“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 KJV
Paul wrote both of 1Thessalonian and 2 Thessalonian letters to the recent Christian converts. During his missionary travels and building of God’s church, he would comfort them particularly through their tribulations. The persecutions were so severe there, some believers thought they were living in the time of tribulation. Some wanted to quit their jobs and just wait on the Lord’s arrival. I would imagine some folks feel that way today. Commentators tell us Paul did not give us all the answers in the Bible and our Bible tells us not to set dates for our Lord’s returning (Matt. 24),
Paul emphasized that their persecutions were because of their faith. Further, He encourages in 2 Thessalonians that the 3 phases of our Lord’s coming are: The Return of the Church; The Revelation of Antichrist; and The Day of the Lord (where earth ends as we know it) then all believers live with our Lord forever in heaven. In the meantime, we as believers are to “Defend the Truth.” Paul went on to speak of practical Christian living. He moved from Satan’s attempt of deception and lies to Christ’s truth.
We are bound to be thankful to God. He has chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit (of its origin) and to believe the truth. We ought better read our WORD regularly and consistently so God can do what He wants to do for us, the things what we cannot do for ourselves.
It’s no lie that God loves the whole earth but the whole earth is not saved. Love reveals itself in Grace and in Mercy. Grace: God gives us through Christ what we don’t deserve yet, Mercy God gives to Christ what we do deserve. Paul says know that this is the “Election of God” and God’s choice for all sinners, not ours! There is a progressive working of the Holy Spirit making us more like Jesus. It’s the working of the Holy Spirit bringing us to realize our sins (self-conviction). As I look back over my life, I can realize the Spirit bringing me to faith in Christ called progressive sanctification. And now, I can and will continue to give Glory to our Lord and “Defend the Truth” which is The Word of God.
What begins in Grace always leads to Glory. Jesus prays in John 17:11-22 that “We have God’s Glory within us.” It’s revealed through our progressive sanctification. We know even now he has predestined us (Rom 8:30), whom he calls, then we are justified and then be glorified though the Spirit as we “Defend the Truth.” Go in peace! Dr. Dowe