Rev. Paul Pater, pastor at Shepherd of the Ridge Lutheran Church in North Ridgeville, OH and Hope Lutheran Church in Sheffield Village, OH, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5.
Paul’s stay with the Thessalonians had been brief, probably only a month. Yet the Word of God had worked faith in them and had established a bond of love in Christ between them and Paul. Persecution had torn them apart, and yet, their unity in Christ remained despite the distance that separated them. This unity that they had together in Christ even while they were apart did not leave them content to stay apart, however. Paul only desired all the more to see these fellow Christians face-to-face. His hope, joy, and crown of boasting would be to see them standing together with him as forgiven saints on the Last Day. Nonetheless, Paul’s desire had been hindered by Satan, and he and his companions could not bear to leave the Thessalonians alone any longer, lest they be led astray. Timothy, Paul’s brother and God’s co-worker, was sent to the church in order to find out how these new Christians were doing in the midst of persecution. Paul had told them ahead of time that such persecution would come, and it had. Such warning, however, had strengthened the Thessalonians, even as it still strengthens us today who face trial for the sake of Christ.
“Christ Is Surely Coming” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that journeys through the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Through these two letters, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy encouraged the young church in Thessalonica to stand firm in the midst of persecution as they eagerly waited for Christ’s second coming. This Word of God still strengthens the Church today to live now with faith, hope, and love, even as we long for the Day of Christ’s return, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5
Paul’s Longing to See Them Again
17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
3 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker[a] in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4 For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:2 Some manuscripts servant
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.