Summary: Looks at the Thessalonians belief in the Word of God and why we too can believe it along with some of the effects of believing and unbelief.
Believing the Word of God
The Message of the Apostles is the Word of God
The Word of God is Reliable
Because the Apostles are Reliable
The Word of God is Powerful
It transforms us as we
Receive God’s word in our minds
Accept God’s word in our hearts
The Word of God is Dangerous
… for those “in Christ” , but only temporarily – opposition and persecution
…for the “enemies of Christ” possibly eternally – the wrath of God
“Don’t believe everything you hear”
In this age of the internet where
rumors spread faster than a wild fire and
people’s opinions are presented as fact,
that is sound advice.
But while it is sound advice to be discerning in what we believe, we often take this to mean “Don’t believe Anything you hear.”
We have become a people who are extremely skeptical of all that we hear.
The simple fact is that we need to give a hearing to some of the things we hear.
The other night, we heard our tornado sirens going off after 10 pm. Most of the family was in bed, but we got everyone up and went downstairs.
Now no tornado came through our subdivision, praise the Lord.
In fact I have never seen a tornado come through our subdivision in the 12 years that I have lived there.
And I can tell you that in those 12 years, our tornado sirens have gone off about 25 or 30 times.
So why would I wake my family up and move us all downstairs?
Well, I can tell you that the rains were coming down, and the wind was picking up and I don’t believe that the people who operate our tornado sirens are trying to play a joke on me or the community.
And even though I have never seen a tornado personally, I have seen the effects of a tornado and I have seen the things that accompany a tornado, the rain and the wind.
I can tell you that when those sirens went off it was raining and the wind was picking up. I don’t doubt that the threat of a tornado was real and it was the right thing to do to hear the sirens and take action as a result of what I heard.
And even though I have never seen a tornado, and none has ever come through my subdivision, the consequences of not hearing and acting could be devastating to my family if I were wrong.
So, it is wise to keep our ears open to hear the things that could change our lives and it would be good to have criteria for assessing what to believe concerning what we hear, or at least to give a hearing to, without dismissing it out of hand.
But what about in matters of faith?
How can we assess the truth claims of systems of belief?
And is it really that important that we deal with this now, can’t it all just get sorted out after we die?
Well, I would urge you to not wait until after you die, because the consequences upon you and your family could be great.
This morning, I am going to talk about the word of God as we look at 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16. (Turn there in your Bibles).
We are going to look at their belief and why it was rational to believe and consider the consequences of both belief and unbelief of the word of God.