THERE IS MORE SAID IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW
A Time to Pray for Others and a Time for Others to Pray for You, Part 4 (Praying Through the Bible #464)
TEXT: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5:
1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
William Gurnall said, “It is not only our duty to pray for others, but also to desire the prayers of others for ourselves.”
In our last message in this series, we looked at how the Apostle Paul requested that the Thessalonians pray for God’s gospel to have free course and be glorified. The gospel is the message of Christ’s atoning work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, by which we are saved if we believe in Him. Where the gospel is preached and received, it is glorified, and God and Christ are glorified. Paul used the example of the Thessalonian Christians as an example of how the gospel was glorified, and he urged to pray that it might be glorified as much in Corinth and elsewhere. If we want others to come to Christ, we will pray that the word of the Lord will have free course and be glorified in those who hear it.
Second, Paul requested that the Thessalonians pray that God would deliver them from evil men. These unreasonable and wicked men are those who desire to hinder the work of the gospel. They are unreasonable, for they do not fear God and foolishly reject the free gift of salvation. They are wicked, for they indulge in sin and immorality, and are motivated by the devil to persecute the servants of the Lord. The unreasonableness and wickedness stems primarily from their lack of faith in God and Jesus Christ. They unreasonably reject the gospel and wickedly fight to prevent others from hearing it as well. Steven J. Cole said, “Paul was not so much trying to save his own skin as he wanted to see the gospel continue to spread. If the messengers are protected from evil men, they have more freedom to proclaim the message. Paul evangelized the Praetorian Guard while he was a prisoner in Rome, and the testimonies of many martyrs have resulted in many coming to faith through their deaths. But there is nothing wrong with asking for prayer for protection from persecution for those who take the gospel into hostile areas. The main aim is for the word of the Lord to spread. Note the prominence of “the Lord” in verses 1-5. In verse 1, it is “the word of the Lord.” In verse 3, “the Lord is faithful.” In verse 4, “We have confidence in the Lord.” In verse 5, “May the Lord direct your hearts.” In times of trial or persecution for the sake of the gospel, it’s important to remember that Jesus is the Lord, the sovereign of the universe. No one can harm you or kill you unless it is in God’s good and loving purpose for His glory. We must pray for everyone to have opportunities to proclaim the gospel and that God will bless those efforts with genuine conversions. And we must pray that God will protect us from those, whether from without or within, who oppose the gospel and seek to harm those who proclaim it.”
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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.