This post is following on the heels of yesterdays post. If you have not read yesterdays, please go back and read it before reading this one.
As I wrote yesterday, if we do not have discipleship we fall, so I write again today. Discipleship is a very important aspect of Christianity. If we are not discipling new believers and even mature believers, there is no growth. The believer can fall back into sin, or into another form of sin and not even know it. Just them reading their Bibles may not be enough. We see regularly where people have twisted Scripture into something that it never meant to say. So, those who say they can just read Scripture and know they are sinning are not wrong, but they are not completely correct.
We see this in 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5. Yes, they did not have the Bible we have now then to study so it was easier for them to falter. Maybe this is correct. Maybe they had the Old Testament in many of these churches too. We are not sure of that. Regardless of that situation, Paul was concerned that this fledgling church would falter and be led astray by the “tempter” tempting them (3:5).
One of the most important aspects of this text we see is that Paul deeply desired to be back with them (2:17-18; 3:1-3). He wanted to be there and disciple them and grow them. He wanted to make sure they had a sure footing in the faith. He wanted them to be able to withstand the struggles of this life. He wanted them to be able to hold out against the temptations of the tempter. To state it in a simple form, he loved them.
Do we love other believers? That is the question we must ask ourselves. Do we? Do we love them enough to sacrifice all we have and our comfort for them? Do we? Are we willing to set aside some of our life ambitions so we can see new believers come to maturity? Do we have a Fatherly, or Motherly, longing for other believers?
These are the questions we must ask ourselves. If we cannot answer yes on them then maybe we need to bend our hearts to God in prayer and ask for this deep love. If we do not do so, we will lose many to the world. The tempter will come and tempt them away. When hard times come they will wander astray. It is our duty as believers to be discipling others. We cannot just sit back and expect them to come to us. We have to seek them out and volunteer ourselves to them. Paul went around and strengthened many. Jesus called them to Himself.
As I said yesterday, if we do not disciple them and train them rightly, we can be certain the world will. The world will take them and mold them into perfect little minions of the evil one. Remember Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). That “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). And that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
These powers do not want any person to become a believer. If one does they do all they can to cause that person to fall and be led astray. If we are not discipling other believers, they can be led astray and we already have been because we are not discipling. We have been because we are not doing the work we should be doing. Either we have been led astray by the enemy to think it is not important or been deceived into thinking we are not qualified. Either way, we have been led astray. So, let us today break from these bonds and start training up strong faithful men and women of the Lord, and stop the tempter from tempting them away.