, SPECIAL EVENTS THIS PERIOD ,
  •  Thank God for His helps and guidance that we had 4 gospel meetings in different Villages
  • We had a baptism program and 3 believers took baptism ,
  • Distributed total 215 New Testament among the people
  • Visited 3 Widows home and distributed clothes
  • We had Christmas celebrations with the Children of Leper’s Camp ,thank God for provision ,prayer partners and their gracious hands to purchase  some clothes and distributed among the Children
10,  PRAISES FROM THIS PERIOD ,
  • Thank God for grace enabling us to conducte four gospel meetings in four different villages and many souls being saved by grace through faith , also we thank God that our gospel meetings were conducted among the Hindu people without any problems , thank God for giving us safe mercy journey to go and preached the glorious gospel
  • Thank God for gospel meetings and 206 new souls ,
  • Distributed New Testament ,215
  • Visited Widows House and Leprosy Camp for providing them clothes
  • Praise God for baptism service
  • Praise God for funds
  • Praise God for our outreach gospel team work
  • Praise God for our Follow up work , HOPE Cells and House churches
  • Praise God for our prayer partners , their gracious hands and  provision of God
11, PRAYER REQUEST ,
 During last three months God has blessed NEW LIFE MOVEMENT with practical and effective strategies for evangelism work , to reach to unreach people and places to extend the Kingdom of God , Our aim and goal is making Discipleship through HOPE Cells and establish Biblical Baptist Churches in India
  • A, Kindly pray for the Members in HOPE Cells and Worship Groups for their Spiritual growth ,
  • B, Kindly pray for the Gospel Team work and their needs
  • C, Kindly pray for 30 Missionaries Funds
  • D, Kindly pray for a Four Wheeler (car) for the gospel Team work
  • E, Kindly pray a Church Building in Raipur City of Chhattishgarh , we don’t have a place to conduct Sunday Worship service in peacefully ,It’s very very necessary to us ,because of this issue many of our believers not coming to Sunday service ,the place where now conducting Sunday service the house owner twice forbidden us not to conduct service ,if God provide a Church building then ministry will grow more effectively ,more over there is no baptist Church or ministry in Raipur City at Chhattishgarh State
  • F, Kindly pray for a Church Building in Bahadurpita Village
  • G,Kindly pray for the HOPE Cells to establish
  • H,Kindly pray for the new worship group to establish
  • I ,Kindly pray for the Funds of this ministry
12, FUTURE PLANES ,
  • A, One Gospel meetings in a Month ,
  • B, Gospel Team work ,
  • C, Baptist Bible Training School ,one year course ,
  • D, In every month we will do the Follow up work ,HOPE Cells ,
    Above all kindly uphold us in your prayers as we have been praying for you all , your family , your works ,let God name be glory through this ministry ,
In His Service ,
Rev,Nimuel Chhatria ,

How is God Calling You? Romans 1 verses 1 through 4

Tags

, , , ,

Romans 1:1-4

1 From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.

2 This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,

3 concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh,

4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

————

By Bob, Chris and Brianne

Phrases:

From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle-

• Meaning Paul, previously named Saul, identified himself as a servant of the Lord, and he recalls his calling as an apostle.

A) Slave

• Strong’s Definitions: δοῦλος; doo’-los; a slave (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary; frequently, therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency)

• from δέω; deh’-o; to bind

• Webster

• a person held in servitude as the chattel of another

• one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence

B) Called

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

• called to (the discharge of) some office: κλητός ἀπόστολος, i. e. divinely selected and appointed

C) Apostle

• Strong’s Definitions: ἀπόστολος; apóstolos, ap-os’-tol-os; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers.

• John Gill : an apostle was one that was (1) immediately sent by Christ, and had his (2) authority and doctrine directly from him, and (3) had a power of working miracles from him, in confirmation of the truth of his mission, authority, and doctrine.

(1) immediately sent by Christ

• Acts 22:17-21 (NET) 17 When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 I replied, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”

(2) authority and doctrine directly from him,

• Galatians 1:11-12 (NET) 11 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; instead I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ.

3) had a power of working miracles from him, in confirmation of the truth of his mission, authority, and doctrine

• Mark 16:20 (NET) 20 They went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs.]]

• Hebrews 2:4 (NET) 4 while God confirmed their witness with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

• Acts 14:3 (NET) 3 So they stayed there for a considerable time, speaking out courageously for the Lord, who testified to the message of his grace, granting miraculous signs and wonders to be performed through their hands.

Discussion Questions:

• Why does the idea of being Christ’s slave rub against our fallen human nature?

• How can we distinguish God’s call?

• What is the difference between the Apostles of the Bible vs those that may be called apostle today?

Set apart for the gospel of God –

• Meaning Paul was separated to teach God’s gospel.

A) Gospel

• Strong’s Definitions: εὐαγγέλιον, euangélion, yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on; a good message, i.e. the Gospel.

• Luke 2:10,11 (NET) 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: 11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord.

• 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NET) 1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. 3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

This gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures-

• Meaning the Gospel was promised by God through the Old Testament scriptures and prophets. See below Old Testament verses.

When the Messiah would arrive is foretold

• Daniel 9:24-26 (NET) 24 “Seventy weeks have been determined concerning your people and your holy city to put an end to rebellion, to bring sin to completion, to atone for iniquity, to bring in perpetual righteousness, to seal up the prophetic vision, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 So know and understand: From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times. 26 Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. As for the city and the sanctuary, the people of the coming prince will destroy them. But his end will come speedily like a flood. Until the end of the war that has been decreed there will be destruction.

