to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
December 03, 2019 – Tuesday
2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 NIV
5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you
7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.
8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
First question is ‘What evidence is there that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering?’ Let’s look at the prior two verses.
3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
Reading through these verses and the two that follow and this begins to make sense. The logic is the fact the Thessalonians were being persecuted unjustly in God’s eyes. Thus a future judgment would occur where the righteous who were being persecuted would be rewarded by God. And those persecuting them, the wicked, would be punished. Plus the rewards would be eternal, just as the punishments would be eternal.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t see that in what I have read so far’ and I would not blame you. But unless you have opened your bible and read the next verse you have been left hanging. So let me provide the next two verses and things will become much clearer.
9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
Good news, really good news for the believers. Terrible news for those persecuting the believers, really terrible news – everlasting destruction. A bit of good news for those persecuting the believers, Paul used to be one of them when he was known as Saul. If Saul’s heart could be changed, anyone’s heart can be changed. Anyone’s heart, so pray for the lost and unsaved.
The rewards are great for believers and the punishment for those who persecute them is terrible. Let us keep the faith and look forward to our rewards while at the same time praying for the lost so that they to might be saved.
(to obey is better than sacrifice /obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)