Contributed on Jun 4, 2007
An ideal church is made up of Christians who sense no constraint to follow the crowd and are eager to learn and obey God’s Word.
Starting Down the Thessalonian Thoroughfare (I Thessalonians 1:1, Acts 17:1-12) 1.) Author: Paul (with Silas and Timothy) Original language: Greek Date written: 51A.D. Written from Corinth, where Silas and Timothy had rejoined Paul after checking up on the Thessalonian church. "This is a ...read more
Contributed on Jun 11, 2007
Seemingly minor adjustments can have far-reaching consequences; this is especially true in the spiritual realm.
Subtle Changes With Big Consequences (I Thessalonians 1:1-3) One of the fringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. I have pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student ...read more
Contributed on Jun 18, 2007
Many of us are special objects of God’s love -- not because we are special, but because He made us special in His eyes.
Beloved of God (I Thessalonians 1:4-6) Intro (acknowledging Father’s Day) 1. A clergyman walking down a country lane and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off. "You look hot, my son," said the cleric. "Why don’t you rest a moment, and I’ll ...read more
Contributed on Jun 25, 2007
An example can be a powerfully driving force, even an ancient example like that of the Thessalonians.
Spontaneous Combustion (I Thessalonians 1:7-10) 1. Many people believe in the theory of Spontaneous Human Combustion. Others say it is merely an urban legend. 2. According to an article from Wikipedia, those who believe that Spontaneous Human Combustion is true describe some of their ...read more
Contributed on Jul 2, 2007
How and why we serve the Body of Christ is as important as what we do.
The Right Thing in the Right Way for the Right Reasons (I Thessalonians 2:1-12) 1. Our church has not always been a peace. We have had our conflicts over the years, and I have sometimes been labeled this way or that. 2. One challenge a church leader has in such situations is this: Do I ...read more
Contributed on Jul 16, 2007
Serving God means more than passive compliance; it also takes proactive zeal. This zeal shows itself in many ways, but today we will look at only two.
Determined Believers (I Thessalonians 2:13-16) 1. Sometimes we have to create words to express concepts in the Bible, but words the Bible does not use, like The Bible, Trinity, Theology, Services, and mentoring, to name a few. 2. But, when possible, it is usually best to stick with Biblical ...read more
Contributed on Jul 23, 2007
Sometimes we can become so sophisticated in our theology that we forget some simple but crucial truths.
The Devil Wouldn’t Let Me Do It (I Thessalonians 2:17-20) 1. One day I came down with the "Sam" bug. 2. I was grazing with my remote, going through the channels. 3. Low and behold, my attention was set upon one of the Christian stations. 4. Three couples were talking about sin and the ...read more
Contributed on Aug 1, 2007
When we really care about those we influence for God, we experience a broad-spectrum of intense feelings.
The Emotional Intensity of Caring (I Thessalonians 3:1-8) 1. Pastor Marc Axelrod shared this: ? My nephew Justin is a Marine. Right now, he’s going through boot camp. And other than me, he is probably the only Christian in the family. And so Jeanne and I have been praying for him alot. It’s ...read more
Contributed on Aug 8, 2007
So for now, Something is missing.
What Is Lacking In Your Faith? (I Thessalonians 3:9-13) 1. Some people always feel like there is something missing from their lives. 2. Other people feel content though they have little in all realms. Alan McCann said, "The scourge of Christianity is being saved and stuck – thinking that ...read more
Contributed on Aug 13, 2007
Christian sexual ethics are oriented toward the long-term and contrary to society’s values and contrary to our fallen human natures.
Sexuality and Holiness (I Thessalonians 4:1-8) 1. The Slavic peoples today populate several nations: the Czech Repulic, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Ukrania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. 2. During Medieval times, the Slavic peoples were ready ...read more
Contributed on Aug 31, 2007
What impresses Christians is not necessary what impresses lost people; but both groups are impressed by genuineness.
Inside Outside (I Thessalonians 4:9-12) 1. Sometimes it is difficult to impress people. 2. During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized. "Well," said the Director, "we fill up a ...read more
Contributed on Sep 4, 2007
God does not want us to be ignorant about the rapture. We need the hope and endurance that knowledge about the rapture brings.
The Massive Exit (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) 1. Operation Evacuation Various Christian groups have been helping flooded areas recently. Here is an August 29, 2007 report: "ROCHESTER, Minn. (BP)--More than 570 disaster relief volunteers from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention and ...read more
Contributed on Sep 10, 2007
Although Christians might disagree as to when the rapture takes place, there are three truths about the coming Day of the Lord that no Bible-believing Christian can deny.
A Thief in the Night: The Plot Thickens (I Thessalonians 5:1-4) 1. Intro: The dreaded words every English or Math teacher hears are also dreaded by Pastors who teach the whole counsel of God. We don’t want to hear you ask, "What do I need this for?" 2. The Christian life is a life that is ...read more
Contributed on Sep 17, 2007
Those of us who are in Christ have great privileges, like a heads-up knowledge of end time events; nonetheless, with great privilege comes great responsibility.
Daylight, The Saving Time I Thessalonians 5:5-11 1. Some people have it all wrong. 2. A man flew into Chicago & hired a taxi to take him downtown. As he was riding along they came to a red light & the driver went right on through the red light. The man said, "Hey, the light was red. ...read more
Contributed on Sep 24, 2007
Working harmoniously alongside church leaders has its challenges and raises a lot of questions. Fortunately, God does not leave us in the dark! The text before us raises and answers a number of questions about the interaction of church leaders to the c
Both Sides of Authority (I Thessalonians 5:12-13) 1. It is tough to be in leadership. 2. A “lame duck” President met with his successor in the Oval Office. Near the end of the orientation, he presented the incoming leader three numbered envelopes, with specific instructions to open them, in ...read more
Contributed on Oct 1, 2007
Although we do not need to verbally label people, we need to understand where different people are at in their lives and thinking if we are to significantly help them. We need to develop our people skills and direct them toward growth.