The Virgin Birth foretold

• Isaiah 7:14 (NET) 14 For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.

Location of his birth foretold

• Micah 5:2 (NET) 2 (5:1) As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah – from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past.

John the Baptists ministry foretold

• Malachi 3:1 (NET) 1 “I am about to send my messenger, who will clear the way before me. Indeed, the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom you long for, is certainly coming,” says the LORD who rules over all.

Christ’s Miracles foretold

• Isaiah 29:18-19 (NET) 18 At that time the deaf will be able to hear words read from a scroll, and the eyes of the blind will be able to see through deep darkness. 19 The downtrodden will again rejoice in the LORD; the poor among humankind will take delight in the Holy One of Israel.

Arriving to Jerusalem on a donkey

• Zechariah 9:9 (NET) 9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Look! Your king is coming to you: he is legitimate and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey – on a young donkey, the foal of a female donkey.

Suffering for our sin is foretold

• Isaiah 53:5-9 (NET) 5 He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. 6 All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the LORD caused the sin of all of us to attack him. 7 He was treated harshly and afflicted, but he did not even open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block, like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not even open his mouth. 8 He was led away after an unjust trial – but who even cared? Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living; because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded. 9 They intended to bury him with criminals, but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb, because he had committed no violent deeds, nor had he spoken deceitfully.

How he would suffer is foretold

• Psalm 22:1-18 (NET) 1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I groan in prayer, but help seems far away. 2 My God, I cry out during the day, but you do not answer, and during the night my prayers do not let up. 3 You are holy; you sit as king receiving the praises of Israel. 4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted in you and you rescued them. 5 To you they cried out, and they were saved; in you they trusted and they were not disappointed. 6 But I am a worm, not a man; people insult me and despise me. 7 All who see me taunt me; they mock me and shake their heads. 8 They say, “Commit yourself to the LORD! Let the LORD rescue him! Let the LORD deliver him, for he delights in him.” 9 Yes, you are the one who brought me out from the womb and made me feel secure on my mother’s breasts. 10 I have been dependent on you since birth; from the time I came out of my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Do not remain far away from me, for trouble is near and I have no one to help me. 12 Many bulls surround me; powerful bulls of Bashan hem me in. 13 They open their mouths to devour me like a roaring lion that rips its prey. 14 My strength drains away like water; all my bones are dislocated; my heart is like wax; it melts away inside me. 15 The roof of my mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery; my tongue sticks to my gums. You set me in the dust of death. 16 Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. 17 I can count all my bones; my enemies are gloating over me in triumph. 18 They are dividing up my clothes among themselves; they are rolling dice for my garments.

The resurrection foretold

• Psalm 16:10 (NET) 10 You will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful follower to see the Pit.

Discussion Question:

• Who is Paul writing to within Rome? See Romans 1:5-6.

• Why would Paul refer back to the Old Testament scriptures and Jewish prophets when speaking to Gentiles?

• What should be our attitude in studying the Old Testament?

concerning his Son who was a descendant of David with reference to the flesh-

• The Son, meaning Jesus in his divinity, the second person of the Trinity.

• Joseph was a direct descendant of King David (tribe of Judah). Many scholars believe that the genealogy listed in Luke 3 is actually of Mary instead of Joseph ( although Joseph is listed because females are not included in genealogies). However. Other scholars believe that the decent from David can only be proved through Joseph, Jesus’ ‘adoptive’ father.

• Jesus reference to the flesh means He was born into human form – not only the Son of God but also the Son of Man. The flesh was needed that as a man he could die for man.

• Thayer’s Greek Lexicon for flesh. σάρξ sárx, sarx; Meaning the body; the body of a man; used of natural or physical origin, generation or relationship.

• 2 Samuel 7:12-16 (NET) 12 When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. 14 I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings. 15 But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will stand before me permanently; your dynasty will be permanent.'”

• Matthew 1:1-2 (NET) 1 This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

• Matthew 1:16 (NET) 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

Discussion Questions:

Do you know of any friends or family who were adopted and then received an inheritance from their parents?

Why did Jesus need to come in the flesh?

Why did Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, have to come through the line of David?

Can you explain how Jesus’s two natures were useful for our redemption?

who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord-

This is a difficult passage with several interpretations. We agree with with the…

Cambridge Bible for Schools and College commentary

The present passage will thus mean: ‘He was declared to be the Son of God, with power, (even as the Holy Ghost foretold,) in consequence of the ressurection.’

We accept the translation, Holy Spirit, instead of, Spirit of holiness, as other English versions translate the phrase. By translating as Holy Spirit, all the persons of the Trinity are mentined in this passage. Other English versions translate this phrase as Spirit of holiness which then refers to Jesus’ divine nature that appoints Himself in contrast to his human nature spoken of in the previous verse.

Acts 13:33-35 (NET)

33 that this promise God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have fathered you.’ 34 But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus from the dead, never again to be in a state of decay, God has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.’ 35 Therefore he also says in another psalm, ‘You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay.’

———-

Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.

———-

Don’t be afraid to be My slave. I will give you desires in how to serve Me. I will direct your path to serve Me in ways that fulfill those desires I created within you.

