I Thessalonians 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
God is faithful to every born again Christian. God wants all to be saved. The sad reality is that most people ignore God’s call to salvation. We have used Cain in the past, but he is a clear example of someone who chose to reject God’s authority in his life and thought he could argue with God and change His authority. Cain was the loser there, not God. Genesis 6-8 shows us a larger scale of the same problem. Humanity chose the path of wickedness and nothing God told Noah changed the minds of the wicked. All but 8 people perished in the flood waters because they rejected God’s truth.
Our text declares that God is faithful. He is faithful in calling the saints, and He is also faithful in doing all that He promises to do. There is nothing that He cannot do.
God told Noah exactly how to build the Ark. God promised to save Noah and his family if they entered the Ark. Noah listened to God and obeyed him. He built that Ark according to God’s instructions. That Ark kept all that were in the Ark safe for the entire time of the flood. It did not collapse the moment Noah and the others stepped out of it.
God promises eternal life to all who turn to Him in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. God promises forgiveness of sin for all who turn to Him in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. God promises His peace to all who are saved and walk in obedience with God. Every promise of God is true and sure.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
In verse 25 we are again reminded and commanded to pray for one another. The “us” in the context is in reference to the apostles. The apostles were chosen by God to be His human spiritual leaders in the first century. We do not need to pray for the apostles today. They are long dead now and do not need any prayer. However, those who are called to be spiritual leaders in this generation do need the prayers of God’s people. We need to see the importance of true spiritual leaders. As we have mentioned before, there are too many people who have chosen to set themselves up as spiritual leaders, who are not called of God and they should be rejected, and yet their teaching is tolerated. Church history tells us that in past generations there were public debates, not designed for entertainment, but debates that were motivated by a genuine desire for truth to be told.
Taze Russel, the man who claimed to be the founder of the J.W. cult was taken to court over his claim to know the Greek language and having the ability to translate the Greek text into his corrupt book: “the New World Translation.” In court he was exposed as a fraud. Today, J.W.’s deny that he is their founder, but history proves them wrong.
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul disputed with the “scholars” at Mars Hill and exposed their unbelief. The apostles proclaimed the truth and they were willing to die for the truth.
Some years ago we travelled into the States to attend Bible conferences where the men who preached, preached with conviction. They addressed the doctrines that were being ignored and corrupted. They were not politicians. They believed in proclaiming: “thus saith the Lord”, as they saw it in the Bible. They used the Bible and they showed from God’s Word what the truth is. I remember one person in attendance who wanted to take one of the preachers outside and beat him up because he did not like what the man said. The preacher had not said anything wrong. He did not know the man who was offended. He was just preaching the Word of God. Men like that need the prayers of God’s people. We need bold, straight forward preachers who will love God first of all and then love people enough to tell them the truth and help them to turn from the lies they have accepted, to the truth. We need preachers who are not motivated by the praise of man, but rather choose to serve the God who saved them and leave the results in His hands.
The apostle Paul knew what it was like to be forsaken. He had brethren who knew him in various places. We know that the saints in Ephesus grew to appreciate his ministry. Yet he faced times when there were few that were there to support him. However, he was not discouraged because there were saints praying for him. It is an amazing thing how the prayers of the saints can encourage and strengthen other saints in other parts of the world. God’s ways are amazing
In verse 26 Paul commanded the brethren to show a genuine care for one another. Over the past 2 years the government has done many things that are in direct defiance to God’s Word. I remember when we were told that rather than shake hands we should give others an elbow bump. I have watched our foolish P.M. doing that. When you stop to think about it, you have to come much closer to the other person to give them an elbow bump than you do in giving them a handshake. The government mandates only work for those who put their brains in neutral and blindly follow what the ungodly officials tell them.
Paul encouraged the saints to demonstrate their friendship for one another in a genuine manner. There are different views on this matter of the “holy kiss.” Some believe it is an actual kiss on the lips of the other brother. Personally, I do not believe that. From what I understand of Jewish culture it is a drawing close and giving a hug and a kiss on the cheek. It would never be a man giving a woman other than his wife a hug and a kiss unless it would be a sister. The intent here is to show a genuine care for one another. There is nothing evil about it. That is why it is called a holy kiss. It is not something that is inappropriate.
In verse 27, Paul charged that this epistle be read by all the holy brethren. God’s Word is important for all saints. We need to be encouraged to read God’s Word. We can never get enough of God’s Word. God’s Word should be a priority for the saints.
Peter wrote about those who were wilfully ignorant. They were lost people who chose not to believe what God said. True saints will not know everything, but they certainly should be students of God’s Word. That is where we find encouragement as well as correction and direction.
In verse 28 we see the importance of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that He is “our” Lord Jesus Christ. He is big enough to be real and vital for all saints. As we were travelling home yesterday, we noted the different cloud formations. The Bible says that one day the Lord Jesus Christ will come in the clouds and the New Testament saints will meet the Lord in the air. As we were talking about that we noted that all the saints from all over the world will see the Lord and meet Him in the air. What an amazing thought. What an amazing truth. We have a great Lord and Saviour. As we have noted before, we those who are saved, are strengthened by His grace for our daily tasks.
As always, God’s Word is a blessing for the saints. It is the place to find counsel. It is the first thing we need in the day and It is the last thing we need in the day. I trust that each one receiving these devotionals spends time in the morning and in the evening reading God’s Word. It is important for the true child of God to read through the Bible at least once a year. We need to know our God and Saviour better. Those who are saved do that by spending time in personal Bible reading and study, and also in corporate Bible reading and study in a true local church.
As Paul wrote, “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen.”