TEXT: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12:
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 360 messages in this series.
This is message #361 titled, 3 Prayers for a Persecuted Church, Part 5.
Abraham Kuyper said, “Wherever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand, he is employed in the service of his God, he has strictly to obey his God, and above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.”
In this letter to the persecuted Thessalonian believers, Paul says that he and his co-workers in the ministry are praying for them in three specific ways. First, they are praying that they would be counted worthy of their calling as believers. Second, they are praying that God would continue to enable and empower the believers to do good works.
Third, they are praying “that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him.” There is no apparent glory for the believers in persecution; they did not see themselves as heroes or saints. And the doing of good works was their Christian duty whether they were praised for it or not. By speaking of the Lord Jesus being glorified, Paul points them back to an end-of-the-age vision of Christ triumphing over His enemies and their enemies and the Church being triumphant in Him.
Gene Green writes in his commentary: “Paul places special emphasis on the way the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified. The name of a person in that era was much more than a way to distinguish him or her from others. The name often became a symbol of all that a person was, his or her qualities and power, and revealed that person’s fundamental character. For that reason, the name was intimately linked with a person’s reputation and honor, much as we would speak about a person’s ‘good name’ or ‘bad name.’ So for these persecuted followers of the one mocked as ‘another king, one called Jesus,’ the promise that the name of the Lord Jesus would be glorified had great social importance. While the name of Jesus and his followers suffered dishonor in the sight of those who were disobedient to the call through the gospel, the Thessalonian church could anticipate the day when they as well as their Lord would be publicly honored. This glorification would be mutual: he in them and they in him. The rest will have no part in this grand event.”
Christians today are often more concerned about our glory and our good name in the world. And it is not bad to have a good name in the world as long as that good name is based on a reputation for holding to Biblical truth and behaving in a Christlike manner. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that for a Christian to have a “good name” in the world, he or she must compromise the truth so as not to offend the world. Years ago, John MacArthur, a serious pastor, preacher, and prolific writer of Bible commentaries, was interviewed on Larry King Live. If you know anything about John MacArthur, you know that he is no respector of who is listening to him, whether they are in his church or watching via a live television broadcast. MacArthur clearly laid out the claims of Scripture, the way of Salvation, and who Jesus is. He did not try to be cosmopolitan. He told Larry King that he knew he might not be invited back. And he wasn’t. The world was not standing outside that studio to applaud him. He did not become the latest “celebrity pastor.” Indeed, much of the audience was likely offended. But Jesus Christ was glorified through the sharing of the Gospel message.
We must live today, we must pray today with the end in mind. The end, whether we can see it now or not, is the glorification of Jesus Christ and His name in all the earth. Ask yourself, which would you rather have — a few years of glory in the world, or persecution, ridicule, and a “bad name” in the world and an eternity to partake of the glory of Christ? Don’t let difficulty in your Christian walk tempt you to submit to the world’s standards in order to gain ease and temporary glory. The uncompromising apostle James said, “Know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God?”
Sir Robert H. Grant wrote:
O Worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O Sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space!
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light,
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail:
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.