Our Theological Safe Place
In times of difficulty, our faith needs a familiar place. We need a theological safe place. Doctrinally, you've got to go home.
Dreams are weird things and often inexplicable, but there is one consistent theme in my dreams. When my family is in my dream, the setting of it is always my childhood home.
My parents moved from that house during my sophomore year of college. I've lived in five cities and nine houses since then. My wife nor my daughters have ever been in that house. But it doesn't matter. When they are in my dreams, we are always in that brick rancher on Apache Trail.
Maybe it's a comfort thing for my brain. But in my mind, at least in my dreams, I always go home.
Paul is writing to a persecuted church. Things are not going to get better. Where are they going to go for comfort (2Thess 2:16-17)?
Theologically, Paul brings them home.
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.2 Thessalonians 2:13
It is a simple, reliable, theological truth for which we should always be thankful. Thank God, you're saved.
"Thank God, you're saved" is the theological home that we can always return to for comfort.
Return to thanks.
Paul's two letters to the Thessalonians address some difficult issues. There are doctrinal disputes, doubts, and questions. People are passing away, and Christ has not returned. What will become of them? There is rising persecution. Some are falling into deception.
In times of difficulty, we need stability. And as Paul addresses the various issues, he repeatedly returns them to the same place. Six times in two short letters, he calls for them to give thanks (1 Thess. 1:2, 2:13, 3:9, 5:18. 2 Thess. 1:3, 2:13).
In the Lord, there are always reasons to give thanks. We give thanks for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He is going to do.
No matter what is going on around you, thanksgiving is always a place we can return to.
The security of salvation.
In the Thessalonian letters, Paul gives thanks for various reasons, but one of the most repeated reasons is their salvation. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 he is thankful that "God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved."
We can always thank God for salvation because we are undeserving recipients of the riches of his grace. We give thanks that His mercies are new every morning and because He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. We give thanks that even though this world is not what we want it to be, it will not remain like it is. He will make all things new! Give thanks!
Salvation is something we could never gain, but it is a grace gift we will never lose.
He saved us. Give thanks. This truth is our theological safe place.
There's no place like home.
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17.
- What does this passage teach us about God's work and purpose in our salvation?
- What are the commands to be obeyed?
- What are the reasons we should praise God?
Write out or record the story of your salvation. Share it with someone today.