by David Sisler
The negotiations were over. The books had been opened and gone over with a fine-toothed comb. Everything had been agreed on. Lines of credit had been established. The purchase price had been met and the man was now the owner of his own business.
Less than a week after he signed the papers, one of his drivers stopped him and said, “I just saw the president of the Savings and Loan. He wants to see you in his office today.”
The man replied, “I don’t know the gentleman. I am very busy today. I will see him sometime next week.
The driver said, “You don’t understand. He said you owe his financial institution $50,000.”
“Wait a minute!” the man said. “I don’t even know him and he says I owe him $50,000?”
So the man went to the S & L. The president informed him that the corporation he had purchased less than seven days before, had earlier co-signed a note for another individual. That person had defaulted on the note, and said the president, “You owe us $50,000.”
Bluffing and stalling for time, the man said, “If that transaction is not recorded in our corporate minutes, then it is not a legal transaction and I do not owe you the money.” When the minutes were examined there was no record of the transaction. The president of the S & L pushed his glasses up on his forehead, leaned back in his chair and said, “Sorry for the misunderstanding. Thanks for coming in.”
And with that, a $50,000 debt the man did not even know he owed, was canceled.
Commenting on the incident several years later, the man said, “That was my introduction into the world of business. You talk about pressure!”
The believers in Thessalonica knew about pressure. For the first time in the history of the Christian church, believers were suffering intense persecution. They were being asked to renounce Jesus Christ and to embrace Caesar Augustus. The results were mass executions.
Many of the believers were refusing to denounce Jesus, but they were barely hanging on. They were beginning to doubt their faith and their faithfulness. They were beginning to doubt whether they were worthy of what Jesus had done for them. They were beginning to wonder if there was any way they would have the courage to continue serving Jesus.
To encourage them, the Apostle Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians, a very short letter, containing less than 50 verses. He said:
“We always thank God for you because your faith is growing more and more. The love everyone of you has for each other is also growing. We brag about you to the other churches. We tell them about the way you continue to be strong and have faith.
“You are being treated badly and are suffering many troubles,” Paul said, “but you continue with strength and faith. God will do what is right. He will give trouble to those who trouble you. When the Lord Jesus comes to receive glory with His holy people, you will be in that group of believers because you believed what we told you.”
Many believers do not understand what is happening when pressure comes because they were never told to expect it. So many dishonest preachers have painted a painless faith and many Christians have become disheartened to the point of giving up.
Paul told the Thessalonians, “The pressure on believers lets up when Jesus returns in all His glory. At that time there will be no more death, no more suffering, no more pain, no more tears. But for now hang on!”
What about you? Are you wondering whether or not you can take any more pressure? Are you doubting your own personal worth where Jesus Christ is concerned? The Lord says, “I canceled a debt you did not know existed. You could never have paid it. Alone, you won’t make it. Together we can handle the pressure.”
Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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