New Testament Church the HMS Comfort

HMS Comfort

The following is from the new Way of Life Commentary Series, The Thessalonian Epistles, scheduled for publication soon: “Paul prays that God will ‘comfort your hearts’ (2 Th. 2:16-17). As we saw in the introduction, comfort is a major theme of the Thessalonian epistles (1 Th. 2:11; 3:2; 4:18; 5:11, 14; 2 Th. 2:16, 17). In this present life, there is a great need for comfort, because of the effects of sin, the groaning and travailing of the fallen world (Ge. 3:17; Job 5:7; Ro. 8:22-23), tribulation and persecution (1 Th. 3:4; 2 Ti. 3:12), the weakness of the soul (Ps. 42:5, 6, 11; 43:5; 119:83), chastening (2 Co. 2:7), the care of the churches (2 Co. 7:6-7, 13; Php. 2:19), and sickness and death (Joh. 11:19). This is a painful, troublesome, comfortless world, but there is great comfort in the gospel. The Father is the God of all comfort (2 Co. 1:3) who comforts us in all our tribulation (2 Co. 1:4) and comforts those that are cast down (2 Co. 7:6). Christ is the comforting Saviour (Mt. 9:22; Mr. 10:49; Lu. 8:48; Joh. 14:18). The Holy Spirit is the Comforter sent by the Father and the Son (Joh. 15:26; Ac. 9:31). The believer can always find comfort in his Saviour God, and that is where we must seek our comfort above all. Our hope must not be in man. God is the Rock in which we can hide. God has provided comfort by the Scriptures (Ro. 15:4), by preaching and testifying (1 Co. 14:3, 31), by pastoral ministry (1 Th. 2:11), by prayer (Col. 2:2; 2 Th. 2:17), by fellowship (1 Th. 5:11). The New Testament church is God’s appointed institution of comfort. It is the place of comfort for the saints, and it proclaims comfort to the world by the gospel. The United States operates two hospital aid ships, one named the USNS Mercy and the other the USNS Comfort. These massive ships (each a 1000-bed floating hospital with 10 operating rooms, four intensive care wards, an emergency room, full medical labs, the latest technology) travel the world providing aid for the needy, particularly in times of natural disasters. In 2015, the USNS Comfort provided care for more than 120,000 patients (including 1,200 surgeries) in 11 countries in the Caribbean and South and Central America. The United States learned the concept of comfort from God’s Word. Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome had no comfort ships! What a beautiful picture of the church of Jesus Christ! The church is the HMS Comfort. (Historically, HMS is a British nomenclature for Her Majesty’s Ship, but the church is His Majesty’s Ship.) The world seeks comfort apart from God and the things of God, through friendships, romance, religion, alcohol and drugs, movies and music, psychology and yoga and fantasy, but the comfort of this world is vain and temporal. For those without the Saviour, there is zero comfort in the next life, not even a drop of water. Abraham said to the rich man in hell, ‘now he [Lazarus the poor man] is comforted, and thou art tormented’ (Lu. 16:25). Comfort must be sought from the God of comfort before it is too late.”

(Friday Church News Notes, September 24, 2021,, 866-295-4143)