Summary: If we are going to be successful in fulfilling our calling, our faith must be eveident for everyone to see
• Once we become a Christian, what are we to do? Should there be anything different about what we do with our lives, should there be a different focus for our lives than what we had before we came to Jesus? What should we be doing with ourselves as we await the return of Jesus?
• This is the subject matter of the book of 1 Thessalonians. Chuck Colson has a book out called, “How Now Shall We Live?” This is a good statement of purpose for the book of 1 Thessalonians. What should we be doing with ourselves while we are living out our lives waiting for Jesus to return?
• Our belief and faith in Jesus should have a profound effect on our lives and our priorities in life. Too many times, that is not happening in our lives, then we wonder why we are not winning the lost to Jesus, or even worse, we do not care.
• In the book we are going to study, Paul is going to deal with how we are to live our lives. If you notice as you read the book, you will see that each chapter in the book references the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus.
• If we really believe in Jesus, then our lives will be impacted by the fact that Jesus is going to return at anytime and that once He comes, for those who are lost, it will be too late. Knowing these things should affect our priorities and focus for life.
• Many times we do not reach the lost because we have not allowed Jesus to work in our lives past our morality. We get into personal comfort zones and we do not want Jesus to take us past that. In today’s text, we will see the gospel’s affect on the Christian. Once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior your mission is not over, it is just beginning.
• The city of Thessalonica had to look like a lost cause. The city was the capitol of the Macedonian providence; it was a center of trade, commerce and pagan religions. In Acts 17 we have the account of Paul starting the church. It was less than 20 years after Jesus had ascended into heaven. The field proved to be difficult but fertile, although Paul had to leave because some of the Jews were going to kill him. Paul left the city for Berea, Acts 17:10-11 says, “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
• Paul is writing the letter to help the people to understand that Jesus’ return should have an impact on all areas of their lives.
• How has Jesus affected your life? Our text today will show us how He must affect our lives if we are going to be effective in spreading the gospel to the world.
• The gospel will only advance if Christians are sold out to Jesus! People will see evidence of our salvation. Our lives should be evidence for everyone to see!
I. WORK OF FAITH
This is the reason we serve.
A. One of the things that the world will see is our faith. If we are going to be able to spread the gospel, our faith must be marked by labor.
1. READ JAMES 2:15-17, 26
2. Just think what would happen if none of us had a working faith, what would happen to the church? Would it grow? Would it die? What would happen to the lost, they would stay lost!
3. All aspects of the Christian life stem from our response of faith
4. The faithful person will show his faith by his activity. If our activity for Jesus is confined to Sunday our faith is not very alive.
5. There is no such thing as a “sort of” Christian. If your faith is not working, your faith is either non-existent or it is very weak.
6. I have heard people say that they have faith, but they just are not doing anything right now, they are not going to church or doing much anything else for the Lord.
7. They have made up some system of religion instead of following, serving, and loving Jesus. Their religion tells them to please themselves, then later try to claim salvation after of life of serving themselves.
8. 2CO 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
9. Some of the new things that come are what we do with our lives when we are saved. Which direction is your life pointed today? What kind of works are you doing, selfish or selfless?