2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy 2: Eternal Glory for the Elect

                Paul writes to Timothy and explains that Timothy will need to “…endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:3) Everyone who follows Jesus Christ needs to know that as followers, it is possible to experience or endure hardness. Persecution can and will happen!

Paul explains that “…if a man strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” (2 Timothy 2:5) – In other words, if someone wants to master something, they must follow the rules of that something. For example: Someone who competes in a sporting event must follow the rules of that event in order to have the chance of becoming victorious. If someone competing breaks the rules, they usually become disqualified for the prize. This is the same as our lives on earth, we are here to learn and prove ourselves worthy to live with our Heavenly Father again.

Just as the farmer must labor to obtain fruit, so must we also labor to obtain the fruit (the reward) or eternal life! “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.” (2 Timothy 2:6)

Paul explains that Jesus Christ was the seed of David and was raised from the dead, Paul says that he endures all things for His sake; for if “…we deny him, he also will deny us.” (2 Timothy 2:12) Paul urges the followers of Christ to “…strive not about words to no profit, but… Study to shew thyself approved unto God…” (2 Timothy 2:14-15) We should not waste our time with things that have no profit to us, instead we should be well studied, so that we can obtain as much knowledge in this life.

Paul leaves us with some very good advice;

“Flee… youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace… the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves…” (2 Timothy 2:22; 24-25)

1 Thessalonians 4

1 Thessalonians 4: The Dead Shall Rise

                Paul urges the members of the Church in Thessalonia to follow in their footsteps, even as they (The Apostles) follow in the footsteps of Christ. Paul promises that if they do, they will be blessed;

“…as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

Paul goes on to remind them of the importance of having sexual relations in the bounds of marriage; “… this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

Paul reminds them to not defraud their brother, and to the importance of loving on another and treating one another as you would want to be treated;

“…no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter… ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” (1 Thessalonians 4:6,9)

Paul writes and tells them that they need to “…study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) In other words, study hard, strive to do good in your own business and with your own hands. You should obtain skills, education, etc. You should not lie, cheat or steal from others.

Paul ends his letter to the Thessalonians  by telling them to keep their heads up and not worry about those who will die without Christ;

“…I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

He then goes on to explain the Second Coming of Jesus Christ;

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18)

Galatians 1

Galatians 1: The Gospel is Received by Revelations

                Paul speaks to the Galatians and tells them that Jesus Christ died for everyone to; “…deliver us from this present evil world…” (Galatians 1:4) However, Paul is a little concerned for the future of the Gospel and how some men will try to pervert the ways of the Lord and His Gospel truthes;

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But thought we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-8)

Paul was so troubled that so quickly could the Gospel of Jesus Christ be converted into something other than what Jesus Christ taught. However, we know that Satan has influence over some men to change the Gospel to add confusion and strife among the believers of Jesus Christ. Paul however testifies that what he preaches is from the Lord; “…I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12) How did Paul receive his testimony of the Gospel? Through personal revelation! Therefore we learn that obtaining answers to gospel questions can only occur through prayer and personal revelation with God Himself. If we only listen to man, we will obtain an answer that man can give us. However, if we earnestly desire to know the truth and ask God with a sincere heart we will obtain an answer from God that is not temporary like that of the world… but an eternal answer.

Paul ends his address by explaining that he was once a persecutor of the church and those who believed in Christ… but that he had converted and repented of his ways. This shows us that even the most imperfect person can change their lives and come to know the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Acts 11

Acts 11: Church and Revelations

                When Peter returned to Jerusalem, after having converted many of the Gentiles, the Jews were quick to contend with him for having associated with the Gentiles. In his defense, Peter recounts the vision of the sheet, with the unclean and clean animals on it. (See Acts 10)

He explained that God had commanded him to preach unto those people, he goes on to state; “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift [Gift of the Holy Ghost] as he did unto us who believed on the Lord Jeus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” (Acts 11:17) Many of the people, after having heard this testimony of Peter, rejoiced!

The church in Antioch grows as Gentiles turn to the Lord. We learn that Barnabas ministered in Antioch. Saul works with Barnabas in Antioch where “…the disciples were called Christians first…” (Acts 11:29) Agabus prophesies famine, so the disciples send relief to their brethren throughout Judea.