Start moving, and I will guide you where I want you. As you serve, your desires will be confirmed and strengthened to prove to you that this is My calling for you.

Titus 1:1-3 Are You Continuing to Spread the Message? 提多书1:1-3 你将继续传播福音吗?

Tags

, , ,

Titus 1:1-3 Mandarin Chinese and English

Titus 1 verses 1-3

1 From Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness,

2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the ages began.

3 But now in his own time he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior.

提多书1:1-3

问安

1  神的仆人、耶稣基督的使徒保罗(这是为着 神选民的信心,和那合乎敬虔真理的知识; 2 这都是根据永生的盼望,这永生就是没有谎言的 神在万世以前所应许的。 3到了适当的时候, 神就借着福音的宣讲,把他的道显明出来 。照着 神我们救主的命令,这宣讲的使命交托了我)

———-

Phrases:

词语解释:

From Paul –

保罗

A Jew and Roman citizen who was once the enemy of the gospel but is now dedicated to its furtherance after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus.

他原来是犹太教信徒,罗马公民,曾经是基督徒的敌人,在去往大马色的各的路上耶稣向他显现,他成为基督徒,现在专注于广传福音。

Discussion Question: Like Paul, how has the purpose of your life changed after your faith in Jesus?

问题:你的生活目标在接受耶稣基督后有何变化?

a slave of God –

神的奴仆–

Meaning Paul is God’s servant. His life is humbly dedicated to his Master, Jesus Christ.

保罗称他是神的仆人。他的生命全部奉献给救主耶稣。

Discussion Question: Do you remember a time when you surrendered your life to serve Jesus?

问题:你还记得那个时刻你下定决心一生服侍耶稣基督吗?

and apostle of Jesus Christ –

耶稣基督的使徒

Apostle is the English derivative of the Greek word ἀπόστολος, ap-os’-tol-os.

英文使徒这个词由来于希腊文。

An Apostle is one sent with orders directly by Jesus Christ, and their words and authority are confirmed by their miraculous works.

使徒是指那些直接由耶稣基督派来的人,并且他们的话和权柄已经通过他们的奇妙作为得到肯定。

Acts 26:15 (NET) 15 So I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.

Acts 26:16 (NET) 16 But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you.

使徒行传 26:15Chinese Standard Bible (Simplified) (CSBS)

15 “我问:‘主啊,你到底是谁?’

“主[a]说:‘我就是你所逼迫的耶稣。

使徒行传26:16 你起来,站着,我向你显现,是要指派你为我工作。你要为你所见过的事,和我将要向你显明的事作见证。

2 Corinthians 12:12 (NET) 12 Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance by signs and wonders and powerful deeds.

哥林多后书 12: 12 我在你们中间,以各种忍耐,用神迹、奇事和大能,作为使徒的凭据。

to further the faith –

传扬福音

Paul states the purpose of his service is to further the faith. In other words, the Apostle Paul is working for the faith of God’s chosen ones from place to place.

保罗声明他服侍神的目的就是传扬福音。就是指他从一个地方到另一个地方宣讲神的福音。

Discussion Question: Do you remember when you first chose to have faith in Jesus Christ?

问题:你还记得你真的相信耶稣的那一刻吗?

of God’s chosen ones –

神拣选的人

Meaning the ones that God chose before the world began.

意思是指真正信耶稣的人是神在创造宇宙之前已经选好的。

The Bible clearly teaches that man must believe with his will,

圣经很清楚地指明人是自愿相信神,

yet the Bible is equally clear that God has chosen those who believe.

同时圣经也指明神在创造宇宙之前已拣选谁将为信徒。

The Bible leaves the reconciliation of these two ideas a mystery.

这两者似乎有些矛盾,如何理解圣经没有明确解释。

and the knowledge of the truth –

对真理的认识

Additionally, Paul was to further the knowledge of the truth which means the gospel message.

这里保罗讲的真理就是福音。

that is in keeping with godliness –

敬虔的

Meaning the truth will result in a reverent life toward God within the believer.

意思是跟随真理会让信徒过上圣洁的生活。

Discussion Question: How has the truth influenced you to live a godly life toward God?

问题:对基督耶稣的信仰是如何影响你的生活?

in hope of eternal life –

对永生的盼望

Meaning those in the faith and who are living out the knowledge of the truth are anticipating confidently eternal life.

意思是真正的信徒秉承耶稣的教导会有永生。

which God, who does not lie, promised before the ages began

这永生是没有谎言的 神在万世以前所应许的。

Meaning eternal life for his chosen ones was promised before the world began.

意思是神在创世之前就已承诺他的选民将得永生。

2 Timothy 1:9 (NET)

9 He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began…

提摩太后书 1:9Chinese Standard Bible (Simplified) (CSBS)

神拯救了我们,以神圣的呼唤召了我们,

不是照着我们的行为,而是照着他自己的心意和恩典;

这恩典是在亘古以前,在基督耶稣里赐给我们的,

But now in his own time he has made his message evident –

到了适当的时候,把他的道显明出来

Meaning that although this promise was made before time began, now this message is being made known through Paul.

意思是这个承诺是在创世之前神给的,但是通过保罗才显明。

through the preaching I was entrusted with –

神就借着福音的宣讲,

Meaning the method of how the message was made known is through preaching and proclamation.

意思是这个信息通过宣讲得以传播

Paul was trusted with this message by God.

