Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
Thesis: We are to never lose sight of the "bottom line".
Introduction: At the end of chapter three, we saw that Paul had a particular goal in mind in regard to the Thessalonians: that the Lord Jesus would cause their love to increase and abound so that they would be blameless in holiness before the Father when "our Lord Jesus" comes with all of His holy ones. In that study, I said that the issue of what, exactly, he had in mind was Jesus' coming to set up His Kingdom. That issue is complicated to some degree in that the typical scenario of Jesus' coming is either the Rapture, or the second coming to the earth, and the decision about what we ought to understand is to be guided by the text in its context. Another complication is that there are several scenarios of believers before "God" being "presented" in terms of their "holiness". In this text, the textual indicators all fall into the concept of "sanctification" and the processes involved in the believers being developed in holiness, which kind of assumes a "post evaluation" presentation to the Father once those processes have been applied to their fullest extent.
The bottom line is not the precision of the timing of the event as much as it is the importance of the reality of the processes. In this light, it is interesting how Paul presents his instruction to the Thessalonians. For him, there is a certain "bottom line" that is to be always kept in mind: we "must" walk in such a way as to please the Father.
October 19, 2014
- I. The Idea of "A Bottom Line".
- A. Is inserted into our thinking by Paul's choice of a word translated as "finally".
- 1. The word is used when there is a particular issue "at stake" within a prescribed time frame and that time frame is coming, or has come, to an end [Matthew 26:45 is instructive ... "...sleep on now "].
- 2. The "then" has the meaning of "on this basis" and refers to the processes of 3:12-13.
- B. Addresses the fact that we can become distracted and disoriented within the complexities of what I call "the dailies".
- II. The Importance of This "Bottom Line".
- A. Paul combines two "words of address".
- 1. First he "requests".
- 2. Then he "exhorts".
- B. Then he brings the "Lord Jesus" into the picture in harmony with his view of the ministry as given in 3:11.
- III. The Nature of This "Bottom Line".
- A. On one level, it is a matter of "how one lives" as actual choices made and executed.
- B. On a deeper level, it is a matter of "what one believes" as the outworking of what "pleases God".
- 1. Hebrews 11:6 comes into play here as another kind of "bottom line".
- a. We cannot "please" God without "faith".
- b. We cannot "displease" God with "faith".
- 2. And 3:12 comes back into play as the ultimate "bottom line".
- IV. The Actual "Request/Summons".
- A. Is not an assumption that the "bottom line" is not in play.
- B. Simply insists that we double down on it.