Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sermon - "Avoiding the Fires of Hell" (2 Thessalonians)

Today, Rev. Joshua Patty preached on the second letter to the Thessalonians.  Like 1 Thessalonians, this letter was a response to persecution facing the congregation.  Evidently, some felt that the hard times were part of the "Day of the Lord" or the second coming of Jesus.

This was not so, and the letter addresses fears that such teaching is leading the congregation astray.  Worse, they might be led so far astray that they will be judged by God when the actual "Day of the Lord" arrives, and be found lacking in faith.  Christians must never forget the awful division that will happen then -- between those who will receive salvation and those who face eternal punishment.

The challenge with this letter, which is so rooted in fear of punishment, is that the approach seems so different than that of Jesus himself.  Jesus tried to teach and exemplify a faithful relationship with God through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice, not through fear.

Click here to listen to the sermon.

You can also listen to the related Communion meditation and the closing benediction.