(Preached at Fleetwood in 1964)
Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18
Text: “Finally Brethren!”
a. Listening to a boring sermon how eagerly have we awaited these blessed words – “Finally Brethren!”
b. “Finally Brethren” is a characteristic of Paul’s writing.
- “Finally Brethren … Farewell!” 2 Corinthians 13:11.
- “Finally Brethren… Be strong in the Lord.” Ephesians 6:10.
- “Finally Brethren… Rejoice in the Lord!” Philippians 3:1.
And like most Pentecostal preachers he found it difficult to stop! So to them he said again: “Finally Brethren… Whatsoever things are true etc., … Think on these things!”
c. With a true shepherd’s heart, Paul gives his final counsel to his beloved Thessalonians… His words, being of the Holy Ghost, are timeless and apply to you and myself.
1. Finally Brethren: Pray for those in the forefront of the fight
a. This great soldier knew the value of prayer. 1 Thess. 5:25 “Brethren pray for us!”
What a ministry is this for the Church today! I cannot understand people who call themselves Christians, saying they have noting to do and nowhere to go, and yet they do not come to the prayer meeting.
The greatest preacher may be helped by the humblest intercessor.
b. “That the Gospel may speed on and triumph” (RSV).
At Antioch – “The Gentiles glorified the Word of the Lord” (Acts 13:48).
At Ephesus – “Mighty grew the Word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:20).
O that those days could come again — they can, if we pray!
2. Finally Brethren: God can be trusted! (Vs. 3)
Compare verses 2 and 3. The Jews had chased them out of town – But they had not chased God out of town.
We too need this assurance.
a. Many a believer dreads failure – but “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ.” (Phil. 1:6).
b. Many a preacher dreads failure – but “He abideth faithful.” (2 Tim. 2:13).
3. Finally Brethren: Live by the Book
Read 2 Thess 3-4 and compare verse 14.
Unlike the Pharisees (Matt. 15:9) PAul did not teach for doctrines the commandments of men.
Friends the Bible tells us not only what to believe – but how to BEHAVE.
a. How many Christians are adopting the world’s standards.
b. How many Pentecostals are adopting the opinions of nominal Christians.
c. God have mercy on us preachers who have lowered the standards.
4. Finally Brethren: Live in the light of His coming (Vs. 5).
Two tremendous motives for holy living:
a. “The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God.” “Do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 Jo. 3:22.
“If ye love Me, keep my commandments.”
b. “The Lord direct your hearts into the patient waiting for Christ.”
Do you “love His appearing”?
“Be patient brethren unto the coming of the Lord.” James 5:7. At Thessaloniki, they had confused the SUDDENNESS of the 2nd Coming with its immediacy, and many had ceased to work! Now they were sponging (See Vss. 10/11).
5. Finally Brethren: Choose carefully your companions
“If any man obey not our word, note that man, and have no company with him.” (2 Thess. 3:14).
Note: This applies to Christians and their Christian friends.
“I implore you my brothers, keep a watchful eye on those who cause trouble and make difficulties among you – and steer clear of them.” (Rom. 6:17 Phillips).
Note this: “Withdraw” in Vs. 6 “As a mariner steers his vessel away from the rocks.”
6. Finally Brethren: Do not tire (Vs. 13).
Compare Vs. 11.
The devil is the great discourager – watch you do not help him by:-
Spreading 1. discontent. 2. unbelief. 3. fear.
Are you the only Christian where you work?
Do your Sunday School scholars never “receive the truth”?
Are you hard pressed at home by opposition?
“My beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord – you labour is NOT in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58).
7. Finally Brethren: My last prayer for you (2 Thess: 3:16).
“The Lord of peace – give you peace!”
“Peace be unto you!” can be as conventional as “How do you do?” But true Christianity turns convention into sincerity.
Unrest tortures every human heart, and peace is the hope and quest of all.
He is the “Lord of peace” – he was tranquil – unruffled. But… peace is not apathy. It is not indifference.
He sorrowed, He wept, He wondered – yet He was at peace.
So peace is not stolid indifference, or avoidance of difficulty, skirting of sacrifice. Peace is the central calm of a heaving activity!
“Peace always” – unbroken in its continuity.
“By all means” – that is “in all ways” – Peace in the paths of plenty or in the ways of want. Peace always, and in all ways. There is light in Goshen even when darkness covers Egypt.
Dear friends remember the words of the Lord Jesus – “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but IN ME ye shall have peace.” Jesus is the Lord of peace.