Summary: Easter 5(A) - The power of God’s gospel will always cause people to act and react. Sadly, some will reject God’s truth. Gladly others will receive and believe.
GOD’S GOSPEL STIRS TO ACTION (Outline)
May 2, 2010 -
Easter 5 -
INTRO: God’s word always has a very specific purpose to accomplish. We may not always know or completely understand the final purpose of God’s divine plan. God’s ultimate intent in his word is that all men would be saved by coming to a knowledge of the truth. No matter any earthly outcome God’s word does what God wants. "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (ISA. 55:11).
GOD’S GOSPEL STIRS TO ACTION.
I. Sadly, some will reject God’s truth.
II. Gladly, some receive and believe.
I. SADLY, SOME REJECT GOD’S TRUTH
A. Verse 1. Paul came to Thessalonica during his second missionary. He comes to the synagogue.
1. God’s people are at the synagogue. Just as important God’s word is also kept there.
2. Verse 2b. Paul does not speak of his experiences. Nor does Paul use human wisdom.
3. Verse 3. Paul opens up God’s word and places it before them. Christ lived, died, rose again.
B. God’s gospel message does not change. This Jesus is the Christ, Messiah, God’s anointed One.
1. Verse 5. They were jealous of the gospel!? One wonders why any would reject forgiveness.
2. The Jews gather false witnesses and incite the crowd. This also happened to Jesus.
C. Verses 6, 7a. Jason and his friends suffer because of Paul’s preaching of the gospel.
1. Verses 7b, 8. They charge Jesus as King. This would be treason and sedition against Rome.
2. Verse 9. The officials take the easy way out. These jealous Jews reject God’s simple truth.
D. It does seem strange that people would reject God’s gospel. Humanly speaking, this does not seem to make sense concerning God’s divine purpose for salvation. But last week was the same. Stephen saw Jesus enjoying the glory of heaven. With violent jealousy the crowd seized Stephen and stoned him to death. This is the devil at work. Blinded by jealousy or other emotions mankind turns against God. "But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away" (2 CORINTHIANS 3:14). In Christ is the veil of the old covenant removed. Only in Christ can any believer come to believe the way, the truth, and life.
E. We live in a time, a day, and an age of independent, self-reliance. Anyone willing to work hard can make something of himself and his life. This is our land of liberty and freedom that the rest of the world still flocks to. It is a good thing to enjoy such freedom. But there is also a downside. Mankind begins to think he is in charge. He thinks that he is the master of his own destiny. Global warming becomes a con-cern for mankind. In an instant volcanic ash spews forth to cool down Europe. An oil spill becomes a major disaster that man makes but cannot control. God will use nature, the wind and waves, to help clean up the mess man makes. "This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD’" (JEREMIAH 17:5). All of us guilty of trusting in someone or something else so much that our hearts briefly wander from the Lord.
F. Still we wonder why some do not want to hear about God’s forgiveness – the gospel? God’s gospel shows us that the Savior Jesus Christ has removed our sins and the sins of the world once and for all. By nature we are evil. From day one we have been conceived in sin. At birth we are born as enemies of God. On this side of heaven that sinfulness clings to everyone. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed" (JOHN 3:19,20). By nature man loves darkness, evil. Some reject God’s gospel because they do not want to come into that Light which exposes sins. To believe in forgiveness one also has to believe in having done something wrong. None like to recognize sin much less admit it. There is no forgiveness by rejecting God’s gospel.
GOD’S GOSPEL STIRS TO ACTION.
Sadly, so sadly, some will reject God’s truth.
II. GLADLY, SOME RECEIVE AND BELIEVE
A. Paul opens up the word of God to explain God’s truth. This is now his custom, habit, verse 2.