Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.
2 Thessalonians 3:1
The apostle asks the church to pray for a couple of things. The first is that the Word of Christ may advance quickly. He not only wants it to run forward, but to be honored by those who hear it.
That should be our prayer as well. It’s wonderful that I heard and honored the Word. I’m saved because of it. But for me, it shouldn’t end there. Others need to hear that same life-changing Word.
Paul goes on with his request.
And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
2 Thessalonians 3:2-5
These two prayers must go hand in hand. The spreading of the Gospel message, and the protection of those who are bringing it.
Whenever the Word of Christ is preached, there are always two responses. Some will have faith to believe it. But there may also be those who oppose it – sometimes violently.
Of course, in our generation, there are those who have gone in a different direction. There are some who have watered down the message so there will be little chance of persecution.
In Paul’s mind, the number one goal was the spreading and advancement of the Gospel. Then he would trust God for his personal safety.
In our society it’s different. Many have set their first goal as the advancement of their own comfort, entertainment, and wealth. Then, if they have any free time, they can do something for Christ – as long as it doesn’t negatively affect their status in the world.
We need to change our thinking. We must get back to the original message of the Gospel. We don’t go out of our way to offend others, but the truth of God’s Word must be our priority.
Then, we’ll find out the truth of Paul’s prayer request. We pray that the Word of Christ will spread and increase. We pray that many will accept it. And we pray that those who deliver it will have God’s divine protection.
Question: Do you see any differences between the way the Gospel spread in the early church and how it spreads in our present experience?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi