Letters | 2 Thessalonians 1 | Pressure Produces Perseverance

Letters | 2 Thessalonians 1 | Pressure Produces Perseverance
Lee Reams

Letters Teaching Series | 2 Thessalonians 1|CHAPTER 1 LESSON | PRESSURE PRODUCES PERSEVERANCE |  LINK TO TEACHING PDF  

CHAPTER 1 LESSON | PRESSURE PRODUCES PERSEVERANCE

Question | Question…How is a diamond formed?

PERSEVERANCE | What is Perseverance?

I. PERSEVERANCE | a remaining behind, a patient enduring

hupomoné: a remaining behind, a patient enduring

Original Word: ὑπομονή, ῆς, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: hupomoné

Phonetic Spelling: (hoop-om-on-ay’)

Definition: a remaining behind, a patient enduring

Usage: endurance, steadfastness, patient waiting for.

PERSEVERANCE | Text References

Romans 5:3 NIV And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

1 Timothy 6:11 NIV But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.

I. PRESSURE PRODUCES PERSERVERANCE | 2 THESSALONIANS 1:1-12 NASB

TEXT | 2 THESSALONIANS 1:1-12 Thanksgiving for Faith and Perseverance

Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.

This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 

11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

COMMENTARY | There is nothing more valuable to the church than people who have modeled what it means to persevere under pressure. It gives us a standard to what is expected by God as well as a source of inspiration to keep moving forward when we wish to give in and give up. Where have we seen perseverance in the Bible? I can think of three examples…The Three Hebrews, Daniel, and Jesus. Let’s take a look at how they, when faced with tremendous pressure, stood strong in their faith in God. What can we learn from them.

II. THOSE WHO PERSEVERED| Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

A. THE THREE HEBREWS | Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego | Daniel Chapter 3:1-30

Commentary | There are many things that jump out to me in regards to how the the Three Hebrews gave examples and inspiration to the future church. We find the source of persecution and how the Three Hebrews reacted to it.

1. THE SOURCE OF PRESSURE | Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

Daniel 3:13, 4-6,  King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon…Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp,pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

Commentary | What we know of the Three Hebrews is that they have been taken into captivity Daniel 1:1-4 and forced to live as servants to King Nebuchadnezzar. They had absolutely no rights and could be killed by the King at any moment. When they, along with the whole nation, commanded to worship the golden statue they were faced with incredible pressure to conform to the will of the King. Which would have caused them to totally violate the 1st of the 10 Commandments given to the Hebrew nation by Moses. READ Exodus 20:1-6 That commandment was too have no other gods before God. God even clarifies the commandment by adding that they should not make anything to worship. He then goes ton to discuss that mode of worship as bowing down before the human made idol. So it wouldn’t be hard to understand how the proclamation by King Nebuchadnezzar would be interpreted by the Three Hebrews. So the pressure is mounted against the Three Hebrews.

2. THE REACTION TO PRESSURE | Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

Commentary | Next  we come to the willful choice by the Three Hebrews to disobey the king and be obedient to the Commandments of God. In Daniel 3:12,16-18 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”…16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” The Hebrews did not conform to the will of King Nebuchadnezzar. Thus they were sentenced by the order of the king to be put to death by being thrown into a fiery furnace. Possibly the one who melted the God to build the statue that was to be worshipped. The standard of faith was that God commanded that they do not worship and god other than God himself. The punishment for resistance was death. Even so, the inspiration was that the Hebrews stood their ground and chose to die for their beliefs.

The account continues with the furnace being heated to a ridiculously high temperature to assure instant death. The very men that bound the Hebrews and put them into the fire died instantly, but the Hebrews remained alive and were even joined in the furnace by an angel or Jesus. They were saved.

3. THE POWER OF PERSEVERANCE: IMPACT AND LEGACY | Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

Commentary | The power of perseverance was demonstrated in the reaction of the King. He was awestruck by the faith of the Hebrews as well as the power of salvation from the fiery furnace. Daniel 3:28-30 records it like this. Daniel 3:28-30 NIV 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

This account is very inspirational. The sad truth about it is that many who have faced death because of belief in God had their earthly lives cut short by being murdered. However the Bible teaches that those who face death will be saved for eternity with Jesus.

The lessons learned are that God has communicated to His church his expectations for us. We are called to face the pressure. But we must remember that we do not face it alone. God is our witness and He will not leave us in the trial. Paul goes on to say that God will deal out justice to those who persecuted us. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 

V. LIVE IT OUT

Pray: Ask God to help you stand strong in the face of pressure. We must do all the basics of the faith so that we will be strong enough. Which includes daily prayer, Bible study, and worship.

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