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December 13, 2020 5:00 am
This is on Solomon about like to welcome you to our program today.
You know it's a tremendous honor the God is stupid awesome to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that.
Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of the Bible.
Today we would love you over that Bible. Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians 1st Thessalonians chapter 2. Remember when studying the life of the apostle Paul. We are in his second missionary journey living a little background and remember that the apostle Paul would show you a map and his team's team is Luke Timothy and Silas.
They have crossed over from modern Northwest Turkey here Truax as they've gone across the Aegean Sea to the northern Greek town of Philippi here in Philippi. Paul and his team he preached for a few weeks starting a church and then Paul split his team at this point he left Luke and Timothy behind in Philippi while he and Silas went 100 miles to the south to the town of Thessalonica here in Thessalonica. The apostle Paul spent six months ministering there starting a church there, but the unbelieving Jewish community in that town developed a seething hatred for the apostle Paul. They finally were able to get a mob together and run them out of town and he and Silas then left and went on to the little town of Berea, about 45 miles to the east. Now if you remember we stopped there and one of the wonderful things friend you know about studying the Bible is this principle that we call comparing Scripture with Scripture. What this means is taking passages in the Bible that are on separate pages, but they all talk about the same historical event and studying them together so that we get a fuller understanding about historical event and we have a wonderful opportunity to do that right here when it comes to Paul stay in Thessalonica because about two weeks after he left town are properly got run out of town.
He wrote a letter back to this church. We know the letter today is first Thessalonians, and in this letter that Paul wrote these Thessalonian believers. He talks about some things.
He shared some details about his stay in town for those six months that are not found in the book of acts, and so really compare what we know from the book of acts with what Paul says in first Thessalonians were to find our lesson for today.
Now let's look first Thessalonians chapter 2 verse two. Even though Paul writes we had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, and friends as we know because we've been studying this Paul was beaten with rods there and unjustly thrown into jail with God's help, we still dare to share the message of Christ with you despite strong opposition. Paul says from the time I came to Thessalonica I face strong opposition from the get go.
There were people there who were scrutinizing me criticizing me attacking me watching everything I did and one of the key elements of criticism that was being leveled against Paul.
He's going to mention.
Next, he says, verse three for the appeal that we make does not spring from error or from impure motives nor are we trying to trick you.
The people in town who were his enemies said that Paul had impure motives and that he was in town to trick these people. He then goes on to say, for you know we never use flattery nor do we put on a mask to cover up greed and what was Paul's impure motive. What will how was he trying to trick these people well the answer is when it came to money these people accused him of having as his real motive greed having as his real motive just getting money using the message of Christ to just get money out of people. Paul goes on to say verse nine. Surely you remember brothers are toilet our labor, how we work night and day so as not to be a financial burden to anyone.
While we preach the message of God to you friends. It's obvious that one of the key accusations against apostle Paul while he was in town is that he was just a religious huckster that he was just a shyster that all he was doing was trying to get money out of people and that he was not really there to care for the sheep. He was there to fleece the sheep. Now this wasn't even true, but his enemies loved to look for any little inconsistency in Paul's life. Even the slightest thing and then blow it up out of proportion and try to use it to discredit him and to keep people from coming to Christ now that phenomena that is followers of Christ. People love to find fault with even the smallest inconsistencies in our life. This phenomena and the people will even look for things that sometimes aren't even there to try to criticize in our life.
This phenomenon that people will hold office as followers of Christ to a higher standard than they would ever hold non-followers of Christ to in fact friends they'll hold us to a higher standard.
