Due to technical errors we have only 26 of the 30 sermons of this series on video. The audio is available through the sermon/teaching link above. This series on 1 Thessalonians teaches us the power of God through His preached word to the Thessalonians and how they endured and grew in the midst of great suffering and became the model church for all the regions.
There is never a famine on wickedness. At every turn we are able to hear reports of bad things being perpetrated by bad people. Most of us have even been victimized, even if in a small way, by someone. We have been yelled at, gossiped about, or worse. The young Christians of Thessalonica were no exception. They had ridicule and persecution at times leading to their deaths. Paul when teaching this infant church, warned them against many things, taught them about the power of the Lord in their lives to rest and overcome even when the circumstances of life never changed. One of these teachings centers on the fact that evil people do evil things and that while the natural response is to fight back, as Christians, we are no longer bound as slaves to evil. Therefore we can love our enemies. This message talks to that point. I pray it will be a blessing to you.
In our message today, we find the Apostle Paul giving some great encouragement revealing the narrative of his fear and desire to see the joy of the Thessalonians. He readily admits that he fears they would fall away due to the difficult time of persecution proving that their preaching of the gospel was in vain for their salvation. To Paul’s joy, Timothy found the infant and orphaned church strong and full of life proving their election as they received the word of God in power, much suffering and with much joy! This text teaches us the power of God’s gospel and how HE and only HE can overcome in our lives. One of the great beauties of this text is that Paul and the Apostles found comfort in their own trials by knowing that the orphaned church was thriving in the faith!
While the whole “Church” world seems to encourage everyone from all around to come to church on Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter, I have a different view that many people should NOT come to church that day, especially they should not attend among the fellowship of GraceTruth. Before you hang me out to be eaten by birds, take my words as an encouragement and if necessary, a rebuke, and see God the Holy Spirit at work in His everlasting and sufficient grace. You may just find the joy that you are looking for.
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday because it is “that time of year” to attend church. Chances are if you are not regularly in the fellowship of the church you are either in transition because God is calling you elsewhere such as missions, church planting, or travel. Or, you could be unable to be among believers due to health problems or you may be one of those individuals who rotates a hectic work schedule that keeps you from weekend services. You may also be the believer who is in deep disobedience to God because you are not committed to being a part of the local body of believers as is required of you by biblical mandate and by the powerful work of God. Or, you may just be an unbeliever who only looks at church services as culturally obligatory.
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday because you feel guilty. Guilt isn’t the work of God, however, conviction is. God works to bring His children to the obedience of faith through conviction of the Spirit and regeneration whereby they “repent” and joyfully run to the opportunity to be received before the throne of Grace as a child most beloved by faith. Being together with the church in worship isn’t a sad, lonely, broken drudgery, but a lifting, encouraging and freeing JOY!
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday to appease God. God cannot be appeased by any works of mankind. There are no people who have ever lived that have ever made Him satisfied in their works and that is the entire reason for the Christ having to live among man and die in place of the elect as a substitute. (We should also say that you shouldn’t show up to please mom either.)
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday because it is Easter. In all reality, the Easter celebration isn’t even biblical, its cultural even with all the “Christ” surrounding it. Scripture teaches us to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ daily, not seasonally and in many ways, making much of Christ on one day is vain. Christ is alive every day and the “act” of resurrection isn’t the end of the miracle, the act of “eternal life” in Christ is! And it is the hope of all believers.
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday because you want to be entertained. Worship service isn’t for us but to proclaim the praise of God’s glorious Grace to Him, not us. Our joy is full when we make much of God for who He is, not for what we “get” from Him. Worship time as the church is never about us but always about the glory of God’s majesty.
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday to find a people-centered sermon. We value true preaching of God’s word, not a few points that will pave over the truth of God’s glory. In other words, scripture teaches that Jesus Christ alone is all-sufficient and that nothing else in all the universe can satisfy the heart, mind, or flesh of mankind. So, if you want to be fulfilled in something that is just going to fade away by Monday, then GTC isn’t the place.
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday if you desire to be bored, unchallenged or unloved. The word of God and His people will always cut away at the dross and mire and God is faithful through these means to make us more like His Son, holy and glorious!
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday if you do not want to be in AWE by the Power and Glory and Honor and Majesty of Jesus Christ! He will be exalted by His people and if you are in attendance, it will overwhelm you as His Truth and His Life command your attention.
- Do not come to GraceTruth Church this Sunday if you only want to come once. We love you too much to leave you stagnant and all that come our way, if they let us, will be reached with the gospel. How you hear it is in the hands of our God.
Jesus came to DIE, to preserve His people against the wrath of God’s holy justice by taking our place on the cross. This Sunday is one of many of the Lord’s Days in this year. Make it as if it will be your last, then enjoy the fruit of them all as we celebrate our most prized affection, Jesus Christ who died and is alive forevermore!
For His Glory by His Grace,
Pastor James Tippins