Aug 15, 2021. I Thessalonians 3:1-5

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APPOINTED TO AFFLICTION.  I Thessalonians 3:1-5.  8/15/2021.  #6.

1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 [New King James Version]

1 Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.

  1. Faith check
    1. Paul was very concerned about faith of Thessalonians believers
      1.  They were new to the faith
      1.  Paul was ushered out of Thess. after 3 weeks
      1.  Paul had not finished instructing them in walk
      1.  Paul had been hindered to return
    1. Paul was beside himself with concern
      1.  He knew that the new church would be under tremendous persecution and pressure
      1.  Paul feared that the Thessalonians would collapse under the trials (some may not have completely come to faith yet)
      1.  Paul had not yet fully equipped them for attacks
    1. Twice Paul states that he could not endure (bear up under or abide in) the strain of not knowing the fate of the Thessalonians
      1.  Paul sent Timothy to check on the church
      1.  Timothy was faithful, knowledgeable, and willing
    1. Paul had moved on from Berea and was now in Athens
      1.  Apparently, Timothy was excluded from Thess.
      1.  Paul suspects the worse
    1. Timothy was directed to instruct them and encourage them
      1.  Add to their training
      1.  Assure them that they could thrive under trials
  2. Trials are part of the job description for believers
    1. The Thess. were concerned about Paul
    1. They knew the trials that Paul faced in Phil. and Thess.
    1. Paul instructed church concerning affliction
      1.  They were not to be shaken by the trials
      1.  Trials were a normal part of spiritual warfare
      1.  Paul had instructed them that they were appointed (set in place, assigned to lie in it)
        1.  A part of the Christian faith
        1.  I Peter 4:12-19 persecution to be expected and even embraced
    1. Paul had told them to expect tribulation
      1.  Knowing trials would come is different than experiencing trials
      1.  Paul was concerned that the church was not yet grounded enough to endure great trials
    1. Trials are to be expected and endured
      1.  Facing persecution should not have caught the church off guard on unaware
      1.  Paul predicted what actually came to pass
      1.  Suffering tribulation is part of the Christian walk
  3. Tempted to quit
    1. Not knowing how the church was fairing caused concern
    1. Paul was concerned that the “tempter” would tempt them to back away from the faith
      1.  Paul’s work among them would be in vain
      1.  Paul wants to see fruit from his labor
    1. Three types of withdrawing from the faith:
      1.  Those who are not yet saved backing away
      1.  Those who are saved being intimidated into silence and inaction
      1.  Those who are saved conforming to the world
    1. Trials of faith have been common from the beginning: Abel, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Jeremiah, Stephen, Paul…
    1. Paul needed to know their condition and to shore up their faith, so they could be fortified in the battle

Key verse: I Peter 4:12-1912 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.