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August 9, 2021 6:00 am
You can go out in the power of the gospel just go out snuffed out candle is up to you, especially you, young men's new llama in the South.
I can say that you young Christians walk around apologizing for what you believe.
It's an honor to be persecuted for rules under the leadership of God himself dishonored to be persecuted because you will shut your mouth from this is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.
Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of first Thessalonians. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of first Thessalonians chapter 2 with today's edition of cross reference radio that's open our Bibles to Paul's first letter the church located in Thessalonica verse Thessalonians chapter 2, Paul had been the one used by God to start this church came at a high price for him. He took a beating in Philippi made his way to Thessalonica found opportunity to preach the gospel in the synagogue, made converts, caused a riot chased out of the city went to Berea, chased him out of that city went to Athens, fretted somewhat. If we can use that word for may have such faith over the state of the Thessalonians. What was happening to them were being persecuted were they going to stand was his work in vain was or were they going to stand in Christ so he is met by Silas and Timothy who catch up to him and Athens or Corinth with one of the others not absolutely clear and he dispatches Timothy to go back to Thessalonica to find out how they're doing.
Timothy gets to Thessalonica and ministers there encourages them teaches them a little further gets back to Corinth where Paul now is starting yet another church and tells him St. strong hanging in there holding to the faith that encourage the apostle Paul so much that he wrote this first letter could not get there himself will find out as we go through. Satan had hindered him. It was a tactical error on Satan's part. Paul could not get the Thessalonica to encourage the Saints so he had to write this letter and thank God we have.
It is one of those letters in Scripture often bypassed because there are some that to a fault.
I think over emphasize certain sections of Scripture which causes them to neglect other sections and this is one this is one of those gems in the Bible that when you read it you say why haven't I heard of this before. Why don't I read this more often and so he is been talking to them. In this second chapter about his conduct. What he did not do when he was with them, and what he did do, then he now writes about their conversion in their conduct under persecution that is significant because it is one thing to read about those being persecuted.
It's another thing to go through it yourself.
Hopefully all of us who called Jesus Lord preparing the back of our heads to some degree, some measure of preparation with the Dacian, we are physically persecuted.
Well, we left off at verse 13 actually be read first verse 13. Last session commented on it.
We will read it as introduction for review and then onto verse 14. We will start verse 13 first Thessalonians chapter 2. For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you receive the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men but as it is in truth, the word of God which also effectively works in you who believe for you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans when Paul showed up in Thessalonica.
Those who listened to him had come to the synagogue of the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Jews alike, and whether it was conscious or subconscious. When a person goes to church or synagogue any religious assembly.
You would think that they want an encounter with God. That's why they're there and the speaker steps up and they are hoping he has had such an encounter, not not the extraordinary type of miracle necessarily as Moses on the mountain comes down his face shining in and just hair graying blowing the people who hate with just his appearance.
He had an encounter with God. But there is also the miraculous routine. God speaks and works effectively through his servants to his other servants, and then through those servants and that's how converts are made. That's how Saints are made stronger and is not enough to be made strong.
We must also want to be made stronger. It is progressive that since when they got this letter from Paul. They knew they were going to have an encounter with Christ with God. How excited they must've been that letter arrived and it was announced it was going to be read in the service that Sunday. Meanwhile, back in Corinth. There is another group of believers having the same experience coming to church this new thing this new ecclesia the called out ones from the world. The Saints well, this church as Paul says to the church in Thessalonica. You imitated the church to churches in Judea which were persecuted by their countrymen. You imitated the Jewish Christians in Judea. Being that you are Gentile Christians in Thessalonica, they were persecuted by their Jewish countrymen.
You were persecuted by your Macedonian countrymen. This church, Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.
For years we imitated Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa insofar as they imitated Christ. This discipleship issue that could happen in an assembly level, it can happen on an individual 11 what it should happen.
Discipleship I think a lot of Christians don't hang around long enough to be disciple. You know the process you get to meet somebody and is very pleasant and then maybe so you some folks begin to think you know I can't stay around long. They might start seeing through me.
They may start seeing some of my faults and that's not a very pleasant experience, and so I'll just hang around for a while. The well. I am not going to pretend to be able to reverse this event or process and in the human experience.
But I can do some degree influenced individuals and if this is you, you should understand that you know God is able to work with you in spite of you and is able to do it quite wonderfully. Now you can miss out on or you can be used as an example, in the negative. Here's how I don't want you to behave or you can be using it as an example, the positive. Here is a saint focused on Jesus Christ singular in mind.
