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March 21, 2021 7:00 pm
Two weeks ago we began our study, the first Thessalonian epistle of Paul as we engaged in an introduction to that book. And last week we considered an examination and overview you really of chapter 1. A short chapter of 10 verses. Nevertheless, that enabled us to move directly into the contents of the book which we did last Lord's day, and I trust that was profitable to you and in the course of that we were required to examine the Bible doctrine of election because that is prominent. Chapter 1, and is specifically mentioned in verse four and there is material about that in the surrounding verses.
As we saw last week but today we want to return to chapter 1, two, examine some additional details that we didn't have time for last Lord's day and as I typed up my notes, I realized that I we may not have time for all the details that I have hope to engage our minds and today, but we shall see when to try to move quickly so that we can finish our examination of chapter 1 today and moving to chapter 2.
There's a lot here that needs to be considered by the people of God. Chapter 1 is much as anything is about the entrance of the gospel into the city of Thessalonica, and Paul giving thanks to God for the success of his missionary labors that his preaching of the gospel found entrance into the hearts of the people there and he talks about that with great joy and he gives us some important information about the process by which the gospel finds lodging in the hearts and lives today I want us to take up what I've called five neglected gospel truths that are scattered throughout this chapter and I don't mean that every one of these truths are neglected by every Christian. But all of them are neglected by some Christians and therefore all of them need to be emphasized and and placed before us from time to time so that we do not become guilty of neglecting them five neglected gospel truths. What are they number one. The gospel requires proclamation the gospel requires proclamation.
That's not a truth that is widely neglected, but there are some who do neglect that I suppose you know sometimes they are identified as hyper Calvinists who emphasize so much the sovereignty of God that they not only neglect the responsibility of man and proclaiming the gospel. But even denying the necessity of that we had to deal with some people of that persuasion along the way. In our own church ministry here and there are folks like that to can't seem to to embrace to truths both taught in God's word.
If they can understand in every detail how to reconcile so the majority of Christians, I think, embrace the responsibility of man in preaching the gospel in the responsibility Amanda believing the gospel to the neglect of the greater truth of the sovereignty of God in salvation, but it could go the other way as well and sometimes we can so embrace the sovereignty of God in salvation that we shrug our shoulders, they will if God's going to do God's going to do it so I don't have to worry about it so I'll go play golf nothing on golf. You understand, but I'll just spend my life playing golf and I will worry about proclaiming the gospel.
That's not the indication that we find in first Thessalonians chapter 1 or anywhere throughout the New Testament Scriptures. Let's be reminded of God's method of evangelism which is gospel proclamation by human messenger.
Think of Romans chapter 10 great chapter on the necessity of people going forth with the gospel and were told there we come to verse 17 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God and it's clear from that context. At the hearing the word of God is the word of God. The comes to people by human messenger. A beautiful of the feet of those who preach the glad tidings of God's peace and so it is necessary that human being Christians, of course, who else would do it. It is necessary that Christians proclaim the message which God is going to use to save men's souls. God's method of evangelism. Mr. human messengers which tells us that this message does not come to men's minds directly by heavenly communication. It could God could've chosen to speak to each of his elect children individually at the proper time and just bring the message directly from heaven into their hearts, and to save them without any human agency, but that isn't the way that God has chosen to do it. Nor has God chosen to proclaim his gospel through angelic messenger to get he could've done that they probably own, not probably.
They undoubtedly would've been more faithful. They undoubtably would've done a better job than we do in our Adamic sinfulness and weakness and failure, but nevertheless God according to his plan and wisdom did not ordain that angels should proclaim the gospel to the world. Angels were involved in the proclamation of the Mosaic regulations the Mosaic law. We read about that that it came to it came to the people of God of the Old Testament through the ministry of angels, but when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ it comes to people by the proclamation of human messengers such as you and I we are the ones who proclaim that messy so that brings me to consider the people to God uses and of course I've already mentioned it's Christians of all kind kinds but here Paul specifically mentions three members of the missionary team that brought the gospel to Thessalonica here in these opening verses when he says Paul in Savannah sent Timothy goes on to write more but that calls our attention to these three men and causes us to at least think about how did they involve themselves in the life of this church in Thessalonica to whom this epistle is now being written doesn't take as much exploration in the book of acts to realize that these words amend the God used to come to Thessalonica and to preach the gospel that God used to save men's soul Paul so venison Timothy. We don't need to say much about Paul.