Our Responsibility to Make Judgment Calls (I Thessalonians 5:14) 1. A New Barna report came out this week (Sept 07): "The new study shows that only 3% of 16 - to 29-year-old non-Christians express favorable views of evangelicals… "… Among young non-Christians, nine out of the top 12 ...read more
Contributed on Oct 9, 2007
Although leaders in a church are crucial, the real strength or weakness of Christianity is found in its laymen, those who populate the pews and live out their Christian values throughout the week.
Sweet and Sour Christians (I Thessalonians 5:15) 1. A society cannot be governed if most of its members do not buy into its laws. The English philosopher, John Locke, who set the tone for the American Revolution, in his Second Treatise, wrote "the ruling power ought to govern by declared and ...read more
Contributed on Oct 22, 2007
God has specific plans for your life, but our priority is following His broader will which reflects His desire for every believer. Paul informs us that is is God’s will that we practice three habits; when we do, they have positive consequences on our
Joyful, Prayerful, Thankful (I Thessalonians 5:16-18) 1. A young fellow by the name of Sammy liked to hang out at Mom and Pop’s Grocery Store. Pop didn’t know what Sammy’s problem was, but the other boys would tease him all the?time, calling him Slow Sammy, and punching him on the shoulder as ...read more
Contributed on Oct 29, 2007
Although all different kinds of nonsensical things are taught under the guise of prophecy, God can still lead us to say something to someone else.
Freedom and Restriction in the Church (I Thessalonians 5:19-20) 1. A few months ago, I read a fascinating book titled "Cultures and Organizations." 2. It evaluated different nations on tha basis of things like power distance or future vs. short term orientation. 3. One big difference between ...read more
Contributed on Nov 5, 2007
God wants us to be both discerning and selectivist as a matter of habit.
The Relentless Quizzer (I Thessalonians 5:21-22) Intro 1. The hardest courses I took during my time at Moody Bible Institute was New Testament Greek, 16 hours, 4 courses. 2. One of my teachers was Mr. Wise and Greek quizzes: I think it was 14 days in a row. 3. In some ways, God calls us ...read more
Contributed on Nov 12, 2007
Just as the two Great Commandments are both vertical and horizontal, so spiritual growth comes predominantly from vertical and horizontal sources.
North, South, East and West (1 Thessalonians 5:23-28) Like an X and Y axis in Algebra, so spiritual growth comes from both vertical and horizontal directions. 1. God has a lot of work to do in our lives; for some of us, God has cleared away the biggest hurdles, but there are plenty of lesser ...read more
Contributed on Nov 26, 2007
Once we have come to know Christ, the rest of our life should be spent in pursuit of spiritual growth as disciple of Jesus Christ. Let’s look at two of many reasons why this is so.
Evidence (2 Thessalonians 1:1-5) 1. I received a call from the Kokomo Perspective about my opinion regarding the movie, "The Golden Compass." 2. Although the movie is toned down from the books, the author of the series is an avid atheist with an anti-Christian agenda. 3. Many movies assume an ...read more
Contributed on Dec 3, 2007
The Christian life is lived in the here and now with strength borrowed from the future.
Everlasting Destruction or Eternal Life? (2 Thessalonians 1:6-12) 1. We have many jokes about the subject of hell. Consider the supposed story of the Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet ...read more
Contributed on Dec 12, 2007
When you are not well grounded, you are easily tossed to and fro.
End Time Confusion (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4) 1. Ever since the days of the early Church, there have been False Teachings about the Coming of the Lord. Let me list just a few Deceptions. • In A.D.135, a man named Montanus proclaimed that the New Jerusalem would soon descend from heaven to earth ...read more
Contributed on Dec 31, 2007
Paul provided us with significant bits of information about the End Times and the coming of the Antichrist.
The End Times and God’s Timetable (2 Thessalonians 2:6-12) 1. Things can change quickly in modern society. Take this Associate Press story. 2. PARIS - From next week, one of France’s most iconic institutions — the smoky cafe — will be but a hazy memory. The extension of France’s smoking ...read more
Contributed on Jan 18, 2008
We are not special because we are particularly talented, particularly well-behaved, or born into prestigious families. We are special because we know God.
We Are Special (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17) Confidence in God…but confidence in others? To some degree, yes. When we believe in others and have confidence in them, they are more prone to: (1) excel (2) be encouraged (3) develop and grow (4) venture forth This is especially easy to ...read more
Contributed on Jan 21, 2008
We can fellowship with God and His workers around the world, no matter where we are.
Part of God’s Team: Our Primary Identity (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5) 1. Immaturity begins with birth: at first, it is all about us. 2. Some mature more than others. 3.Typically, we then are wrapped up in our families, which are extensions of ourselves. Some never advance beyond this. ...read more
Contributed on Jan 28, 2008
Like God Himself, good Christian leadership means leading in two different manners; leaders must have two sides.
Two-Ply Christian Leadership (2 Thessalonians 3:4-12) 1. Christian leadership is a fascinating study. But it is often paralleled by leadership principles in other realms: "You Attract the People Your System Invites It’s no secret that healthy environments attract healthy people. Healthy ...read more
Contributed on Feb 4, 2008
Is your Christianity getting old and stale?
When the Tank Says "E" (2 Thessalonians 3:13-18) 1. How fresh is our Christianity? Howard Hendricks said, "In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering." 2. Has your faith become stale? Webster defines stale as, "tasteless or unpalatable from age <stale ...read more