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Thursday, September 8 2016

2 Thessalonians 1: Finishing The Course

"I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing"

The apostle Paul's second letter (see The Epistles: What Is An Epistle?) to the Christians of Thessalonica (see The Church Of Mount Olympus) was written not long after his first letter to them - a few months, or perhaps a year.

As with the first letter, Paul provided concise information, and dire warnings, about the return of the Messiah (see Who Will Meet The Returning Messiah In The Clouds?) and what they had to do to live a genuine Christian life (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners), in order to be found acceptable to be saved on that day (see also What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16? to understand what, and when, being "saved" and being "born again" truly mean).

Thessalonica

Paul began the epistle with a greeting that included two of the many associates of Paul (see The Men And Women Who Made It Happen and Why Did Others Write For Paul?), Silvanus and Timotheus (i.e. Timothy), who continued on after the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) permitted the Romans to martyr Paul - as Paul wrote to Timothy when he saw it coming:

"4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV).

Notice that although Paul's greeting was customary, he then went right to business. Time and resources were precious to him - perhaps the primary reason that the Biblical epistles aren't longer. But they don't need to be. All that is necessary is there for those whose time of calling is "now" (see Who Knows The Secret Of Christ's Return? and the Fact Finder question below).

"1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

1:2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: How does "apocalypse" happen to everyone, of all time?
See Apocalypse Now


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This Day In History, September 8

394: Arbogast, a general of the Roman empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars, A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots, A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad), committed suicide after the battle of the Frigidus River that ended in victory for Theodosius.

617: The Battle of Huoyi in China. Li Yuan defeated a Sui Dynasty army, enabling his capture of the imperial capital Chang'an and the eventual establishment of the Tang Dynasty (see also The Origin Of Gog And Magog and End-Time Gog And Magog).

China

1011: The Danes sacked Canterbury and seized Aelfheah, the archbishop of Canterbury, who they held for 7 months before killing him in April 1012.

1264: The Statute of Kalisz, guaranteeing Jews (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) safety and personal liberties and giving battei din jurisdiction over Jewish matters, was promulgated by Boleslaus the Pious, Duke of Greater Poland.

1331: Stephen Uros IV Dusan declared himself king of Serbia.

1380: The Battle of Kulikovo. Russian forces defeated an army of Tatars and Mongols, stopping their advance.

1504: Michelangelo's David was unveiled in Florence, Italy.

1565: The Knights of Malta lifted the Turkish siege of Malta that began on May 18.

1664: The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York after the Duke of York.

1755: During the Seven Years War (1756-1763) in North America, English troops under the command of William Johnson defeated French and native-American force at the Battle of Lake George. Although known only as "the French and Indian War" in the U.S., it was actually a world war, fought on a larger geographic scale (Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines) than the two world wars of the twentieth century.

The Seven Years War

1760: The French surrendered Montreal to British forces under the command of Jeffrey Amherst.

1831: William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen were crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1860: The Steamship Lady Elgin sank on Lake Michigan, with the loss of around 300 lives.

1900: A hurricane with winds of 120 mph and a following tidal wave at Galveston, Texas, killed at least 8,000 people and destroyed over 2,500 buildings in the city.

1923: The Honda Point Disaster. Nine U.S. Navy destroyers ran aground off the California coast. Seven of the ships were lost, twenty-three sailors killed.

1944: Germany began the V-2 rocket bombing of Britain.

1945: Korea was partitioned into North and South by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Within a decade, the French partitioned Vietnam into North and South also. Four artificial nations (i.e. dividing a single people into "foreign" nations) were thus created in Southeast Asia by outsider nations who declared themselves to have the right to meddle anywhere on Earth (see The Boundary Law).

Vietnam

1945: Hideki Tojo, Japanese prime minister during most of the Second World War, attempted suicide rather than face a war crimes tribunal. The attempt failed and he was later convicted and hanged.

1974: To prevent criminal prosecution of Richard Nixon, President Gerald Ford granted the former President a full pardon for "any and all crimes that he may have committed while in office." Gerald Ford was the only politician to hold the offices of U.S. Vice-President and then President - without ever being elected to either position.

1991: The Republic of Macedonia became independent.


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