He's a very familiar person to us released to most Christians.
We know a great deal about his Hebrew background is pharisaic background. We also know about his remarkable conversion on the Damascus Road about his commission by Jesus Christ to become an apostle to the Gentiles.
And so that is fairly well known savannas is probably not quite as well known to us. And so it might be helpful to at least review how he entered into this picture in Thessalonica, savannas, Aziz called by Paul Silas as he's always called by Luke when he writes about him in the gospel in the book of acts. The first mention of Silas Aziz, called by Luke is in acts chapter 15 and he was one of two men who were chosen by the church of Jerusalem by the leaders of the church there to go with Paul and Barnabas, who had been Paul's partner. In his first missionary journey to take the declaration of the Jerusalem Council back to the Gentile churches they come together next 15 to discuss this matter about where the circumcision of the keeping of the Mosaic law figure into the gospel and to what is to be imposed upon Gentile believers and that being settled and a letter having been written.
That made it very clear that the gospel does not include circumcision does not include the law of Moses and these are not requirements for Gentile believers. That letter needed to be circulated among the Gentile churches and so the church appointed two men, Silas and Judas to go with Paul and Barnabas on that task. So they are called chosen men annex 1522 and leading man acts 1522 in verse 32 of the chapter.
They are both called or released Silas on remember Judas is or not.
I think he is with Silas.
Elise is called a prophet which tells a little bit more about him.
He was certainly one of the leaders of the church. He was one of the preachers of the church. He had the prophetic gift that is God. Time spoke directly to him to declare God's word to the people. That's what a prophet is an Silas was a prophet when they delivered this message to the church at Antioch and they in Antioch greatly rejoice, to receiving this information after completing their assignment. Judas went back to Jerusalem, but Silas chose to stay on in Antioch Syria to minister. There is great need in he no doubt was invited to do that by Paul and Barnabas and the other leaders of the church and so he stayed in Antioch and continued his ministry in that location. And when there was that well-known division. I started to say unfortunate division between Paul and Barnabas the many ways it was unfortunate, and yet again we can see in the hand of God how God used it for blessing to the ministry of the gospel across the Roman world.
But when that split took place between Paul and Barnabas and Barnabas took John Mark and went his way. Paul were told shows sinus to be his new partner to replace Barnabas, and started out on his second missionary journey and you can trace all of that in the book of acts, but we find that Silas is with Paul in Truax as wind. Paul received that Macedonian vision come over, come over, come over into Macedonia and help us.
Silas is with Paul when he is ministering with along with Timothy that he picked up along the way will see that in a moment. Silas is with Paul what he ministered in Philippi. In fact there were more than two members of that missionary team in Philippi, but only two of them landed in jail. It was Paul and Silas that we read about annex chapter 16 Hussein praises to God in in prison, and God release them from that prison. Silas continues to be with Paul as he left Philippi and went down to Thessalonica. The place that we're considering now and was with Paul when he went to Berea and eventually caught up with Paul. He wasn't with him all the way but he caught up with Paul. Paul was ministering in Corinth and most scholars believe that the first saloon epistle was penned in Corinth and clearly Silas is there at that time is why Paul says Paul and savannas in Timothy unto the church of Thessalonica. Silas is with Paul in Corinth and one last mention there can very easily be overlooked and that is according to first Peter 512. Silas was Peter's. I love this long word. I just love to say it is amanuensis that you love that his secretary is amanuensis who took his dictation and wrote down Peter's first epistle and if he served in that capacity.
For Peter, then it's likely though, were not told this directly, but it's likely that he also served in a similar capacity for Paul, which means that there is a very strong reason why Paul in writing this epistle includes two others along as the authors Paul and savannas, which doesn't mean that he provided any of the contents of the message, but it probably means that he wrote every word down on paper. He was very much involved in so he was one of the gospel messengers to God used to bring the gospel to Thessalonica. The third, of course, was Timothy interesting interesting.
Paul uses silences long day savannas and Luke uses his short name Silas when it comes a Timothy it's is the opposite.
Paul uses his short name Timothy Luke uses his long name Timotheus, if you got an explanation for that I love to hear it. I have no idea, except it just reminds me that you can see the humanity you can see the reality throughout the gospel accounts. We do the same thing.
Sometimes one person will refer to another individual by their full name. The long name.