Living this life with eternity before them.
There is power and there is discipleship and there is rubbing off one on the other, and there is taking away from the enemy opportunity to criticize. Now I want to get back to Satan in the churches in the Scripture and Mechanicsville later on in the message, but we move on. Will we continue in verse 14 is is for you. Also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans. Well, the Jews. The Jewish zealots and then the Gentile idolaters. Pick your poison if you will. Same result. In Thessalonica the Jews had gone down to the marketplace and tells us in acts chapter 17 and hired lewd men of the baser sort.
That's the old King James language and I love it. Lewd men of the B don't hear that every day but they scoundrel's thugs is what they were and they got them together to cause trouble in the church. What a Christian does, especially a young Christian those of you in college and high school.
What you do under such circumstances of persecution is a test upon you to see if there is a reality to your faith. God is testing you, there is soft persecution. There's a hard persecution, soft persecution is no one at the table agrees with you. They think it's silly think it's out of style.
They think it interferes with fun you want to fit in better want to fit in heaven more than anywhere else in this planet, you better learn how to stand up to them, with meekness in respect of the firmness that they've not seen before. You have a real because you have something to say no. This is where I stand and I'm inviting you to come with me. May it never be said that you were not invited which you do with the invitation is on you, but you've been served.
That should be our attitude.
Now, you may not use my personality because it's copywritten to do it is your first essay the way you want to say young man stand up to some of the manna say Jesus know that will work. Let me tell you about my Lord, I know I'm only 12. I'm only 14. I'm only 18 and starting out now. I do not want to be in my 40s or 50s or later is say what was I thinking why did I wait so long, someone to give it to you now to the church of Smyrna John the apostle records Jesus words to them.
They were being persecuted. He says be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. In Revelation chapter 12 we read, they overcame him, that is Satan by the blood of the Lamb word of their testimony because they did not love their lives to the death something more important to them than this, like there was eternal life. So in verse 15. Continuing with this line of thought about them being persecuted as their brothers were in the churches in Israel. He says in verse 15, who killed both the Lord Jesus thrown profits that persecuted us, they do not please God and are contrary to all men what he saying this is what you're up against is your encouragement. These murdered the Lord Jesus you're dealing with the same stuff door for mercy from them. This can go south on your real quickly and so strong speech but true needed to be said was said they received it was stronger because of it did not put a ball on what was happening to them. Though the hard things that were taking place and had taking taken place, violent religious history. It's everywhere. It's it seemed so contradictory to the idea of religion will we. We feel that way because we are raised under the influence, to some degree of Christianity people in America have an idea of Christianity in the albeit warped most cases that's where we come in, were not here to on warped their views were here to throw them out, given the good stuff right faithful and true, not trying to rock the boat of bad thought about Jesus were trying to sink it and keep it at the bottom and so this, and their own prophets, he says this is a mismatch to religion that you can to kill their own prophets, that's what he saying now the here dealing with them in Thessalonica. I'm dealing with them in car than I dealt with them in other places to get used to it. It's the faith is the price of holding up the trooper going to get more into this in chapter 3.
Next session Stephen the deacon of Jerusalem, the first martyr in the church. Remember, the Lord was more than a moderate his Savior and the church really was not a technically not born at the time of his crucifixion.
That happened at Pentecost 50 days after his resurrection, Stephen won the argument, he silenced the debate in the Guild. That's the outcome but a woman on acts chapter 7 verse 52.
Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute and they killed those who foretold the coming of the just one whom you now have become betrayers and runners making their facing who these people know they would kill him, but for him the leading of the Holy Spirit to tell it like it was at that moment and all of it was more important, and so they did kill him, but not without him destroying the false prick the false peace of one man in the crowd that would change history if possible. Never underestimate when you preach it underestimate what is happening. It is spiritual. It is war.
It is combat and you may preach it to somebody and walk away thinking they laugh at you because they did they rejected what you said because they did, and yet one of those individuals for the rest of their life until they are born again will not be able to get out the sentences you sent to them in Jesus name and will be converted. For me it was the look of my brothers to stupid look on his face.
Why won't he argue with me about me. Why won't he argument telling you how bad Christian it Christianity is because he was in Christ lawyer as witness is looked at me and that look, I could not get out of my head. To this day. Thank God for thought. I one shut them up by older brother Christ said to me later on me and so you can go out in the power of the gospel or just go out snuffed out candle is up to you, especially you, young men's llama in the South. I can say that you young Christians walk around apologizing for what you believe. It's an honor to be persecuted for truth, under the leadership of God himself dishonored to be persecuted. You will shut your mouth you just blurt out things because you think they need to be said and there's no Lordship of Christ. But when Christ is leading you and you are given honorable thing.
