Summary: Sermon from I Thessalonians 2 - encouraging the church to keep pressing on.
“It’s Not in Vain”
1 Thessalonians Series – Black Creek
The first part of studying the book of 1 Thessalonians led us to seeing that Paul was encouraging and lifting up the members of the body of Christ in Thessalonica. He challenged the church and through his words – challenged us to the following six things:
I. Are we a community rooted in God’s grace, love, and election
II. Are we a community committed to Jesus Christ
III. Are we a community that is empowered by the Holy Spirit
IV. Are we a community that bears witness to the gospel
• Both in how we bear witness and in how we do it
V. Are we a community characterized by faith, love, and hope
VI. Are we a community clearly differentiated from other religions
Through these six points – we see an established foundation upon which Paul has lead the Thessalonican church – WITHOUT THE GRACE, MERCY, AND LOVE OF GOD – The church WOULD NOT EXIST. Also, WITHOUT THE LEADERSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – The church WOULD NOT EXIST.
It would be a social club – instead of a soul-winning station. Just this week, Pastor Bryant Wright posted in his one minute devotion the following: Note this as it is on the screen this AM:
The Local Church and the Neighborhood Bar
"...not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:25
Have you ever thought of the similarities of the local church and the neighborhood bar?
In both places:
...people come looking for fellowship;
...people go where others know their name;
...people go where they are accepted;
...people go where their spirits will be lifted;
...people are united around one theme;
...people go where they like the music.
Like a priest or pastor, the bartender serves by listening to people's troubles. But the differences are profound. The bar is centered on booze and the church is centered on Jesus Christ. The bar offers a way to escape problems. The church offers a way to face them, get through them, and overcome them. The spirit inside the bar lowers one's guard when it comes to temptation and sin. The spirit of the true church encourages people to turn from sin and turn to God.
The bar may be a substitute for the environment of the church, but it never comes close to providing the meaning and purpose found in a Christ-centered church.
This morning, we take the next step in our journey through 1 Thessalonians. We see Paul in the mode of defense. He is defending his team’s work in Thessalonica. Satan is always ready to slander a true man of God. Satan is never happy when a church is moving forward. Satan is never happy when an individual is truly serving the one true God.
Today – through God’s Word – I show you – why – Serving God IS NOT IN VAIN!
TEXT – 1 Thess 2:1-12 – note Reg – use the KJV for the text reading, but use the NIV as we develop the theme.
I. God’s Word NEVER RETURNS VOID
Paul’s passion in ministry comes from a deep-rooted conviction that Jesus is the Christ – that Jesus is who He says He is – and that all in the world need to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. He experienced the LIGHT first hand, He experienced the LOVE first hand – He’s experienced the LIFE of suffering first hand.
We note in verse 1 that Paul says that his journey with the Thessalonicans was “not a failure.”
I submit to you today the reason for this – God’s Word was paramount in everything that was done. When God’s Word comes into play – things change – His Word is the ultimate Gamechanger.
Isaiah 55:11 – So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
God’s Word is:
Infallible – ABSOLUTE TRUTH
Inerrant – WRITTEN WITHOUT ERROR
Complete – EVERYTHING INCLUDED IS TO INSPIRE MEN TO Christ-like
Authoritative – WHEN IT SPEAKS YOU BETTER LISTEN
NOTE – The Bible is NOT a book of suggestions – it is a book of
Sufficient – ALL THAT GOD WANTED TO SAY
Effective – IT IMPACTS LIVES
Isaiah 55:11-12 – God’s Word will always be fulfilled
Determinative – SEPARATED MEN AND WOMEN
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Paul’s heart is on display. He realizes that his ministry is under attack. There are those who do not like what is going on. Thus, once again – He is establishing the fundamental – the word of God.