Temple Baptist Church - 8-2-2015
1 Thessalonians 2:11-16
A. The Church of Thessalonica was a great church! Born in the fires of persecution, we find a church that was “on fire” for the Lord. Acts 16-17 shows the price that was paid for their salvation and the conditions in which they served the Lord. Salvation is indeed free but it came at a terrible price! Our heavenly Father gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ gave up heaven’s glory—comfort—perfection to come to this Earth and die on an old rugged cross, God’s people have died through the millenniums to bring the Word of God and the gospel to us sinners. Salvation is indeed free but it is not cheap!
2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; (2) How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. (3) For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; (4) Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. (5) And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
B. They were a soul winning, missions hearted, Bible believing, hardworking people who knew where they came from (turned from idols) and what the Lord had done for them (saved them by His marvelous grace). They were no doubt a thankful people which was reflected in their willingness to suffer for the cause of Christ and to share what little that they had in order to help spread the good news of salvation to a lost world.
C. What do you preach to such a church as this? What do you desire for a church such as this? I find in our verses several things that Paul wanted to happen through his preaching. You see, good churches need to be reminded and exhorted that failure is always possible and that continuation in good works needs to be maintained. In the Book of 2 Peter, we find a good proof text for our thought for tonight.
2 Peter 1:12-15 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (13) Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; (14) Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. (15) Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
D. Most “bad” churches were once “good” churches! They lost their biblical benchmark and began to drift. Preaching is a spiritual “check point” to show where we are and which way we are drifting so that correction can be made. Paul exhorted them to continue, comforted them in their suffering, and charged them as a church.
1. Paul charged them to continue to walk worthy of God. Vs. 12 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2. Paul charged them to continue to receive God’s Word as it is. Vs. 13 Ephesians 5:26-27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
3. Paul charged them to continue to adhere to the Old Paths. Vs. 14 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
4. Paul charged them to continue to stand and suffer for right. Vs. 14-15 2 Timothy 3:11-12 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. (12) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
5. Paul charged them to continue to preach God’s Word without compromise. Vs. 16 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.