Summary: God will help you to be a dad who makes a difference. Here’s how...

Part 2: Dads that Make a Difference

(Series: Heavenly Help for Your Family)

1 Thessalonians 2:4-13

Sermon by: Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - June 18, 2006

*On this Father’s Day in 2006, I hope you are thankful for Dad. I hope you can look back and say, “I had a dad who made a difference!”

*And if you have the privilege of being a father this morning, I’ve got some great news for you today... --God wants to help you be a dad who makes a difference.

1. First of all, God will take away your guilt...

*Paul reminds us of this in vs. 4, when he mentions the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus Christ. *Paul said: -But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

*In other words: -God has trusted us with the Gospel and we speak the Gospel...

-Because that is what God wants us to do.

*God wanted them to speak the Good News, because He wanted us to hear the Good News! -That He loves you, that He sent His Son to take the punishment for your sins, that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose again to take away all of your guilt...

-If you will trust in Him.

*Paul knew all about guilt. Before he met Jesus, he was full of self-righteousness and murderous hatred, but Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus one day, and Paul heard the good news of the Cross.

*Paul was guilty... -But he found out that God can take away our guilt...

-And that’s what God wants to do in your life, because you are guilty too.

*All of us fail. All of us fall short. All of us need to be forgiven...

-And God wants to take your guilt away.

*I am not just talking about feelings of guilt, although Jesus Christ will take those away too...

*By the way, some guilty feelings are actually good for us. The Bible calls it Godly sorrow. --Guilty feelings that help us turn away from sin and turn toward the Savior.

*The people in the greatest danger today are the ones who justify themselves, and admit no guilt before God.

*But I am not just talking about guilty feelings; I am talking about the facts. And the fact is that you are guilty, and so am I. Without Jesus Christ, we all stand guilty in the Court of Heaven, and it doesn’t matter how we plead. We are guilty before the highest court in the universe.

*But Paul found forgiveness and so can you! If you are alive today, it’s not too late for you! William Barclay reminded us of this when he wrote about the Lord’s miraculous mercy to the thief on the cross beside Him...

-That thief said: “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

-And Jesus told him: “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

*Barclay then remembered a poet who compared the thief on the cross to a man who was killed as he was thrown from his galloping horse. And the poem said this:

-Between the stirrup and the ground,

-Mercy I asked... --Mercy I found. (1)

*God will take away your guilt right now, but what do you have to do? Just do what these people did down in vs. 13. Paul said:

-We thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men...

-But as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

*Forgiveness is found in the Word of God! You just have to receive it and believe it...

-Receive the Good News about Jesus Christ...

-Believe in Him and receive Him as your Savior and Lord.

2. You know I’m not just talking to Dads today, but Dad, God will take you guilt away.

-And He will give you the goodness you need.

*The world needs good men! James McCullen once heard Zig Ziglar say that there are 40,000 male prisoners in Texas prisons. Then he said very few of them had a good relationship with their father.

*McCullen even heard that one year Hallmark Cards offered to give free Father’s Day Cards for the prisoners to send to their fathers, and sadly, no one took them. (2)

*The world needs good men. Your family needs a good man. Your children need a good father, and the good news is that God can fill you with all the goodness you need!

*That’s how Paul got it. He was a good man. We see this so clearly in vs. 5-10. Listen to it from the New Living Testament:

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