The conclusion of a book is as important as its introduction. We can all think of those introductions which have grabbed our attention. One thinks of lines such as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and “Call me Ishmael.” But the conclusions also get our attention because they remind us of what an author really considers to be important. This is certainly the case in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. He begins his letter calling to mind that the church of Thessalonica is God’s church. In the conclusion in chapter 5:12-28, he offers exhortations on how that church is to live in light of the fact that it belongs to God. We see in these exhortations principles for honoring church leaders, principles for peace among fellow Christians, and the importance of rejoicing and praying. But all of these commands are rooted in Paul’s benediction in verse 23. Paul writes in that verse, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
How can a Christian really live as one of God’s chosen people? How can a Christian have confidence that they will grow in grace? How can a Christian have the hope that they may endure to the end? It is because God is at work in the life of the believer and because He will keep them blameless. Paul has a settled confidence that “he will surely do it.” God has redeemed His own people from destruction, and He has promised to keep them to the end. Do you have the kind of settled confidence that Paul displays in this passage? Are you hopeful in the power of God to keep you and in the second coming of Jesus Christ?
Paul closes the chapter in verse 28, saying, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” God has been gracious in Jesus Christ and will continue to be gracious to His people. In light of that grace, in light of the faithfulness of God, you may pursue holiness and seek to live as Paul commands in this conclusion. Join us this Sunday as we discuss these things more fully during worship at River City Reformed Church. We meet at 5 PM at The Commons at St. Andrews Church, located at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. For directions, click here, or contact us for more information. You can also join us on FacebookLive@RiverCityARP and on YouTube.