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Summary: As economic, political and international troubles mount, remember that the Church of Christ posesses the only hope for this hopelessness world.

The Church POSSESSES the only HOPE for a world in TROUBLED TIMES. The church has been entrusted with the Gospel, and the Gospel is the only hope to change people's hearts..

Faith Bible Church was established 75 years ago. We are coming close to that anniversary celebration. 1937 was similar to 2012 in many ways. It was a time of concern and trouble on a world wide scale.

1937

unemployment 14.3%

Verge of war

End of the Great Depression

Christian foundation

TODAY

REAL unemployment 15%

ten years of war

Great Recession

LOST Christian heritage

This church was established as a beacon of hope during troubling times!

The CHURCH has always done best in troublesome times!

The REASON? The GOSPEL provides HOPE for those in despair

The church at Thessalonica provides a great example of a local church that made an impact in their community and their world during troubling times. Their spiritual fervor was highly regarded by the church’s founder, the Apostle Paul. He commended them for their witness and testified of the impact that their testimony was having around the world.

Focus on the word "gospel" in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-2:4. You will see the following three truths communicated to this young church.

The CHURCH is

Changed by the Gospel

Entrusted with the Gospel

Proclaimers of the Gospel.

They were CHANGED BY THE GOSPEL

1 Thessalonians 1:4–10 "For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, " "because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. " "You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. " "And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. " "The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, " "for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, " "and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath."

The Thessalonian Church is a WORTHY MODEL for us

NOTE: Emphasis on the GOSPEL

1:4 “our gospel came to you...”

1:6 “you welcomed the message with the joy given by the HS...”

1:8 “The Lord’s message rand out from you..”

2:2 We dared to tell you his gospel...”

2:4 “entrusted with the gospel”

The CHANGE in the Thessalonians is mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10 "for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath."

Here, we find one verb (they turned), and two infinitives ("to serve," and "to wait for").

They TURNED.

The Greek word is ἐðéóôñÝöù. It means to turn away, often being used in a spiritual sense. One such example is Acts 3:19 "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"

Thessalonica was close to ATHENS. Paul confronted their false gods in Acts 17:22-23

Located on the “Via Egnatia” a land route crossing all of the Macedonian peninsula.

Many false gods were worshiped.

They REPENTED of their sin.

Their LIVES were changed by the gospel

True salvation is found only when we turn from our sin. Becoming a Christian is more than becoming a church attender. Our lives change when the Gospel is embraced. That change is the indication of our faith. “The old has gone, the new has come” (1 Corinthians 5:17). This change is marked by brokenness and confession of our sin. As Oxcar Wilde said, “How else but through a broken heart may Lord Christ enter in? --Oscar Wilde (http://tentmaker.org/Quotes/repentancequotes.htm)

They SERVED the Living God.

They WAITED for his Son

These Christians did not have a defeatest attitude! They were not worried about coming economic collapse, or whether or not their 401K's would make it. They were not focused on pensions, problems, and politics! They were waiting for deliverance through the Lord's return.

Here's the exciting part about this: There has never been a time in human history more appropriately fitted for the Lord's return than today!

Remember, God has not destined us to wrath. There is judgment coming to this world through the impending Great Tribulation, but the Church will be caught up to Jesus before that wrath is released!

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