保罗是神所信任宣讲福音的人。

Discussion Question:

How do you think Paul felt to have such an important responsibility entrusted to him?

问题: 你认为保罗在接受这样重大的责任是会是什么感觉?

according to the command of God our Savior –

照着神我们救主的命令

Meaning Paul was directly commanded to preach this message.

意思是保罗是直接受神指派传播福音。

Acts 26:16 (NET) But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance as a servant and witness to the things you have seen and to the things in which I will appear to you.

使徒行传26:16 你起来,站着,我向你显现,是要指派你为我工作。你要为你所见过的事,和我将要向你显明的事作见证。

Jesus’ disciples were also commanded to preach.

神也要求耶稣的信徒们宣讲福音

This ‘Great Commission’ extends to all Christians.

这个责任是所有信徒的。

Matthew 28:19-20 (NET) 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

马太福音28:19-20 Chinese Standard Bible (Simplified) (CSBS)

19 所以你们要去,使万民成为我的门徒;奉父、子、圣灵的名给他们施洗[a][b]; 20 凡我所吩咐你们的,都教导他们遵守。看哪,我就天天都与你们同在,直到这世代的终结。”

Discussion Question:

How can we be better prepare to proclaim the gospel?

问题:我们如何预备自己传播福音?

How is The Lord Causing You to Abound in Love? 1 Thessalonians 3 verses 9 through 13

Tags

, ,

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

9 For how can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel because of you before our God? 10 We pray earnestly night and day to see you in person and make up what may be lacking in your faith. 11 Now may God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, 13 so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

————

Context: In the previous passage, Paul learned of Timothy’s report that the Thessalonians were firm in their faith.  Now Paul expresses his thanks for them, his continued desire to visit them, and his desire for God to cause them to abound in love that their character is strengthened in holiness.

Phrases:

For how can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel because of you before our God? –

  • Meaning Paul thanked God with joy in prayer for the perseverance of the Thessalonians’ faith.

We pray earnestly night and day to see you in person and make up what may be lacking in your faith –

  • Meaning Paul prayed with great effort to God that it may be possible to see them in person.
  • In person, Paul desired to encourage them and to help them through any doubts in their faith while they endured their persecution.
  • He also desired to teach them and increase the knowledge of the faith in general.
  • John Calvin writing on their faith. “From this we infer that those who far surpass others are still far distant from the goal. Hence, whatever progress we may have made, let us keep in view our deficiencies, that we may not be reluctant to aim at something further.”
  • Romans 1:11,12 (NET) 11 For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, that we may be mutually comforted by one another’s faith, both yours and mine.
  • Philippians 1:23-25 (NET) 23 I feel torn between the two, because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, 24 but it is more vital for your sake that I remain in the body. 25 And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith,
  • 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NET) 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; 6 to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; 7 to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love.

Discussion Questions:

What holds us back from praying for other’s faith night and day ?

In what ways does consistently attending church and meeting with other believers mutually help make up what is lacking in our faith?

How does consistent study of the scripture make up what is lacking in our faith?

Do you remember a time when you had serious doubts in your faith? How did you get through the trial?

Now may God our Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you –

  • This was Paul’s desire and prayer though it was not a guarantee to happen unless it is God’s will.
  • James 4:13-15 (NET) 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes. 15 You ought to say instead, “If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.”
  • 1 John 5:14-15 (NET) 14 And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.

Discussion Questions:

Explain how to understand the balance of our prayers, our desires, and our actions with God’s sovereign plan?

And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you –

  • Meaning this is also part of Paul’s prayer for them. Paul trusts God ‘to make’ the Thessalonians to increase and to excel in their love.
  • Their love should abound inward toward one another and outward toward those outside the church.
  • Other Verses about love.
  • Matthew 5:43-48 (NET) 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
  • Matthew 22:36-40 (NET) 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
  • John 3:16 (NET) 16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NET) 4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. 6 It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
  • Galatians 5:22-23 (NET) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Discussion Questions:

Explain how the Lord may ’cause us’ to abound in love?

Can you give examples of how we show love to those within the church?

Can you give examples of how we show love to those outside the church?

Can you think of very immature people in your life that test your love?

so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints-

  • “So” means there is a result in abounding in love toward others.
  • The result of abounding in love towards others will be that the Thessalonians’ character (heart) will be strengthened and established in moral purity (holiness).
  • The result of their holy character is they will be free from blame before the Father at the coming of Jesus and all His saints.

A) Hearts

  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
  • καρδία, kardía, kar-dee’-ah means of the will and character.

B) Holiness

  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines this Greek word as moral purity in the passages context.

C) Blameless

  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
  • ἄμεμπτος means blameless, deserving no censure, free from fault or defect.

Discussion Question:

Explain how specific sins against others weakens our moral purity (holiness)?

Explain how loving those who are ‘difficult’ to love strengthens our moral purity (holiness)?

Why do you think Paul associates loving others with being blameless before God the Father at the coming of Christ and all His saints?

——————-

Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.

——————-

How is The Lord Causing You to Abound in Love?

Bob,

Are you praying night and day for the faith of others? Your prayer life is improving, but you need to love others more to make this spiritual discipline of prayer firm in your life.

Keep sharing your faith with other believers. Listen too. Mutually make up what is lacking in each other’s faith. My scripture is complete. Keep studying hard to grow in your faith.

Your church is doing well loving each other, but you need to improve in loving others outside the church. Pray as a body about this.

