Summary: A life that makes a difference
LIVING A LIFE THAT HAS AN IMPACT FOR JESUS
Acts 17:1-5; 10
1 Thess. 1:1-10
Introduction: This world is in need of people who need our Saviour. He is the one who saved from the sin that plagues every man, woman, boy and girl. It is the sin of being a descendant from Adam. Each believer needs to be an evangelist. Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where to find the bread.
Think about the day you got saved. I remember how clean I felt. I remember the joy that was in my heart of sins forgiven. But I also remember the desire that I had to see others to be saved. Over the years I felt that desire wane. In fact, I have sinned against Almighty God by not witnessing. To compound this wicked sin, I preached about witnessing but rarely did so myself. This church will never rise higher than the leadership. Lee Roberson said that every thing rises and falls on leadership.
This past week, I was challenged and broken over the wicked sin of not winning souls to Jesus Christ. I am not going to brag and tell you that I will you that I will be a great soul winner. But I do not want it to be business as usual.
There was a chorus that we learned in Bible college that I want us to learn and let it be the battle cry for the church.
Souls for Jesus is our battle cry,
Souls for Jesus, we’ll fight until we die,
We will never give in while souls are lost in sin,
Souls for Jesus is our battle cry.
In Acts 17, we see Paul’s trip to Thessalonica. He goes to the cross roads of the Roman Empire. All roads came to this point. So it was really a key place to win people to Christ and start a church. Paul started with the Jews but it spread to the Gentiles also. Paul was in the city on three weeks. In the starting of a church, three weeks are really a drop in the bucket in church planting. The folks who have planted churches tell us that it takes an average of three to five years to properly plant a church. Of course, Paul is not your normal church planter and New Testament times were not your normal church planting times. I believe part of the “success” of Paul was his keen heart to hear and follow entirely the Holy Spirit’s leading.
With the working of the Holy Spirit, Paul won many folks to Christ. Look at verse 4. It says “And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.” Anytime the Lord works in an area, the devil is not going to roll over and play dead. From our reading of chapter 1 and verse 9 of First Thessalonians, we know that this city had idolatry in it. I am not sure what idols they worshipped. It does not really matter what idols. It does matter that they turned from those idols.
When Paul came into town, the demons of the town would stir up the inhabitants of the town. In three weeks, Paul was advised to leave by those he had won to Christ.
In writing 1 Thessalonians, Paul is wondering about those who had gotten saved. He did not know all that was going on in the church, but he knew that a growing thriving church was there. Their faith was spoken of the entire area were the church was. Why? These people did not keep their faith to themselves.
We should all want a life that impacts its world for Christ. As we look at the scriptures today in 1 Thessanlonians chapter 1, we will see three evidences of a life that has an impact for Jesus Christ. Look at verse 3, there are three natural divisions in this church. Let me give them to you and then move on to the message at hand. The three divisions are “work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope” What are these evidences of a life that has an impact for Jesus Christ?
I. IT IS A LIFE THAT IS MARKED BY CHANGE. vs. 3
2 Cor. 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”
“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”