There formal name of that was given to them. Perhaps at birth and somebody else will refer to them by the nickname the shortened form that happened with all of our girls most most of you that have been around for a long time know our oldest daughter as soon Jody she has been called Jody for a couple of decades now, because when she went off to college, she became Joe Donna and all of her college friends and all of her acquaintances since then call her by her formal name Giordano, but it's hard to break the habit when you call her Tommy, of course, of course, that's just so common and you can see that kind of human situation here in the New Testament. Paul calls him so that is causing Silas. Paul calls him Timothy Coliseum, Timotheus, but we don't have any difficulty figuring out who is who and when it comes a Timothy his first mention is annex chapter 15 were Paul came back to the churches of Galatia on his second missionary journey and there he found this young man apparently had really paid much attention to them on his first journey, we assume that he was there. Whether he was saved. At that point or not. We do not know but now he finds him a follower of Jesus Christ. An exemplary follower, a gifted leader in the church. Though young, and one who was commended by the church and politics in the long on his missionary team and utilizing the gospel so this man who was young, relatively speaking, and shy as the Scriptures indicate force and somewhat sickly.
Paul told him to take a little wine for his often infirmities his stomach stake in his often infirmities the sickly is a relative term, and he couldn't of been to sickly done all the work that the Bible describes for them doing so he wasn't invalid and he wasn't in bed most of the time he wasn't inactive. He wasn't that kind of sickly but he wasn't the most robust of young men and yet God used him so greatly.
Paul tells us exactly why that's so how that can be so because it was similar in Paul's own life who had so many infirmities so many trials so many injuries, including that mysterious thorn in the flesh, and he says that really is the secret of my power because when I asked for that to be removed. God said no I'm going to give you power in the place of health and so Paul said most gladly will I therefore rather glory in my infirmity that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Paul makes it clear that he was more powerful, spiritually because he was weaker physically and I'm sure the same thing must've been true of Timothy. He was more powerful, spiritually because he was weaker physically that he was devoted to the apostle Paul and greatly used of God and before the whole New Testament is completed we find Timothy overseeing the church in Ephesus probably the third largest church in the New Testament world greatly used of God more like Paul than anyone else. Paul value DM Paul trusted him all told others that there was nobody of all of his partners. There was nobody was more like minded to the apostle Paul and Timothy and yet this is interesting and important. Just a little side issue, but there's no indication that Timothy ever replaced Paul as an apostle is never called the apostle Timothy is never called an apostle and training for those of you who are looking for the perpetuation of apostleship that it is passed down from generation to generation continues on in that there apostles, even in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ today.
I would suggest you if there's anybody in all the New Testament who would seem to be a major contender for the office of apostle.
A more likely candidate for the apostle for the office of apostle. I can't find the young Timothy but he was not an apostle. What was he. He was an evangelist that takes us into another area to fund define what a biblical evangelist is somewhat different for Mark modern concept evangelist, but Timothy was an evangelist which is basically an apostle minus the same miraculous powers. The signs of an apostle and probably minus the, the gift of prophecy was on the lives of all of the apostles, but in the respect of traveling and preaching the gospel in establishing churches and even more obvious in the ministry of Timothy staying with young churches and helping them develop and become strong until they are fully able to stand on their own. That was the work which Timothy did. He was an evangelist and that's why Paul says in second Timothy of verse, it is often misunderstood. I think that's why Paul said unto him, Timothy Angeles, which is usually interpreted to mean along with pastor and don't forget to evangelize, but probably I think undoubtedly what that really means is, do what you are called to do, fulfill your office urine evangelist do it, do the work of an evangelist because that's the job God gave to you, but the main point is this that the gospel requires human proclamation by God's design.
The church is commanded to engage in gospel proclamation by God's command and we must not appeal to God's sovereignty in order to read to neglect this responsibility. If we are going to be Bible believing Christians. We must believe in the sovereignty of God in salvation. I say we must if were going to be Bible believing Christians all the way not picking and choosing and rejecting those things that we don't like her can understand were going to be Bible believing Christians. We must believe in the sovereignty of God in salvation and if were going to be Bible believing Christians. We must believe in the necessity of gospel proclamation, we must be involved in missions.
We must be involved in evangelism because we are commanded to do that as well.
The gospel requires proclamation number two. The gospel needs illumination human proclamation is not enough. That's why Paul says in verse five for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also empower the Holy Spirit in much assurance.
