In honor of my Dad’s memory of passing on to glory this day, I thought I would share a sermon that he preached at First Assembly of God, Dumas Texas on August 1st, 2004.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
The center part of the book of 2 Thessalonians is actually the text that I have read to you tonight, in which the Apostle Paul admonishes the church of Thessalonica to stand firm.
And the theme of standing firm I believe is good encouragement for the modern day church, and for us as individuals as well.
Is God’s Word revelant today or is it not? So then the message of standing firm was not just a message that was needed in the church of Thessalonica, but it is a message that is needed by you and I today.
For a few moments I want to deal with some of the things that we need to stand firm in.
First of all, we need to stand firm doctrinally.
One reason is because we are living in a time of great deception. The enemy is a master of taking truth and twisting and corrupting it, causing people to be deceived.
Ephesians 4:14 NLT (1st ed.) – We are no longer like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.
It seems that in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles down through the years that many have been more prone to accept deceit and spiritual untruths than some from more traditional Christian churches. And they have done so on the basis of accepting scriptural truth which has been taken out of context and which sounds good to the ear.
We Pentecostals should be just as scripturally established and grounded as others.
John 16:13 – when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.
If we will search the scripture diligently the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the deep things of God from His Word. He is the revealer of truth. Jesus said in John 5:39 that we should search diligently the scriptures. That means, we are not to casually read over them, but that we should sincerely search them…seeking to understand spiritual truth.
Know what you believe, and be certain that what you believe is thoroughly founded on the truth of God’s word, and then stand firm in what you know and believe.
Next, stand firm in suffering.
Never harbor thoughts of throwing in the towel when the going gets tough.
I have always admired those who have simply took a deep breath, and through shear determination made up their minds that they were going to stand firm regardless of the bleak circumstances they found themselves in.
Church when trials and tests come our way, whether it be physical or something else that brings us suffering – stand firm! Remember Jesus never said that life here was going to be easy. In fact He warned in John 16:33 – In this world you will have tribulation.
Instead of mumbling and complaining because of the suffering you may be facing, use it as an opportunity for spiritual growth.
James 1:3-4 – Know you that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Let me encourage you, no matter what you are faced with in life to stand firm. Then you will experience the strengthening of your faith, and a fullness of the joy of the Lord.