They would ever hold themselves to you know what hey, this is just the way this I mean this way was when Paul was on earth back then. This is comes with the territory. Those of us in full-time Christian ministry. We learn about this phenomenon very early in our career we have another couple that are good friends of ours. Here McLean and the wife was telling me just the other day she said you know, long I went out with your wife, Brenda went shopping a few weeks ago over Nordstrom and she said we had a wonderful time and a few days later I was back in Nordstrom and I ran into this other lady from McLean Bible church and so we got to talking and I happen to mention to her somewhat casually that I'd been in the store a few days before shopping with mom's wife and she said this lady got this incredibly judgmental look on her face and said, long why shops at Nordstrom's and my lady friend said you know what law I never realize what you guys in the ministry of God put up with until that moment she said this lady standing there. It was okay for her to shopping Nordstrom it was okay for me to shop at Nordstrom but it was not okay for the pastor's wife to shop at Nordstrom and you know what friends this, living in a fishbowl is not just restricted to people littering full-time Christian ministry.
Oh no with you go public in your school.
If you go public in your workplace if you go public in your family. If you go public in your neighborhood with your faith in Jesus Christ. I can promise you that there are going to be people there, your coworkers, your neighbors, your relatives, your schoolmates, your roommate were going to start watching you and as soon as they see behavior that they believe does not qualify as true godly behavior.
They are not only going to judge you but they're going to try to take that judgment and lay it on Jesus Christ and use it to justify their own unbelief and to try to keep other people from coming to Christ by appointment. You and going see how that person's 11 that's supposedly aggressive you want the part of that.
That's the way really is, is their will on this kind of a big burden for us to have to carry as followers of Christ, don't you think lot like to suggest to you the opposite is true.
I'd like to suggest to you that instead of being a burden.
This is a wonderful opportunity to have people watching our lives that carefully evaluating everything we do, scrutinizing us just think what an opportunity that is to defang people's unbelief to defang people's criticism and cynicism to help people help create a platform for people to consider.
Christ, what an opportunity it is. If 00 give you, and I really live the, lives that are above reproach that people can say it all depends what we do with this weather. It's an opportunity or burden.
Listen Peter said he knew this wasn't what he said.
He said, dear friends, I urge you to live such good lives among the pagans that even though they want to accuse you of wrongdoing, and they do they will see your good deeds and be forced to glorify God. Then the next verse, verse 15. I want to show you says for this is the will of God, that by doing right. We may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Now the apostle Paul understood this and so he set out to turn the accusations of his enemies into a spiritual platform into a spiritual opportunity. He set out to put the silence the ignorance of these foolish critics and create a platform for people instead to consider Christ. How did he do it. Watch he did it by living above reproach when it came to the deceit and the trickery and meet the hucksterism people work using a mob look what he says. First Thessalonians 29. He said we were night and day so as not to be a financial burden to anyone.
How did Paul handle and turn these critics accusations into a great opportunity friends. What he did his he worked for a living. He went out and earned all the money he lived off of. He didn't take one thin time from anybody. When he was in town. Look what he says.
Second Thessalonians 3 we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we need anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we work night and day laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. The Bible tells us. The apostle Paul made tense for six months during the day when he was in Thessalonica and then he went out to preach Christ in the evenings and on the weekends. The point is, during his six months in this town.
He did not ask for one time he did not accept one time from anybody in that city and by doing this the apostle Paul did exactly what Peter said he reduced to nonsense, the accusations of his critics, he put to silence the ignorance of foolish man. I mean think about it.
How can a man who spent six months in town and done take one thin dime. How can he be a shyster or put it another way, if he was a shyster. The apostle Paul was definitely the dominant shyster that ever lived in Israel are why would he spent six months there and work for his own living. If his real motive was to take money from these people. You see how we did it that we want to stop there because we have a question I asked y'all, no question the body ready WANT to make sure I ready here we go now. My smile 123.
Half right you say lawn. So what I really appreciate Paul. I admire the man.
I think that's wonderful life I think it's great.
What he did big world, what difference does that make to my life today and my answer to that is friends. I believe in what the apostle Paul did in this town we find an enormous spiritual challenge for our lives today. Let me show you what it is he goes on to say. Second Thessalonians 3 watch, Paul says we did this, that is, we supported ourselves not because we don't have the right to be supported by you.
Stop for second incident with Paul saying here Paul is saying when I came to tell