1 Thessalonians 3:5 – For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
Hello readers, hope you’ve had a great week. I’ve been reading 1 Thessalonians this week, a letter from Paul to the church at Thessalonica. The church there had been founded when people had got saved by the preaching of Paul and his companions in Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ can still save souls and change lives. Because it did here. Paul came to a city given to idolatry with the gospel, and there were people that believed the gospel, and who had gotten gloriously saved from that old life of sin to a completely new life following Christ.
Today, our society still needs the same saving power of the gospel. There are a lot of professing Christians, but not many true Christians. These guys at Thessalonica weren’t just professors, they were possessors. Their lives proved the power of the gospel, and Paul commended their faith for the fruit that it was producing not just in their lives, but in impacting their city, the surrounding regions and the world for Christ. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
There’s a theme of “proof” in this letter. God is for proof. Both Paul’s ministry was proven to the Thessalonians, and the Thessalonian church had proven their faith. How did they prove it? Well, their lives proved that they were followers of Jesus Christ, and unmistakably so. These guys heard God’s word, received God’s word and obeyed God’s word. That’s basically unheard of in our day and age.
And this was a church that had been tried. Trial and tribulation quickly sorts us all out, and these guys had a ton of it. And so much so, in the third chapter, we read of how Paul anxiously sent Timothy to see how these guys were doing. Have they kept the faith? Have they quit on God? Because it’s easy to be a Christian when there is no adversity, but as soon as there is some adversity, most of us, including me, are likely to shrink away.
How we go under pressure helps us to know what is real and what is not. And God will let us go through tribulation and affliction here, as a testimony to this world, to the glory of his grace, because suffering and sacrifice have power to change others, but also for ourselves, to prove and purify our faith. None of us enjoy hard times or want hard times, myself included, but they have value to us and to others, but which we only see in looking back.
One unmistakable proof of a true salvation is that true salvation has “no quit”. If you are truly saved, there is no going back, there is no quitting, you cannot quit… even if you are tempted to. And be sure the tempter will come to you, tempting you to throw it away, telling you that the trouble is not worth it, Jesus is not worth “this” in my life. The tempter strikes when you’re vulnerable, when you’re low, just like he came at Jesus in the temptation in the wilderness.
But how many Christians have bowed to temptation! Temptation to quit. Temptation to sin. If you’re going through trials and tribulation, it is then that he is going to come and tell you to throw it away. It is then that he will offer an easier way, a better way.
So Paul sent Timothy to see how they were going, and he was hoping that the hard times hadn’t pushed these guys away from the faith. If you are pushed easily away from the faith, it likely means you never truly got established in the faith, it likely says something about the faith you said and thought you had. If you really latch on to the gospel of Jesus Christ, nothing will ever remove you from him. But a shallow profession? Yeah that won’t stand a bit of trouble.
But guess what, Timothy found these guys still in faith! How would we do in the “some time later” test. How will Christ find us? But the sad part is, many professing Christians, some time later and not found still in the faith. The people that know you, if they don’t see if you for a few years, but then check up on you years later, would they still find you consistent in trusting and following Jesus Christ? It’s so sad that so many people are not found still in the faith unlike how Timothy found this church, who they would have more excuses to have quit than you and I. Consistency and continuance are such a big testimony to that you have something real in this world.
Quitting on God, though many do it, because they were never truly in the faith, will not pay in the end. Because Paul wrote a bit about the “end” to this church, and he in his two letters to this church wrote to them very future minded, looking towards the coming of Christ, and how that will look for the saved versus the unsaved. You see, there is comfort for the Christian in the future, and this church drew comfort from the coming of Christ.
Like Paul was pointing them to Christ’s return for the church, so we have to see beyond today, beyond the here and now. We have to see to the end, to the glory and joy that awaits the children of God, and to the destruction and wrath that awaits the wicked. All those people who took the tempter’s offer get shortchanged.
In our lives, we all will be tempted to quit. Because when it’s “too hard”, the temptation will come. When things get tight, temptation will come. When there is adversity and opposition, temptation will come. Don’t step through that door though, it is not worth it. Quitting on God and quitting on truth will cost you so badly in the long run, because there is so much to look forward to as children of God, don’t trade that in for temptation.
Many people have fallen to temptation in these last days. Many people have been tempted away from God’s word, from faith, from truth… and most of us surely haven’t gone through as much as this church was experiencing. I was thinking that temptation really does reveal what we truly want in life. If you have lust in your heart, temptation will draw it out eventually. If you really want what you want over what God wants, temptation will draw it out eventually. Something that is incorruptible cannot be corrupted, but these guys had an incorruptible faith because of the incorruptible salvation from the incorruptible God who’s incorruptible word they had believed.
So ultimately, the reason this church didn’t quit on God was because they were truly saved. They didn’t just “become Christian”, they got born again. The real gospel of Christ still has birthing power. You are going to have to get truly saved, because anything less is not at all. There is no salvation spectrum or degrees of salvation, you are either totally saved or totally unsaved, you’re either Christ’s or you are reprobate.
And in reading 1 Thessalonians, I really couldn’t get past the fact that the foundation of our faith is so vital. The first few chapters are literally about how this church was founded and in which manner and by what and who. What seeded your faith? Where did it start? What was it based upon? You can grow a big tree for hundreds of years, but what kind of tree that would be was determined by the seed you sowed. It matters how you started and how it all got started. And how it was started, how they were founded was why they didn’t quit. They were really saved, they really wanted to follow Christ, so tribulations and trials did not move them from Jesus.
May we not quit on God. You know, Jesus Christ’s faith is bigger than our faith. So when you place your trust and faith in him, he keeps you. This isn’t just religion, this is relationship. Paul would later write “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” So in the end, it’s not my power not to quit, it’s I can’t quit, I do not want to quit, because I’m kept by Jesus Christ, no matter what the future holds. You’re going to need to real deal to make it on this journey, make sure you’ve got it, and don’t give in to the temptation to quit.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)