Summary: Paul closes this letter with some good tecahing about the family. (1 Thessalonians pt - 6)
1 Thessalonians Part Six
Today is our sixth and final message from Paul’s letter to the Christians in Thessalonica. We have learned much from this letter that Paul wrote nearly 2,000 years ago to a group of believers who were relatively new in the faith. They have shown us what it means to have a model faith, to have a faith worth talking about (to have work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ) . We also uncovered in this letter, 5 characteristics of a good leader; good leaders are people who: have courage, are driven by purpose, have integrity, they are people who care and they are people who are right with God.
In week 3 three we talked about parenting in a nutshell; we learned from 1 Thessalonians that the objective, the target, that the goal of parenting is to raise our children to live lives worthy of God. And we also talked about the process by which we can achieve that objective; by encouraging our children (with our: presence, our touch, with God’s Word, and with our words), AND by comforting and urging our children through our example and discipline...
2 weeks ago God challenged us to go to the deep end - to leave the waters of shallow Christianity behind us... We talked about how the deep end is where all the fun is (it is where you part seas, slay 10 foot giants, win battles, sing praises while in prison and bring walls tumbling down)....
And last week we talked about the second coming of Jesus Christ. We were told how to prepare for His coming and everyone was given a plastic fork to remind themselves that for the Christian the best is yet to come.......
Paul was without any doubt whatsoever proud of these new Christians in Thessalonica (he called them his hope and his joy), these guys really had it going. They were definitely on the right track... They were living in such a way that God could really do some powerful and incredible things through them - Ephesians 3:20 kind of things.... “God is able to do FAR MORE than we could ever ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes...”
And Paul wanted them to keep on growing - to keep on going down that narrow road, he wanted them to keep on living the kind of lives that God can really bless and use -- THEREFORE, as Paul concludes this letter he reminds them of what they are... And in doing so also reminds us (those of us at Central) of what we are...
1979 was a tough year for me - the Baltimore Orioles were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series ( a team that beat them in 1971).... Well, we lost again in 79... And the Pirate Team that year all through the season, and through the series had a theme song that they keep playing over & over again...it drove me crazy.... “We are......family.....”
That is what Paul reminds the Thessalonian Christian’s of in the last 16 verses of this letter; that they are “family.” One of Paul’s favorite terms for desribng believers was “brothers.” In the 13 books of the bible he wrote, Paul uses the word “brothers” over 60 times, he uses it 27 times in 1 & 2 Thessalonians, it 5 times in our text; (verses; 12, 14, 25, 26, 27). And Paul in doing so, reminds them and he reminds us, that we who claim Christ as Lord are family.
Listen to a view scriptures that support this truth;
“You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds...” 1 Pe 3:8 (LB)
Galatians 6:10 calls us, “...the family of believers”
Hebrews 2:11 says, “we are of the same family...”
1 Peter 4:17 calls us; “the family of God...”
Paul wants the Thessalonians to keep growing, AND he wants them to grow as a family. And because Family Matters (whether your physical family or your church family), because family matters, Paul found it necessary as he closed this letter to talk about family matters. That’s what we are going to do today - talk about family matters and the two major heading for our discussion are; Family Responsibilities and Family Policy.
I heard about a Little League coach who during a game, said to one of his players, “Do you understand what team work is?” The little boy nodded. “Do understand that what matters is whether we win as a team?” The boy said, “Yes.” The coach continued, “When a strike is called, or you are out at first, you don’t argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all of that?” The boy nodded. “Good,” the coach said, “Now go over an explain to your mother!”