Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

Have I Told You Lately that I Love You?
2 Thess 1:1-5

1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 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; 4 there- fore, 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. 5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

Introduction
Do you realize most of us neglect the books of the bible that are seconds? You may read 1 John regularly but how about 2, and 3rd John. I thought I would not preach through 2 Thessalonians just like I did not preach through 2nd, or 3rd John. You will remember I preached through 1 Peter but not 2nd Peter.

Today I am going to start through 2nd Thessalonians. Do you realize you can read through it in less than 10 minutes? In fact many of you could read through it in less time. I want to challenge you to read through it every day week day for several weeks. You might pick up on the phrase "Lord Jesus Christ"

63 times in 63 verses, 9 times in 2 Thes.

4 times in Acts.    7 times in Romans,    8 times in 1 Cor.    4 times in  2 Cor.      3 times in Gal,
6 times in Eph.    3 times in Phil,           1 time in Col,         5 times in 1 Thes.    9 times in 2 Thes.
2 times in 1 Tim. 2 times in Phile.          2 times in James    1 time in 1 Peter.       3 times in 2 Peter
3 times in Jude

Paul wanted this church to know of his love. I want you to know
 
 

1.    I Love you Because of Your Dealings With . . Grace v 1-2


    1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:   2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

A.    Grace Displayed Knowing Where It Is . . Sustained. v 1
        Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

        1.    It Is Sustained in the Called.
                "Paul, Silvanus, Timothy."
        2.    It Is Sustained in the Church.
                "The Church of Thessalonica.
        3.    It Is Sustained in the Creator.
                    a. God our Father.
                    b. The Lord Jesus Christ.

B.    Grace Displayed Knowing It's . . Source. v 2
        Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

        1.    The Source of Grace Is God.

Illustration
There is a story about some scholars and clergy in England who were banging their collective heads on coming up with the one distinctive that separated

Christianity from any other world religion. At the height of their frustration C.S. Lewis walked into the room. "Clive", one of the gentlemen called to him, "Help us figure out this poser. What is the single most distinctive doctrine or fact that separates Christianity from any other religion?" Without hesitation, Lewis replied, "That's easy, grace. It's a totally foreign concept to any other faith system." Shared by, Rev Kev

Illustration
I heard Dr. Kennedy once say that there are 3 views to salvation by those who believe in eternal life.

One is by works alone,

One by grace and works,

One is by Grace alone.
 

Application

I want to tell you I love you for the expressions of Grace you display. You know the Sustenance and Source of Grace.
 
 

2.    I Love you Because of Your Dealings With . . Growth . v 3


    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;

A.    Growth Displayed through . . Thanksgiving. v 3 a
        We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, . . . "

        1.    It is Fitting to Give Thanks.
        2.    A Thankful Person Grows.
 

B. Growth Displayed through . . Faith. v 3 b
        ", , , because your faith is greatly enlarged . . . "

        1.    Paul had been concerned about their faith.    1 Thess 3:5 & 10
5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor should be in vain. . . . 10 as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith? NAS
 

Illustration
Helen Spencer said the other day "hasn't Jack grown," Talking about her son. I said "yes but so have you" It might be Momma rubbing off on her son."

How about you are you growing? You can't grow without exposing your self to God's Word and people who are growing.

B.    Growth Displayed through . . Love. v 3 c
        ". . . and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;"

        1.    They Had a Growing Love.
        2.    They Had a Greater Love.

Illustration
Look around, can you see a brother or sister in Christ who has grown and helped you to grow? Don't you feel a love for them.

Go to them right now and express your love.
 

Application

We are blessed with love from Christ. It is a love we can share.
 
 

3.    I Love you Because of Your Dealings With . . Grief . v 4


4 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.

A.    They were . . Endearing Through Grief.
            " therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God. . . "

        1.    Paul was Proud of them.
                a.    God said of His child Job. "Job 1:8-10
8 And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing?   10 "Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. NAS

B.    They were . . Enduring Through Grief.
           "for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which
            you endure.

        1.    The Grief of . . Persecutions.
                a.    This word has the idea of pursuing one for the purpose of harm.

PERSECUTE, PERSECUTION
1. dioko NT:1377 has the meanings (a) "to put to flight, drive away," (b) "to pursue," whence the meaning "to persecute,"
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. KJV

        2.    The Grief of . . Afflictions.
                a.    This word has the idea of affliction.

AFFLICT (-ED), AFFLICTION
4. thlipsis NT:2347 primarily means "a pressing, pressure" (see A, No. 4),
4. thlibo NT:2346, "to suffer affliction, to be troubled," has reference to sufferings due to the pressure of circumstances, or the antagonism of persons, 1 Thess 3:4; 2 Thess 1:6-7;
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
 

Illustration
In The Eye Of The Storm, by Max Lucado, contains a story about Chippie the parakeet. It seem's the bird's owner was cleaning the cage and accidentally sucked Chippie into the vacuum cleaner. Quickly the homemaker shut off the vacuum and retrieved the stunned, but alive, parakeet. He was covered with dust and dirt.

She rushed him to the bathroom and gave him a quick rinse from the faucet. Then realizing that he was shivering she reached for her hair dryer and blasted him with warm air until he was dry.

A friend called a few days later to inquire after the bird's recovery. "Well," reported the pet owner, "Chippie doesn't sing much any more. He mostly just sits and stares."
 

Application

I am glad in the midst of situations of Grief you still have your song. Don't loose your song, be enduring and endearing.
 
 

4.    I Love you Because of Your Dealings With . . Grit . v 5


    5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.

A.    The . . Indicators of their Grit. v 5 a
        " This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment . . . "

            1.    It is talking about the stand during . . Persecution.
            2.    It is talking about the stand during . . Tribulation.
 

B.    The . . Impact of their Grit.
            ". . . so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are
            suffering.

        1.    An Impact of . . Worthiness.
                ". . . so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God. . . "
        2.    An Impact of . . Withstanding.
                ". . . for which indeed you are suffering."

Illustration THE MAN (PERSON GOD USES by Oswald J. Smith

1. He has but one great purpose in life

2. He, by God's grace, has removed any hindrance from his life

3. He has placed himself absolutely at God's disposal.

4. He has learned how to prevail in prayer.

5. He is a student of the Word

6. He has a vital living message for a lost world.

7. He is a man of faith who expects results.

8. He works in the anointing of the Holy Spirit

(The Timothy Report, Swan Lake Communications, SwanLC@aol.com, February 15, 1999)

Illustration

The Lord promised me
He would make me a fisher of men.
He said
"If I would catch them, He would clean them."
Little did I know that He sometimes
makes us hold them while He cleans them!

Conclusion
Charles Spurgeon told about an apple orchard of his. He worked diligently and had some of the sweetest apples in London. One day he invited a neighbor to come get a few apples. The neighbor's reply, "No thanks." He explained to Spurgeon that he had "sneaked" a few apples already and thought they were terribly sour. Spurgeon laughed and said that he had intentionally planted a few "sour" apple trees on the outskirts of the orchard to discourage people from taking them.

However, he assured the neighbor that those on the inside were very sweet indeed. Having Grit takes you through to the sweet apples.

These folks were loved because of how they handled:

        Grace        Growth        Grief        Grit