Summary: What kind of people are you? A two part sermon.
Today we are going to start a series on 1 & 2 Thessalonians
• We are going to start obviously with the first book
• What we see early on is that This is a letter about people.
• People that had heard the Word, learned the Word, and were spreading the Word.
• This was something that was uncommon at the time.
The idea of God as a Person who loves us
• came as a surprise in the first century.
• Of all the Hellenistic creeds, none was based on a love of humanity;
• None had any message for the poor and the wretched,
• None had a message for the publican and the sinner.
• These mystery cults offered their members a mystical association.
• Help was only given in case of illness or with burial costs.
• Because cult members were not family.
• Their god or goddess did not love them,
• And their fellow brothers and sisters weren’t bound together in a mutual commitment of love.
But then the Gospel message came.
• God does love you.
• Christ did die for you.
• And God invited them to receive forgiveness of sins and to become a member of His family, forever.
• The message of the Gospel was the same as it is now,
• God seeks to establish a permanent personal relationship with you!
Paul has taught these people the meaning of the Gospel’s core.
• A personal God lives.
• The God of the universe calls us to know and serve Him.
• This God invaded history in the person of His Son, and through His Son’s death and resurrection God rescues us from coming judgment.
• Jesus’ return testifies to the promise that the universe has an end as well as a beginning.
Read 1 Thess. 1
This is a letter about people
• Elect People They have been chosen by God himself.
• Exemplary People - They were an example to the world
• And Enthusiastic People – They were a part of AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH
• Their faith in God has become known everywhere.
• And they were part of AN EXPECTANT CHURCH
• They are looking forward to the return of Jesus from heaven.
We’ve all heard the old joke,
“If you ever find the perfect church, please don’t join it. If you do, it won’t be perfect anymore!”
• Since local churches are made up of human beings, saved by God’s grace, no church is perfect.
• But some churches are closer to the New Testament idea than others.
• The church at Thessalonica was in this category.
At least three times in this letter,
• Paul gave thanks for the church and the way it responded to his ministry
• Not every pastor can be that thankful.
We see they were An Elect People (1 Thes. 1:1–4)
We see this in the opening of the letter
We see this in the way that Paul addresses them
• They belong to
• God the Father—This shows that they were no longer heathen.
• the Lord Jesus Christ—This means they were not Jews, they were Christians.
• Grace be unto you, and peace—that you may have favor and peace in God
What characteristics of this church made it so ideal that I brought joy to Paul’s heart?
• The word church means “a called-out people.”
• Whenever you read about a call in the Bible, it indicates divine election
• God is calling out people from this world
• Here Paul states that he knew the Thessalonians had been chosen by God
The doctrine of divine election confuses some people and frightens others,
• We will never truly understand the total concept of election.
• But we should not ignore this important doctrine that is taught throughout the Bible.
This letter is about people But the Chapter involves Salvation
• Some important facts about being chosen and Salvation are
Salvation begins with God. “
Jn 15:16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
Eph 1:4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
• The entire plan of salvation was born in the heart of God long before man was created or the universe formed.
Salvation involves God’s love.
• Paul called these saints Brothers and Sisters loved
• Not only by him but also by God.