Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain. 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Now I am going to make some of you mad at me by what I am going to say next but I really have a problem with revivals that come to a town or church for a few days or a week and then move on. It is not the message they give or the people who come to Christ while attending but the lack of follow-up. It is all well and good to get people fired up about the Lord. And anytime someone realizes they need Jesus in their lives is a good thing. But when we measure success in numbers of salvations rather than lifetime commitments to the Lord we are wrong. This goes not just for revivals but youth camps and retreats or any short intense effort to convert the unsaved.
The reason I have this problem can be found in Paul’s concerns for the Thessalonians. Satan loves the new convert. He is ready to tempt them in so many ways. Maybe move them toward false doctrine or convince them that a short public prayer, commitment and baptism is all they need do and they can now return to life as it has always been. Yes, once saved always saved but there is more to our salvation then a good beginning. We are called by Christ to go out into the world and preach the Gospel to everyone not get our heads wet and wait for Him to call us home.
Satan is there to tempt even mature Christians. Ever wonder why so many road blocks get in your way when you are following God’s plan? God does not put then there but the tempter does. Satan wants to make it difficult so we will give up. He cannot take away our salvation but he can make us ineffective, if we let him. How much easier a target for Satan is a new believer. They have not studied God’s Word. They have no experience with prayer. They do not know how to defend themselves.
It is up to the mature Christian to ensure each newly saved person has someone to guide them through the learning process. To help them choose a Bible and learn how to study it. To help them move from the old life to a new life in Christ. To get them involved in a church. In essence to be their guide and move them from a baby Christian to a mature Christian. We all need to be more like Paul and not just try to convert by pray for the new Christian and worry about the temptations they will encounter and be there to help them avoid the pitfalls Satan will place in their way.
Have a blessed day,