Personally grow in your love toward those who are difficult to love. Love is patient. It is not easily angered. I have placed them in your life to cause you to abound in love.

What will you be found doing when My Son arrives with His saints? I will mature you so you will be ready.

Has the Tempter Tempted You Away? 1 Thessalonians 3 verses 5 through 8

Tags

, , , , ,

1 Thessalonians 3:5-8

5 So when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter somehow tempted you and our toil had proven useless.

6 But now Timothy has come to us from you and given us the good news of your faith and love and that you always think of us with affection and long to see us just as we also long to see you!

7 So in all our distress and affliction, we were reassured about you, brothers and sisters, through your faith.

8 For now we are alive again, if you stand firm in the Lord.

———

Context: In the last passage, Paul tells how he sent Timothy to the Thessalonians to strengthen and encourage their faith in the midst of their persecution. Now Paul tells how he received Timothy’s report of their faith.

Phrases:

So when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith-

  • Again Paul repeats his words from verse 3:1. He just ‘had’ to know the state of their faith.

for fear that the tempter somehow tempted you and our toil had proven useless-

  • Meaning Paul was unsure if their faith endured the persecution previously mentioned in verses 3:3-4.
  • The tempter is Satan.
  • If they had fallen away, then it would prove their faith was not true and Paul’s labor among them was not useful for their salvation.

A) Tempter

  • Strong’s Definitions: πειράζω peirázō, pi-rad’-zo; to test
  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon:  to solicit to sin, to tempt
  • Matthew 4:3 (NET) 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”
  • Mathew 13:18-23 18 “So listen to the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches what was sown in his heart; this is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 But he has no root in himself and does not endure; when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 The seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing. 23 But as for the seed sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word and understands. He bears fruit, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

Discussion Questions:

  • Can you describe a time in your life when you were tempted to forsake your faith in God?
  • Can you think of others you know who were tempted and fell away from Christ and the church?  How did this make you feel?

But now Timothy has come to us from you and given us the good news of your faith –

  • Meaning Timothy described to Paul that the faith of the Thessalonians persevered while in the trial.
  • 1 John 5:4 (NET) 4 because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith.

and love –

  • Meaning not only did their faith endure, but their love for each other continued while in the trial.

and that you always think of us with affection and long to see us just as we also long to see you-

  • Meaning not only did their faith persevere, but …
  • Instead of them wanting to forget about Paul and this whole bad experience, they rather thought of him warmly,
  • And instead of them wanting to be rid of Paul because of the pain his teaching had caused them, they rather desired to see him just as much as Paul desired to see them.

Discussion Question:

  • Describe your feelings towards fellow believers who instead of falling away when tempted they still desired to come together each week to worship our Lord?

So in all our distress and affliction, we were reassured about you, brothers and sisters, through your faith-

  • The below verses show Paul was fearful when he entered Corinth. Corinth was where this letter was written. There he was in distress.
  • Beaten in Philippi, run out of Thessalonica, run out of Berea, knowing the persecution the new Thessalonian converts were enduring, and then needing to labor at his tent making to provide for himself in Corinth, the good news of there faith reassured Paul that the Thessalonians would persevere.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:3 (NET) 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling.
  • Acts 18:9-10 (NET) 9 The Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent, 10 because I am with you, and no one will assault you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.”

For now we are alive again, if you stand firm in the Lord-

  • In all his distress, the news made Paul and his workers feel alive again. Now they knew their work and suffering was not in vain because the Thessalonians were standing firm.

Discussion Question:

  • How do you feel when someone close to you, and in whom you have invested much time, chooses to stand firm in their faith, and they do what is right in the Lord?

—————————————-

Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.


Has the Tempter Tempted You Away?

Bob,

Remember how Satan tempted you in your great trial, and you wanted to fall away? Therefore, do not be angry with others who have fallen away.  Instead have sympathy because Satan has deceived them. Pray for them to return.

Isn’t it amazing that I caused your faith to endure through your trial.  You and so many others still have faith, love for each other, and a desire to gather together to worship Me.  This is the miracle of the New Birth.  Glorify Me in this.

Again, pray for those who have fallen away.  I know they distress you. Rejoice in those who stand firm in their faith – especially those whose faith is being tried.

House Church – My 10 Years of Experiences

Tags

, ,

I finally completed this house church video. If you have dropped out of church over the years, then the house church may be just the thing you need to recommit your life and family to Jesus. Big churches are great, but if you have dropped out, then there may have been something missing. I encourage you to try a house church where you can reignite your love for God’s Word and prayer, grow in church participation, and develop deep and meaningful Christian relationships. God Bless.

Will You Strengthen Those Who Are Shaken? 1 Thessalonians 3 verses 1 through 4

Tags

, , ,

1 Thessalonians 3:1-4

1 So when we could bear it no longer, we decided to stay on in Athens alone.

2 We sent Timothy, our brother and fellow worker for God in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen you and encourage you about your faith,

3 so that no one would be shaken by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.

4 For in fact when we were with you, we were telling you in advance that we would suffer affliction, and so it has happened, as you well know.

——-

Context: In the last passage, Paul said he tried to return to the Thessalonians, but he was thwarted by Satan. Now he tells how he sent Timothy to know their spiritual condition through the persecutions.

Phrases:

So when we could bear it no longer, we decided to stay on in Athens alone. We sent Timothy, our brother and fellow worker for God in the gospel of Christ-

Piecing together the below passages from Acts 17 and 18 along with this verse it appears the following happened.

