Summary: Second in a series in 1 Thessalonians about people doing the right thing.
Relay Games In Corinth
In ancient Corinth there used to be staged Games, spectator events
And these games became the Olympics we know today.
Just like today, there were many events, but the most popular one, was the relay race.
The competitors lined up side by side at the starting line, each holding a torch. In the distance waited still another line, of men, and still farther on other lines.
When the signal was given, the men started to run, holding on to their lit torches.
And as the runner reached his partner at the next line he would pass on his light, and so on from man to man until the finish line was reached.
With the famous relay race in mind, the Greeks coined a phrase:
“Let those who have the light pass it on.”
Last week we spoke about the Thessalonians
• This week I feel we have to address the messengers
• Today we are going to look at the men that took their torches and ran with them.
• What made these men so special that they could change the views of these people?
• Paul tells us, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.
• We see these are men – men who have been entrusted with the Gospel
• Paul goes on to say that
• We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.
• The point that he is trying to get across is that
• He is speaking with the best motives in mind
• He isn’t out for personal Gain, / Fame / Celebrity status (Their not doing it for themselves)
• Paul is speaking out of the best motives, (He’s looking to help people)
• He realized that God had put his heart to the test. (Where do you stand with me)
• He and his companions spoke not . . . to please men, but God.
• Now this is something that we find hard to do at times
• To forget about what other people think about us and only care about what God thinks of us.
• Sometimes this involves stepping on people’s toes.
• But have you ever noticed that the people’s toes that get stepped on normally need to have them stepped on.
Now I don’t claim to be anyone’s judge
• A six-year-old boy came home with a note from his teacher in which it was suggested that he be taken out of school, as he was “too stupid to learn.” That boy was Thomas A. Edison.
• Alfred Tennyson’s grandfather gave him 10 shillings for writing a eulogy for his grandmother. Handing it to the lad, the old man said: “There, that is the first money you ever earned by your poetry, and take my word for it, it will be the last.”
• Benjamin Franklin’s mother-in-law hesitated at letting her daughter marry a printer. There were already two printing offices in the United States, and she feared that the country might not be able to support a third.
In Life People Judge
• But we have to understand that judging is God’s job
• And I personally am glad that I don’t have to do it
• But the facts of the matter is that certain people need to be reprimanded once and a while.
• Notice I said reprimanded not judged
• Reprimanding is correcting – with a loving heart – judging is passing judgment
Reprimanding can be
• Confronting People who have stopped serving as they once did
• Confronting People who have started skimping on their tithes
• People who use excuses like New Purchases, Evenings Out, Ect
• Most of these things fall under the category of Luxuries in life.
• Sometimes we have to confront people who have backslidden
• Those who once were good strong Christians,
• But now rarely show up for a Sunday service,
• And even fewer of these people would actually consider doing something that would help grow the church.
Here Paul says I don’t care what you think ( It’s not about you)
• We aren’t here to sugar coat the Gospel and lead you in the wrong direction
• We aren’t here to tell you what you want to hear
• I love the quote in the movie “The Blues Brothers”
• When Jake Elwood says “were on a mission from God”
• That’s exactly what Paul, Silas and Timothy were doing
• They were on a Mission from God.
• Paul and his fellow missionaries were veterans;
• This wasn’t their first rodeo, in fact they had been tried and tested for years.
• God wouldn’t have blessed their work if their motivation hadn’t been pure.