It is virtuous and the world needs it. The world lacks. I think many Christians don't give the gospel because he really don't appreciate what they have. When God confronted Mark Moses on Mount Sinai. He said to him, what's that in your hand is systemic.
Seven dead piece of wood.
God did wonders with turned into a serpent.
Moses ran from it like I would run from I would run to get another stick but anyway God still says to his people. What's that in your hand.
Some of you might have to say nothing because I don't do any.
The only time I think about Jesus is when I come the church is not what God has in mind when he saved you on the cross, he says, and have called us here in verse 15, and have persecuted us, so that persecuted us, persecute you, they persecuted the Messiah why should any of us feel that we have a pass on this were not surprised John chapter 16 verse two Jesus said they will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service wall. How was how do we resolve this if people killing people in God's name.
Who's right and who's wrong one that abides by the Scripture. That's the right one. The one the Jews weren't following the scriptural they were following the seal of the law but not the word of the law.
Certainly not the spirit. They were even following the letter they were following the rabbis, Caiaphas, and in all the rest of the group that had long since stopped honoring the word of God yet they still used his name as it opened doors for them. Gave them opportunity.
To this day there are people that will do the same thing arm swearing by God, I am not lying when I have to do all that I can't you just let your yes be yes. You know, no many times individualists so ruined their witness that no one believes them anyway. You know the guy that like so much he had to get somebody else to call his dog to get that later tonight. All seasons dog and he was lying anyway. This is and they do not please God. Well, how can you please God busy killing people is the flesh when we feel like we want to strike physically and heard the opposition. It is the flash. It's not the weapons of our warfare are not mighty in God, the mighty in men lead to bloodshed. That said, look at the Crusades look at the trip to the Christian history the Reformation. What did it accomplish killing the enemy. How about preaching to them well where in the Bible does it say that if you don't like what God says disregarded.
See when he says that they do not please God. There are many people around us that do not please God because they don't like what God has said so they discarded it was unpleasant. They find peace, false peace and ignoring it.
If the culture runs contrary to what God has said. Then they want to change with God is said or get rid of the messages is always been this way. Nothing new under the sun.
Therefore, you know that works against us. God can say you know you can work against us or call for us. God can save you.
You know what is happening to you is not new stuff is a record of it. Therefore, you should know how to respond to this, but you not interested in the record all you want is relief seeking this false relief. There is no relief to be received. So why don't you just do it my way. Make it meaningful. Make it count so it is one thing to fail to obey God as all of us do. At some point, but it is another thing to oppose God to fail him to not be strong enough to say no to temptation is is is failure. But to oppose him something entirely different to oppose his word, his people, his love, his cross, his Majesty, God's not going to just wink at that, as though it were a trivial thing is a sin from which those who do, it will never recover less they repent in this lifetime is an insult to actively seek to get God to conform to you to mankind to the University's popular thought of the philosophers or scientists or scientists really are nothing but observers. That's all they really are. I mean, they produce things from what they observe in that sense, like a chef. We appreciate these things. A good nonlaw hungry but we appreciate them. But when they start messing with God. Our role is to look for opportunity to respond in a meaningful way, or at least to receive to receive the invite to be useful. For instance, when Paul the apostle was saved on the road to Damascus areas going up to persecute more Christians and you get saved and is there in the street called Street blind and restricted to where he was in God calls a man by the name of Ananias is minding his own business buttering his bagel with jelly and butter and ended and once toasted just right, and it comes God Ananias I want you to go speak to Saul of Tarsus. What Nottingham the mailman anybody but him not. It doesn't come out that way but it comes out that way because he begins to lord you know what this guy persecutes the righteous. My point is that here was a man who would not have recovered from the sin he was committed.
Had he not submitted to God. Paul Paul submitted to God and here was another Christian mother man named Ananias submitted to God's direction, no matter what the he did not get it like under the authority of God. Read about him and we identify with him and we admire him move. Thanks for tuning into cross reference radio for this study in the book of first Thessalonians cross reference radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia to learn more information about this ministry. Visit our website cross reference radio.com once you're there you will find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast.
When you subscribe, you will be notified of each new edition of cross reference radio. You can search for cross reference radio in your favorite podcast app as well. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time. It's Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of first Thessalonians, right here on cross reference rate