Paul was kicked out of Thessalonica after 3 weeks, and he went to Berea.

  • Acts 17:10 (NET) 10 The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea at once, during the night…

Some Bareans and probably Luke, the writer of Acts, accompanied Paul to Athens after Paul was also pushed out of Berea. Timothy and Silas remained in Barea.

  • Acts 17:14 (NET) 14 Then the brothers sent Paul away to the coast at once, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea.

Paul gave an order for Timothy and Silas to return as soon as possible. Then those who accompanied Paul to Athens delivered the order after leaving Paul and Luke alone in Athens.

  • Acts 17:15 (NET) 15 Those who accompanied Paul escorted him as far as Athens, and after receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.

Within that request for them to come or within another request which is not mentioned in Acts, Paul asked Timothy to check on the Thessalonians due to Paul’s great concern which he could bear no longer.

  • 1 Thessalonians 3:1-2 So when we could bear it no longer, we decided to stay on in Athens alone. We sent Timothy, our brother and fellow worker for God in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen you and encourage you about your faith,

Timothy goes to visit the Thessalonians.

Paul remains in Athens waiting.

  • Acts 17:16 (NET) 16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens…

Paul goes from Athens to Corinth. Timothy and Silas return from Macedonia, and Timothy reports to Paul about the Thessalonians abiding faith.

  • Acts 18:1 (NET) 1 After this Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth.
  • Acts 18:5 (NET) 5 Now when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia…
  • 1Th 3:6 (NET) 6 But now Timothy has come to us from you and given us the good news of your faith and love and that you always think of us with affection and long to see us just as we also long to see you!

Discussion Questions:

  • How do you think Paul felt not knowing their spiritual state as they were enduring their  persecutions with no easy way to communicate with them?
  • Have you ever been out of contact with another who was suffering? How did you feel?
  • Have you ever been out of contact with someone who was struggling in their faith? How did you feel?

to strengthen you and encourage you about your faith-

  • Meaning Timothy was sent to strengthen and encourage the Thessalonians during their afflictions.

A) strengthen

  • στηρίζω, stērízō, stay-rid’-zo
  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon –
  • to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix
  • to strengthen, make firm
  • to render constant, confirm, one’s mind

B) encourage

  • παρακαλέω, parakaléō, par-ak-al-eh’-o
  • Thayer’s Greek Lexicon –
  • It means to call one to your side to …
  • exhort – to influence with advice, to strongly urge
  • entreat – to plead, to beg, to ask in a serious and emotional way in order to persuade another
  • comfort- to console, to cause (someone) to feel less worried, upset, frightened
  • instruct- to teach

Discussion Question:

  • What holds us back from reaching out to those who are suffering?
  • What are ways you tried to strengthen and encourage others who have been suffering?
  • What specific ways have you been encourage by others during your time of trials?

so that no one would be shaken by these afflictions-

  • Meaning Timothy strengthened and encouraged the Thessalonians so their afflictions would not cause their faith to be shaken, and they fall away.

A) shaken

  • Strong’s Definitions:
  • σαίνω, saínō, sah’-ee-no;
  • to wag (as a dog its tail fawningly),
  • that is (generally) to shake (figuratively, disturb)

 

For you yourselves know that we are destined for this-

  • not that every individual Christian throughout history will be persecuted, but in a general sense, all who live godly will suffer persecutions – great or small.
  • 2 Timothy 3:12 (NET) 12 Now in fact all who want to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Discussion Questions:

  • In what ways have you experienced great or small persecutions for Christ’s name?
  • What areas of the world are suffering persecution now?

For in fact when we were with you, we were telling you in advance that we would suffer affliction, and so it has happened, as you well know-

  • Meaning Paul warned them already that this would happen.

Discussion Question:

  • Through this text, we have all been warned that persecution should be expected. How do you hope to see yourself reacting in such a situation?

Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.


Will You Strengthen Those Who Are Shaken? 

Bob,

Unlike Paul, you are fortunate to be able to communicate so easily throughout the world with others.  Do not neglect to strengthen and encourage those who are suffering and whose faith may be shaking.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to them – who else is going to do it?  Stabilize them by reminding them of My love and My sovereignty even in the midst of suffering.   Encourage them by coming along side them by comforting them, advising them, persuading them, and teaching them to hold on to Me and to trust Me as they endure.

Do not forget, and be grateful for those who helped you during your suffering.  Remember specifically how they helped you, and help others in the same way.

If for some reason you cannot contact them or they will not respond, do not neglect to pray for them.  Trust that I will cause them to persevere.

 

Is There a Crown of Saints on Your Head? 1 Thessalonians 2 verses 17 through 20

Tags

, , ,

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20

17 But when we were separated from you, brothers and sisters, for a short time (in presence, not in affection) we became all the more fervent in our great desire to see you in person.

18 For we wanted to come to you (I, Paul, in fact tried again and again) but Satan thwarted us.

19 For who is our hope or joy or crown to boast of before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not of course you?

20 For you are our glory and joy!

—–

Context: In the last passage, Paul likened the persecution of the Thessalonians to that of the Judeans. Now Paul tells them how he desired to visit them.

