Although Paul was an apostle, it was proper for him not to take hospitality for granted, and he waited until Lydia insisted. Similarly, when Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee, he ignored the apostles until they called out to him, “Master, save us!” (Mark 6:48-51).
Posts Tagged ‘ Macedonia ’
Paul had tried to persuade Apollos to go back to Corinth, but it was not convenient for him to return until later. The account does not state what the hindrance was with Apollos. Earlier in this epistle, Paul wrote that he had planted and Apollos had watered (1 Cor. 3:6). Paul thought highly of Apollos, even though they differed doctrinally for a while. Apollos had brought many to Christ, he was zealous and courageous, and he was willing to be instructed. Even prior to his enlightenment on the subject of baptism, he was commended as being full of faith in the Spirit and mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:24,25). Paul properly weighed matters.
In addition to the long list of sins in verses 9 and 10 for which the Law was made, Paul added, “And if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” Many other sins are contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, who used the Old Testament extensively. The consecrated should become thoroughly familiar with the New Testament and its sound doctrine, and in doing so, they should see the need to study the Old Testament—in other words, God’s Word in its entirety.
Gaius did well to ignore Diotrephes and to continue to entertain the pilgrim brothers, yet Diotrephes spoke against them when they visited the ecclesia. He also spoke maliciously against the apostles. John indicated that if he visited that ecclesia, he would remember what Diotrephes had done and would not just cover everything over with “love.” John would take action and sharply rebuke him.
Possibly one reason John wrote this epistle is that he had heard what was going on, and he knew of Gaius’s hospitality. Also, he knew that Diotrephes would castigate Gaius and excommunicate him from the class. In fact, Gaius may already have been excommunicated, and if so, John would be encouraging him.
It is also possible that the Kremlin, concerned by the rapidly evolving and strengthening European superstate, could decide it needs to send the EU and the West a shot across the bow. The provocation by the Kremlin of a military or energy crisis in a place like Serbia, or maybe Ukraine, would certainly caution Berlin and Brussels against ignoring the strategic interests of its eastern neighbor. It would also likely bring Germany and Europe to the negotiating table with Russia.
Whatever happens, history demands that we keep an eye on the Balkans. And so does Bible prophecy.
Paul introduced the subject matter of verses 13–15 not only because some of the consecrated had died but because the thought had become prevalent that the consecrated would live right into the Kingdom. Paul was trying to straighten out the misconception of the Thessalonians and also to set the order straight in regard to the consecrated being with Jesus. The sleeping saints would be with Christ ahead of those who were alive at his presence. Paul was assuring the Thessalonians that not only would those who died before Jesus’ return not miss out but they would be with Jesus first—they would receive their change prior to the ones who were alive and remaining. When some of the dedicated Christians died, the Thessalonians who had the wrong viewpoint wondered why they themselves were still alive, and they began to question their own relationship with the Lord.
To harmonize all of the Scriptures pertaining to the Second Advent, we must start with the premise that God knows what He is doing and what He is saying and that He does not contradict Himself. Therefore, we must view the subject in a cautious manner and not allow ourselves to be so impressionable that we just blabber words which do not make sense. The dramatic texts indicate that a period of time is involved with various activities. To be seated on a horse indicates that Jesus comes as a General, overcoming something—he will judge Babylon and tear down the system. To come seated on a white cloud with a sharp sickle in his hand means he is doing a Harvest work as the Chief Reaper (Rev. 14:14). To be seated on the right hand of the power of God means that he comes with dictatorial power and authority—with an iron rod (Rev. 2:27). He will brook no interference. His word will be law, and every knee will have to bow to him (Rom. 14:11).
At first, verse 8 seems to be a contradiction: “I do not repent, though I did repent.” The point is that Paul had some second thoughts as to the wisdom he had used in his stern first letter, but now he rejoiced and no longer had any regrets, for the desired results were achieved. He had expostulated and given the Corinthians a tongue-lashing and commanded them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to take action. Subsequently, he questioned the propriety of the way he had expressed the advice, asking himself, “Did I handle the matter correctly?” But now, having heard the results, he was assured not only that what he had done was right but that he had done it in the proper manner.
Paul wrote the Epistle to the Philippians while he was under house arrest in Rome. The epistle was from both Paul and Timothy, for Timothy was with him when the letter was written to the elders, the deacons, and the rest of the church at Philippi. A chief city of Macedonia, Philippi was a stopping-off point in the land route to Athens, Corinth, and Rome. This land route was especially used at certain times of the year when the sea route was treacherous. Philippi was an established ecclesia with bishops (elders) and deacons (plural). By including them in the salutation, Paul showed that he knew them personally. There were several reasons for this personal touch, as follows:
The Philippian brethren were laying up treasure in heaven by their love and concern for Paul. They were storing up “credit” with God for the day of the Lord’s appearance. Their consistency of giving was not equaled by any other church. The others gave only sporadically if at all. Paul labored over the Philippian brethren like a mother, and seeing their development gave him great satisfaction. He especially appreciated them because they seemed to respond more than any other ecclesia. They were his “joy and crown” (Phil. 4:1).