161106 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Last Updated on Monday, 07 November 2016 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Theme: Rejoice That You Will Be Counted Worthy!

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. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 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. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 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.

Does the thought of Judgment Day fill you with fear or peace? For many, they don't have fear or peace, because they simply don't believe such a day is coming. For others, when they read sections of God's Word such as we hear today in our worship service, or sing a hymn like the one we just sang, they are filled with a great amount of fear. Fear grips the heart of many when they hear about having to stand before a holy and just God to be judged; a holy and just God who says that those who aren't holy, who sin, must be punished. They know that they aren't holy. They know that no matter how hard they try, they never will be holy. They know they sin. Deep down, they know that all they deserve is punishment for the evil things they have done or said or thought.

Because of your sins, because of my sins, the thought of Judgment Day should fill you and me with nothing other than fear. Deep down, we, too, know that because of our sins all that you and I deserve is to have our Judge sentence you and me to a life that never ends in the pain and suffering of hell. But, because of Jesus, as we read about the coming Judgment Day, fear is replaced by peace. We have peace because you and I know that we will be judged worthy of heaven. You and I are worthy of a place in heaven, not by the Judge basing his judgment on anything we have done; rather, it is only because of what Jesus did for you and me. Our Savior-God makes you and me worthy of a place in heaven through the holy, perfect life that Jesus lived in your place and mine. The innocent suffering and death of Jesus paid in full the price for all of your sins and mine. God the Holy Spirit has worked faith in your heart and mine to believe in Jesus as our Savior. It is Jesus who makes you and me worthy of heaven. So, on this "Last Judgment Sunday" I invite you to join with me and give thanks! Because of your Savior, Jesus, REJOICE THAT YOU WILL BE COUNTED WORTHY!

It is impossible to miss the warning about Judgment Day that is contained in the verses before us this morning. God's Word is so clear: "God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you . . . This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power."

But, just as clear as the message of warning is the message of comfort from God's Word before us. In these verses from 2 Thessalonians, the Bible tells us that when Jesus returns in all his power and glory he will "give relief to you who are troubled...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." By the grace of God, the Thessalonians heard the Gospel message. They believed it. They marveled at God's love for them. By God's grace, you and I have heard the comforting Gospel message. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I believe the Good News of forgiveness of all of our sins through Jesus, our Savior. You and I marvel at God's great love for us. Because of Jesus, you and I rejoice that we will be counted worthy of our place in heaven.

My dear friends in Christ, this is what our FORWARD program is all about! The great need that sinful mankind has for a Savior needs to be made known. Jesus Christ, the Judge of all mankind, is coming soon! But, there are far too many people today who either don't care or don't believe that Judgment Day is coming. And on that Great Last Day, because of their unbelief they will be judged to a life that never ends in the flames and torment of hell. Yes, you and I need to use God's Law to show people their sins and their great need for a Savior. You and I also need to share the Good News that we, by God's grace, know so well: the Gospel message that forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven is a free gift won by the only Savior sinful mankind has. You and I rejoice that it is only because of Jesus that we and all believers are counted worthy of a place in heaven.

Here at St. Matthew's, year after year, generation after generation, the precious Gospel message of Jesus has been proclaimed during worship service after worship service here in God's House. The Good News of the Gospel has been clearly taught in the classrooms of our school. Family after family has been blessed to have their children hear the Good News of Jesus. Parents and Grandparents rejoice that they, along with their children and grandchildren will be counted worthy of living with him forever in the paradise of heaven! Young and old alike smile with joy knowing that Jesus loves them.

During the past few weeks we have shared some special words of encouragement from a few of our fellow members. We want to take a moment and do that again today. This time we will hear from Jim and Bev Fulmer. As you watch, I am going to ask you to do two things: first, listen carefully as they rejoice that they and their family are counted worthy of eternal life in heaven because of their Savior Jesus. Listen carefully as they share their hope that many, many more will have the same joy and peace that fills their hearts. And second, take note of the smile that is on the face on their son, Brian. He smiles because he knows that he is loved by all of you, his Christian Family. He smiles because he knows that he is loved by Jesus.

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To use a favorite word of my friend Brian, heaven is going to be awesome! With the peace which only our gracious God is able to provide, you and I look forward to that great Last Day when Jesus will come again. With a smile on our face, you and I are thankful that we will be counted worthy of living in heaven because Jesus loves you and me. Together, you and I look forward to many, many more smiling faces joining our family of believers here at St. Matthew's, as they hear the Good News that Jesus loves them as well. My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as a Christian Family, let's all commit ourselves to sharing the forgiving message of the Gospel with as many as possible, as together we move FORWARD. Pray that the Lord will bless all our faithful efforts as a congregation, so that when the Judge appears, you and I are able to rejoice that many, many more are counted worthy of their place in heaven along with us. Amen.

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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