As you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake more than human proclamation is needed if it had come to them in word only, that is in human proclamation. Only then, how many would have been saved in Thessalonica and I can tell you it would have been that many zero because the gospel coming in word only by human messengers does not produce conversion. It did not come to you. Paul says in word only the word was surely as we note reading the account in acts. We know that in Thessalonica the word was proclaimed by human messengers to more people than believed it, but God called his chosen people from the many who heard there were many who heard the word. Some heard it in word only, others herded in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance. As we read in verse five, but the question that I didn't have time to get into last week about power and the Holy Spirit and assurance are were that also means conviction. The question is, do these words indicate the exercise of sign gifts because some people think that's what's being spoken of here that Paul and you came to Thessalonica, you preach the gospel, attended with power the Holy Spirit sign gifts healings perhaps other things speaking in tongues and so forth.
And how do I answer that question in this way, the sign gifts were probably exercised in Thessalonica, I would say sign gifts were almost certainly exercised in Thessalonica. We don't read that, but they seem to have attended Paul wherever he went. I have no difficulty believing that Paul healed people in Thessalonica, he didn't perform sign gifts in Thessalonica.
However, I'm also convinced that's not the meaning of the words here. Why do I say that will because you can see this in the ministry of Jesus. There were many who saw his amazing signs is amazing miracles who did not believe far more saw the signs than believed his word.
Many saw the signs and heard his word, but did not believe a smaller number saw the signs heard his word and believed you have the same thing here.
No doubt Paul didn't do sign gifts in Thessalonica, but we read of those back in the book of acts that did not believe that refused to believe the message of the gospel is preached by Paul and Silas, and Timothy.
So what am I saying because there were many more who saw the sign gifts then those who believed that's not what this passage is speaking about this passage is talking about what brought people to faith our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power this distinct distinguished the way the gospel came to you from the way the gospel came to others. This distinguishes how the gospel came to you and how it came to those who heard it didn't believe it became to them in word only came to you in word and power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, and therefore I am forced to understand this power to mean unusual force arresting power divine power that attended the preaching of the word I am forced to understand the activity of the Holy Spirit as an inward change wrought by the spirit of God light that comes into a dark and soul life that comes into one who is spiritually dead faith that is created in the lives of those who love themselves, have no faith in God and assurance or conviction that this message is true that it must be bowling and that's what is required for the human proclamation of the gospel to become a converting power in the lives of those who hear it. It requires divine illumination to do such a saving work.
The gospel requires divine activity that part of the equation is often neglected by many. So the gospel requires proclamation of the gospel requires illumination number three the gospel engenders tribulation verse six and you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit and anyone who studies the New Testament with their eyes open has to come to the inescapable REIT inescapable reality that suffering is the expected lot of the disciples of Jesus Christ that's expected as part of discipleship. Jesus taught this the most and I jotted down a number of references.
Let me just read in John one and John 1633 these things I've spoken to you, that in me you may have peace in the world you will have tribulation doesn't even say you may have. You will have tribulation, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. I can multiply many fold the text where Jesus tells his followers. You are going to have trouble you are going to suffer for my namesake. You are going to be ill treated like I was asked to be expected. That's the norm that's part of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Paul taught that is willing teaches that here in Thessalonians, he taught it elsewhere. Listen to these words to the apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 1 verse 29 for to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him is another sovereign grace text. You can't get away from it. It has been granted to you has been given to you to believe in Jesus Christ, you can come up with that on your own. But something else has been given to you. Also, for to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for his sake about that. We don't usually mind talking about the gift of eternal life the gift of faith the gift of salvation. What a wonderful gift were not quite as is as eager to talk about the gift of suffering. The guest of tribulation, the gift of difficulty that also is a gift of God given to all of those to whom the gift of faith is given. Sure enough Esther in Thessalonica. That's a Thessalonian reality, our gospel did not come to verse five in word only, but also empower the Holy Spirit in much assurance.
As you know and verse six, you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word and much affliction, with joy of the holy spirit. I think that is a very missing message it in the gospel today. Suffering is expected. Suffering is the norm. Tribulation is what disciples of Jesus Christ are appointed to face the think for a moment about the American reality in America we have a long history of religious freedom and because of that we sometimes don't really realize how unusual that is how exceptional that is you want to talk about what is really at the heart of American exceptionalism.
We hear that bandied about a bit in political circles and usually people are talking about freedom to make money. The American dream. And so, for that's what people think that's all about.
