Based on Biblical Text: 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 KJV
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power; 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.
We learn the truth of the gospel message is that all of life is a prelude to that day of the Lord, when He shall come riding on the clouds to claim His own. We understand that this place is not our home and that we are pilgrims passing through, and we shall not rest until we rest in Him.
In our text, we find the Apostle Paul praying as the church at Thessalonica is overwhelmed with an intense, although unwholesome expectancy of the approach of God’s judgment day. Paul writes the letter to dampen their premature excitement and calm their anticipation. Paul knew then, and warns us now, that nothing has the potential to hinder the spread of the gospel more than the premature expectation of Christ’s return. Paul had to remind them and reminds us that, “we know not the day nor the hour when He shall appear.”
As he pens this epistle, we see that there are several times when he actually turns away from his main thoughts and utters a prayer. We can conclude that when the need for prayer presses upon us, we should stop everything and pray!
Paul’s prayers are the embodiment of tenderness and the love of a true Christian teacher who seeks to minister to God’s people. He reminds us that it is a weak love that cannot express itself in prayer. Paul says, “We pray for you, that God would count you worthy of your calling” obviously focusing on the future coming of Jesus Christ, and the Judgment and bringing us face to face with God’s future judgment of all people.
A popular theme among Christians highlights the truth that “he who trusts in Jesus Christ will not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life.” Paul challenges us to understand that it is equally true that “judgment will begin at the house of God” and “The Lord will judge His people.” In other words, we, who by virtue of our professed Christianity, are nearest to God, can be sure that we will be examined thoroughly by Him, as we stand in the revealing light of His holy presence. We can expect that every flaw, corrupt speck and sin, will be exposed. None of us who are partakers of the covenant promise will escape the righteous judgment of God. We must understand that the doctrine of forgiveness does not mean that He will allow our sin to remain on us, un-judged or un-avenged. God will judge us.
God will judge our calling! Not our vocational duty to the community, our church attendance record, or our diligence to serve in one auxiliary or another. God will judge the reality of our being summoned by Him to be His!
It is God Himself who calls us. He calls us by the Gospel. It is that great voice of Jesus extending the invitation of love that summons us. He summons us to holiness. Paul says Jesus summons us, “unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth.”
We are summoned by the Gospel that reminds us of the sacrifice and life of Jesus Christ. We are called to a life of self-crucifixion. We are challenged to bring our flesh into subjection to the Will of God and to aspire after God. We are summoned to live a holy life according to Jesus’ example.
Therefore, considering who it is that summons us, by what He summons, and to what He calls us, we are compelled to yield to the most sincere motives, the highest standards, and the most stringent obligations of life. It is safe to conclude that this mission merits our best response.
God calls us to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called!” The question clearly becomes, what sort of life will be counted worthy? We must examine ourselves to ascertain whether or not our life corresponds to His Divine purpose in calling us to Him. We must ask ourselves, can I say, “Lord, Thou art mine, and I am thine and my life is a living witness of our marriage?” Can we say, “Lord, I have banished self; I am full of God, and the life which I live in the flesh I live not to myself, but to Him that died for me?”
Jesus’ reputation is in our hands. People will judge Him by us. If we are worthy of our calling, people will be drawn to Jesus by the faithfulness of our discipleship. We are the best evidence of the power of the Gospel. If it can change you and me, it can change anyone.