Phrases:

But when we were separated from you, brothers and sisters, for a short time (in presence, not in affection) we became all the more fervent in our great desire to see you in person-

  • Meaning Paul missed them very dearly almost immediately after leaving them.
  • He really became connected to them after seeing their lives changed and the persecution they were enduring.
  • He had more to teach them, but his visit was cut short by the Jews that lived there.

Discussion Questions:

  • Can you explain a time in your life when you missed seeing another or others soon after leaving them?
  • When you miss fellowshipping with others at church for a few weeks in a row, how does it make you feel?
  • Have you ever had to cut short your training of another person in Christ or in a secular endeavor?  If so, what concerns came to your mind?

For we wanted to come to you (I, Paul, in fact tried again and again) but Satan thwarted us-

  • Meaning Paul tried over and over to go back and visit, but he was always being blocked by Satan.
  • It is not clear when this happened.  After being pushed out of Thessalonica, Paul was again pushed out of Berea.  Possibly it was at this time he wanted to go back.  After Berea Paul went to Athens and then stayed in Corinth where this letter was most likely written.  Possibly he was hindered from visiting Thessalonica during his service to the Corinthians or other churches.

Discussion Questions:

  • What may have been ways Satan thwarted Paul to return to the Thessalonians?
  • Who is ultimately in charge of Satan’s actions?  Why is it important to know this?
  • What should we consider when being blocked from doing our desires?

For who is our hope or joy or crown to boast of before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not of course you?  For you are our glory and joy!-

  • The Thessalonians are Paul’s ‘hope’ because he looks forward to being with them again, ‘joy’ because they will share eternal life together forever, and ‘crown to boast of’ because he knows Jesus will be pleased at His coming with Paul’s successful labor among them although it was God who gave the increase.
  • [Phl 2:16 NET] 16 Paul tells the Philippians to hold on …”to the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain.”
  • [Rev 22:12 NET] 12 (Look! I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to pay each one according to what he has done!

A) Crown

  • Strong’s Definition:  στέφανος stéphanos, stef’-an-os; from στέφω stéphō (to twine or wreathe); a chaplet (as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet, literally or figuratively.
  • They are called Paul’s crown because the Thessalonians’ conversion brings honor to Paul’s labor.  They prove that Paul was victorious in pulling them out of sin’s bondage through the Gospel.
  • [Phl 4:1 NET] 1 So then, my brothers and sisters, dear friends whom I long to see, my joy and crown, stand in the Lord in this way, my dear friends!
  • [Pro 12:4 NET] 4 A noble wife is the crown of her husband, but the wife who acts shamefully is like rottenness in his bones.

B) Glory

  • Paul calls the Thessalonians his glory and joy because they are the good and praiseworthy thing that God produced by Paul’s service.
  • [Pro 17:6 NET] 6 Grandchildren are like a crown to the elderly, and the glory of children is their parents.
  • [Pro 20:29 NET] 29 The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is gray hair.

Discussion Questions:

  1.  Name those of whom you may boast at Christ’s coming?  Has God brought forth spiritual fruit through your labors?
  2. How can we invest our efforts into the Kingdom so we will not be empty handed when Christ returns?
  3. What kinds of things distract us from Kingdom work?

Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.


Is There a Crown of Saints on Your Head?

Bob,

Try to stay invested into those who came to faith in My Son through your labor.  However, if you can’t stay connected, trust that I will watch over them and will make them grow without you.

Yes, I allowed Satan to hinder what you wanted to do.  However, you needed to grow in that trial more than the way you thought was best.  Trust Me.  Even Satan’s hindrances will turn out for your growth because I am sovereign.

Don’t get distracted with the things of the world so that your hands will be empty at My Son’s coming.  Keep serving Me.  Invest time and resources into others for My name’s sake!  Will My Son find a crown of saints on your head when He arrives?

Will you Pray for the Persecuted and their Persecutors?

Tags

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

14 For you became imitators, brothers and sisters, of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you too suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they in fact did from the Jews,

15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us severely. They are displeasing to God and are opposed to all people,

16 because they hinder us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they constantly fill up their measure of sins, but wrath has come upon them completely.

———

Context: In the previous verse Paul thanked God that they accepted his words as God’s words and how those words continued to work in them. Now he likens them to the persecuted church in Judea.

Phrases:

For you became imitators, brothers and sisters, of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea because you too suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they in fact did from the Jews-

  • Meaning just as the Judean churches suffered at the hands of the non-believing Jews, so the Thessalonian believers suffered at the hands of the non-believing Jews.
  • We know the Jewish leaders during Jesus’ time threatened believers in Jesus to be ostracized from synagogue life.  See below.
  • John 9:20-23 So his parents replied, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But we do not know how he is now able to see, nor do we know who caused him to see. Ask him, he is a mature adult. He will speak for himself. (His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jewish religious leaders. For the Jewish leaders had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, “He is a mature adult, ask him.”)
  • Also, we know the new Jewish believers were poor in Jerusalem. Wealthier members sold lands and possessions to support those in need. Being ostracized by the Jews due to their belief in Jesus may have caused this crisis.
  • Acts 2:44-45 All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need.
  • Jews persecuted the church after the death of Stephen causing many to flee.
  • Acts 8:1 (NET) 1 And Saul agreed completely with killing him. Now on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.