That's only an outgrowth of it. The real element that was exceptional in America. In the beginning. This is freedom of religion really wasn't on anyplace else. Everyplace else you are expected to follow the religion of your political leaders, whatever that may be people came to the shores several centuries ago and they said were going to carve out a place where we could worship God according the dictates of our conscience enough to have government impose that upon us because we have inherited that here we are 300 years later we had this long history of religious freedom.
We don't realize how unusual that is in the history of the world and that is coupled with a long history of respected Christianity. Since this the religion that that was the free religion that our forefathers came to to protect and to guard was Christianity in their case than Christianity. For the most part of our nation's history has been not only a something that we can freely engage in, but something that has been expected. It has been more or less the cultural religion of America, though not everybody was a true Christian. Therefore it's not surprising that many American Christians consider this to be the norm throughout the world. Throughout history, but it's not an American. Christians can very easily come to believe that freedom from persecution is all right. That's not either for talking about iritis Christians.
No, here we have to distinguish between our political right and are religious right and it is true that as American citizens we have this freedom that is enshrined in the Constitution, and so it is our political right as American citizens, but we should realize it is not our right as Christians as most of our brothers and sisters in Christ of have lived down to the centuries, and many are living in countries today. Places were persecution is the norm is also easy for us.
Therefore, to think that the warfare took to defend religious freedom is primarily political. When we need to understand that it is primarily spiritual is a political element to be sure we do have the right to defend the Constitution into use our citizenship rights and privileges to try to persuade our government to elect people that understand and believe things the way we do is in regard to the Constitution of the United States and how it is to be protected and how it is to be interpreted but when we get things upside down and think that the protection of our religious freedom is primarily a political battle than were gonna lose the battle because, as Paul tells us the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
That's human. It's earthly but spiritual to the tearing down the strongholds.
The only reason that we have the kind of Constitution we have is because of men who were spiritually minded in the beginning work of the Spirit of God in their hearts that brought them to convictions that brought them to a certain level of godliness brought them to understand the importance of religious freedom was a spiritual foundation that produced all of this and if it's going to ever be protected and understood and extended, and become firmly entrenched in American society again, even as we see see it being chipped away at this time if it if that's ever going to be substantially reversed. It's going to have to come about through spiritual revival, spiritual renewal us a work of the Spirit of God in hearts and lives if we don't see that we can lose the battle. We can't win it politically. We can't win it at the ballot box. So I think we should use the ballot box. I firmly believe that, but of God will hear our prayers, we perhaps can win it on our knees because we know God always hears our prayers by me as them favorably and chooses to answer them according to our desires, we might win this battle on our knees.
That's the only place it could ever be actually so as American Christians we need to use legal freedoms to protect our American heritage, but with the right attitude, we need to be careful that we don't get this angry, combative, if you don't believe what I believe you're my enemy attitude there.
The folks were supposed to be evangelizing. How can we evangelize them when were swatting them over that I had an anger.
That's not the spirit of Christ. We need to keep our attitudes right we need to know that I weapons are spiritual, not carnal, and and and we need to start preparing for persecution, recognizing that's the norm.
I don't like that anymore than you do. But that's what I learned from listening to my Savior. That's what I learned by reading my Bible, tribulation, persecution, affliction is an expected part of Christian discipleship.
We better prepare for that we don't realize how blessed we have been to not have had the norm in any great degree. All of these years but if things just returned to the normal as far as this world is concerned, then we are going to be facing persecution like Jesus did like the apostles did like the early Christians did like the Thessalonians did you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy the Holy Spirit question, how do you know your faith is genuine until it's tested by affliction, you respond with joy. How do you know your faith is genuine until it is tested by affliction and you like the Thessalonians.
Respond with joy. This is one of the marks of their genuine conversion. This was one of the evidences of their election. There been chosen by God that they became followers of Jesus Christ with much affliction, knowing that that was bringing persecution. They did it anyway.
They became followers of Christ and in doing that because they were the true children of God and have the Holy Spirit within them face this persecution with great joy. There is evidence of a genuine saving faith. How do you know your faith is genuine.
If it is never tested by affliction and in response to the test, you respond with joy if you don't respond that way to affliction you really need to examine your heart before the Lord to see if you have the real thing and the number for the gospel produces transformation.
I think this is the life the only one I'll have time for one have time for number five.
But in verse six, seven, eight, I just read verse six, you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy the Holy Spirit so that so that you became examples to all Macedonians and Acadia who believed for from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only Macedonian Acadia but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything for they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. The account of the transformation is before us in verses six and seven.
