Sunday School Material 7-11-10: Glory to Christ
(II Thessalonians 1:3-12; 7/11/10)
Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that the Thessalonian believers were urged to stay faithful, in spite of their hard times. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to stay faithful, in spite of our hard times.
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Read II Thessalonians 1:3-6
I. God’s Righteous Judgment. Paul is thankful for the maturity of the Thessalonian believers in this first section of the Sunday School material. They have developed note worthy faith, charity, and patience.
Their endurance of suffering makes them more eligible for God’s kingdom. God will see that those who troubled them will be troubled.
- Growing in faith and charity. Notice in vs. 3 of the Sunday School material that the believers had grown significantly in their faith and charity.
Faith is concerned with knowing and obeying God’s will with the expectation that God will do what He said that He would do.
A chief commandment to be faithful in obeying is to love people.
Let’s work on growing in our faith and charity. Too many have stopped growing. They keep repeating their fifth or tenth year of spirituality.
In order to grow, we must keep prayerfully studying and obeying the Bible. We must give extra attention to the idea of loving people. “Love” makes us comfort one another, especially when bereavement or bad health strikes.
“Love” makes us reach out and hold on to both our newer members and encourage our uninvolved members to grow in the Lord.
- Being thankful for those to whom we minister. Notice in vs. 3 of the Sunday School material that Paul was thankful for the growth he saw in those to whom he ministered. It is important to make sure that we are ministering to others.
We need to intentionally work on helping people get saved and become mature disciples of Christ. Furthermore, we should work on being thankful when we see people growing in the Lord and being blessed.
There are too many who ignore the “Each Reach One” ministry and idea. There are too many who are either jealous or apathetic about the good things that are happening in the lives of others.
Let’s work on both ministering to others and being thankful for the blessings that they are receiving.
- Enduring with patience. Notice in vss. 4-5 of the Sunday School material that even though the believers were growing in the Lord, they had to endure some hard times.
They had to learn how to do it with patience – not complaining. No matter how mature of a disciple we may be, we should not be surprised when troubles come our way.
Instead of cussing and fussing our way through our troubles, we are urged by the text to grow in our patience. Let’s work on developing the faith needed to endure suffering with patience.
Prayerful study of and obedience to God’s word, with the support of other disciples, will help us in this area.
Read II Thessalonians 1:7-10
II. Christ’s Glorious Revelation. Paul talks about how the unbeliever will be punished. The believers shall be with the Lord. Paul is thankful that his readers accepted the Gospel testimony that he shared with them.
- God’s troubling of the trouble makers. Notice in vss. 6, 8-9 of the Sunday School material that God is expected to trouble those who have troubled His people.
It is dangerous to cause trouble for the people of God. When we murmur on, lie on, mistreat, or ignore one another, we are causing trouble. God can send so much trouble into our lives.
God can send financial, health, relational, mental, and all kinds of trouble into our lives. Let’s not cause trouble for the people of God.
We should resolve conflicts in godly ways. But thank God, there is a certain amount of comfort that comes from knowing that God will handle those who are causing stress in our lives. There is rest for the people of God.
Let’s work on not being trouble makers and trusting God to handle the trouble makers in our lives.
Read II Thessalonians 1:11-12
III. God’s Sovereign Purpose. In this section of the Sunday School material Paul is praying for God’s will to be done in the lives of his readers.
Paul believes God’s will includes good things for the Thessalonian believers. Christ is to be glorified.
- Praying for the faithfulness of others. Notice in vs. 11 that Paul prayed for the faithfulness of the believers. It is important to pray for one another.
When we pray for one another it leads to all of us being stronger and the stronger the parts of the body, the stronger the body is.
There are too many who only pray self centered prayers – “Lord help me.” Let’s work on praying for the faithfulness of other believers. There are believers in Haiti, India, and Zambia who would love to exchange their problems for ours.
- Mutual glorification. Notice in vss. 12 of the Sunday School material that there is the expectation that Christ and believers will experience some mutual glorification, as believers live faithful lives.
The glorification of Christ includes His getting the glory, honor, and recognition for being the savior and lord. The glorification of believers include not only recognition of our belonging to Christ, but it also includes our being blessed.
Let’s work on living obedient lives, so we can experience this mutual glorification. Loving God, ourselves, and others are essential in living obedient lives.
Conclusion: Let’s work on staying faithful, in spite of our hard times. God has much for those who obey His will.
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