who killed both the Lord Jesus-

  • Meaning the Jews killed the Lord. They even verbally took responsibility for this before Pilot.
  • Matthew 27:24-25 (NET) 24 When Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but that instead a riot was starting, he took some water, washed his hands before the crowd and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. You take care of it yourselves!” In reply all the people said, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”

and the prophets –

  • Meaning the Jews were also responsible for killing the prophets throughout their history. Jesus also testifies to this.
  • Luke 11:50,51 (NET) 50 so that this generation may be held accountable for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation.
  • Luke 13:34 (NET) 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!
  • Stephen also proclaimed this before his martyrdom….
  • Acts 7:51-52 You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors did! Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become!

and persecuted us severely-

  • Meaning the Jews persecuted Paul and all of the gospel ministers.
  • Persecution of Peter and John
  • Acts 4:1-3 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, angry because they were teaching the people and announcing in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. So they seized them and put them in jail until the next day (for it was already evening).
  • Stephen was Martyred by the Jews
  • Acts 6:12 (NET) 12 They incited the people, the elders, and the experts in the law; then they approached Stephen, seized him, and brought him before the council.
  • Acts 7:58 (NET) 58 When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.
  • Paul persecuted after his conversion by Jews in Demascus
  • Acts 9:21-23 All who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners to the chief priests?” But Saul became more and more capable, and was causing consternation among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted together to kill him,
  • Acts 9:28-29 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. He was speaking and debating with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they were trying to kill him.
  • Paul persecuted by Jews in Thessalonica and Barea as shown below.
  • Acts 17:5 (NET) 5 But the Jews became jealous, and gathering together some worthless men from the rabble in the marketplace, they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to find Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly.
  • Acts 17:13 (NET) 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica heard that Paul had also proclaimed the word of God in Berea, they came there too, inciting and disturbing the crowds.

They are displeasing to God and are opposed to all people, because they hinder us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved-

  • Meaning the Jews in various places not only persecuted Paul but also hindered the message to the Gentiles.
  • Acts 13:14 (NET) 14 Moving on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.
  • Acts 13:44-50 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city assembled together to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have appointed you to be a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.‘” When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed. So the word of the Lord was spreading through the entire region. But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high social standing and the prominent men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out of their region.
  • Acts 14:1-6 The same thing happened in Iconium when Paul and Barnabas went into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a large group of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they stayed there for a considerable time, speaking out courageously for the Lord, who testified to the message of his grace, granting miraculous signs and wonders to be performed through their hands. But the population of the city was divided; some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. When both the Gentiles and the Jews (together with their rulers) made an attempt to mistreat them and stone them, Paul and Barnabas learned about it and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding region.

Discussion Questions:

  • In what places are Christians being persecuted today?
  • In what ways are Christians being persecuted today?
  • How can we help them?

Thus they constantly fill up their measure of sins-

  • Meaning the Jews have had a pattern of being on the wrong side by killing the prophets, the Lord, persecuting the church, Paul, and hindering the gospel to the Gentiles.

but wrath has come upon them completely-

This phrase can be interpreted in two ways…

  • 1. Meaning God’s wrath in hell is already planned for the Jews though not yet completely experienced – it is as good as done – it’s a done deal.
  • John 3:18 (NET) 18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
  • 2. Meaning Jerusalem will be completely destroyed in 70 AD as Jesus foretold in Mathew 24, Luke 19, and Luke 21- it is as good as done – it’s a done deal though not yet experienced. When Paul wrote this letter, Timothy and Silas, those who accompanied him to Thessalonica, are still with Paul. Therefore, many believe this letter was written shortly after their visit to the Thessalonians, possibly while he was in Corinth. This would have been before 70 AD. Also, in chapter 5, Paul uses similar language of Jesus in Mathew 24 which seems to refers to the destruction of Jerusalem which he describes as still a future event.
  • Luke 19:42-44 (NET) 42 saying, “If you had only known on this day, even you, the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and surround you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will demolish you – you and your children within your walls – and they will not leave within you one stone on top of another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”
  • Luke 21:20-24 (NET) 20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Those who are inside the city must depart. Those who are out in the country must not enter it, 22 because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away as captives among all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Discussion Questions:

  • What will happen to those who reject the Son?
  • How can we help them?

Listening Prayer method – a method where you write what you think God would say to you after meditating and studying a Bible passage.


Will you Pray for the Persecuted and their Persecutors?

Bob,

Just as the Christian Thessalonians and Judeans were persecuted by the Jews, My people are still being persecuted all around the world by various groups because they hold to the name of My Son.  Be diligent to pray for them!!!

I will have wrath on those who reject My Son and harm My children.  My Son was born in the flesh, did good, taught many good things, yet they killed Him.  What else could He do to save the world?  He has done it all.   Warn those who reject My Son and persecute My children.  Pray for them to receive forgiveness through My Son.


Persecutions around the world

China

http://www.bpnews.net/48505/religious-liberty-in-china-rapidly-deteriorating

Egypt

http://bpnews.net/44263/isis-victims-spark-call-for-prayer

Africa

http://www.bpnews.net/47579/christians-massacred-in-central-african-republic

Middle East

http://www.persecution.org/?s=middle+east+persecution&x=0&y=0

India

http://www.persecution.org/2017/09/05/church-planters-in-india-faced-with-growing-resentment-and-persecution/

Norway

https://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-family-gets-5-children-taken-away-by-govt-for-teaching-god-punishes-sin-151693/

Kentucky

http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/Jailed-clerk-vows-not-to-back-down-over-marriage-licenses-324751891.html

Colorado

https://www.adflegal.org/jack-phillips