We've already talked about it, they became followers of Christ first by watching the example of Paul and Silas, and Timothy and that led them on to become followers of Christ and they accepted their affliction as the expected result of being a follower of Jesus Christ.
They understood that they accepted that they did not complain about that. In fact, they experience joy in the midst of their affliction, and that's what made them so exemplary they became examples to those in Acadia and Macedonia and Acadia in the report of their transformation was widespread. We read far beyond Macedonia and Acadia. It spread.
Now my question is how did it spread that really is a good question to think about verse eight from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only Macedonian Acadia but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone so that we do not need to say anything for they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you and how you turned from God to God from idols to serve the living and true God.how did this report spread were tempted to say well because they were so active in their gospel proclamation that probably doesn't explain it probably is and what Paul has in mind here, how did it spread did it spread through the general population. The Roman world of that time. No, that's not what Paul is saying because that concept doesn't fit verse nine. Could we say since the pagan Gentiles, declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. I don't think Gentiles are likely to speak in language like that. So that doesn't really explain the wording of verse nine. Well, where did it spread did it spread among Christian churches. And it probably did but the problem with that is there word all that many at this time. That's hard to account for the widespread example, the widespread influence of the Thessalonian believers. It is being described here of the churches we actually know about. There were two others in Macedonia, Philippi and Berea and at the time Paul is writing this is just now establishing the church in Corinth, so that makes three and if you add the churches in Galatia. We only know for not saying there weren't any more than that. We only know for Mr. Derby I Coney and Antioch Presidio. It wouldn't surprise me at all. The report of this had not gone to them and there was great rejoicing, but that doesn't really sound like worldwide impact doesn't work work international impact beyond Acadia, Macedonia, and so forth. So where was the spreading of this is just supposition, but I think it's most likely that the spreading. The Paul is talking about here is spreading among Jewish synagogues that were scattered all throughout the Roman world in every center where there was a sizable population of any kind most everywhere that Paul went he found Jewish synagogue to been in operation for a long time. There were many more that he never got to. And they were beyond Acadia and Macedonia. They work throughout the whole Roman world and beyond that fits into what we read about in the book of acts because it's clear the Jews were watching Paul and his ministry like hawks trying to stop him every chance they could and they work, reporting on his activities to other Jews.
Watch out for this fellow and they were also whatever they could reporting on his activity to the Gentile authorities. This fellow is preaching against Caesar. He's preaching another king but Caesar they tried to bring down persecution on Paul from Gentile authorities. In some cases exceeded. They were very actively watching what was going on and I think this probably best explains what Paul is talking about here.
Your testimony was so clear your change of life was so amazing. Your conversion was so so unquestionable that a great number of you believe the gospel and left your pagan idolatry turned to the Lord Jesus Christ turned to the living and true God, and the report of that was widely spread so that there are other people who talked about it and I didn't even have to say anything that almost sounds like when I got to Berea, they'd already heard about you, but I got to court.
They'd already heard about you. The point is that the reception of the gospel produced widespread spread interest, especially among and here's the word I'm going to use to help explain what I'm getting at, especially among apostates. Apostate is someone who knows the truth departs from it and I don't think it's wrong to consider unbelieving Jews as apostates. They had the word of God delivered to them. They had the premises of the Messiah, delivered to them.
They had evidence of Jesus was the long promised Messiah. They didn't want to believe it.
They refused to believe that they chose not to believe it and what that make them that made them apostates. They were unbelievers of the word of God that is given to them religious apostates, and among those they were watching the spread of the gospel with great interest and I think there's an modern-day application. The question is how our religious apostates in our day and who would detonate that would be Christians of what we call mainline denominations have departed from the faith and there was a time when not too many decades ago when the movement that is broadly known as evangelicalism created a great deal of interest and even concern among apostates because it was growing growing growing when they were shrinking shrinking shrinking but I get the impression that things have turned a bit and that they're not too concerned about what's going on in the world of evangelicalism today because evangelicalism has become so watered down evangelicalism has become so weak and yes in some cases evangelicalism is beginning to be apostate, that it's more like the apostate churches than it is true biblical Christianity.
The way you make an impact upon the world the way you make an impact upon false religion is by practicing carefully the word of God as it is given to us and not compromising it. When you do that you have great impact upon others. When you fail to do that you lose your influence among others in the world. Welders for neglected truths in regard to the gospel. We shall look at others.
Perhaps next Lord station. We pray father, thank you for your word.
Show us your ways teachers your plans.
I pray, amen