March 31 - 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 31 - 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. 

I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Not only did the church in Thessalonica have to put up with false teachers showing up, but they received letters from teachers claiming to be Paul. But, this letter would have had his signature or maybe just a mark that would have been recognizable as his. It seems that identity theft has always been an issue for people.

As we close this letter to the Thessalonians, we find Paul extending peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to this young church.  He cared deeply for them and though it was not possible for him to be there in person, he reminded them that he was with them in thoughts and prayers and that the Lord was also with them, no matter what.

When they faced persecution or ridicule for their faith, they were never alone.  The Lord was with them. When they felt lost and alone, the Lord was with them.

The church in Thessalonica continued to grow and the city became a stronghold for Christianity.  When ‘barbarous invaders’ came through, not only was Thessalonica in a prime location to hold them back, but the church also converted many to Christianity.  The history of Thessalonica is colored with bloodshed and wars, massacres and battles. In 1430, it fell to the Turks until 1912 when Greece recaptured in the Balkan war.  Today’s city, Thessaloniki is filled with mosques, churches and synagogues and is Greece’s second major city, as well as a major transportation hub in southeastern Europe.