How to be a Christ Follower, I & 2 Thessalonians .001THE CHURCH A CHRIST FOLLOWER WOULD BE      PROUD OF

Pastor Steve With
Week 9, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Impact Christian Church, 02/22/2015

It is great to see you all today.  You are each such a blessing our church and our family.  I pray that today’s message has a powerful impact on all of us.   We are back in Thessalonians after a week studying:

How a Christ Follower Grows in the Word 

from Jeremiah 17 & Psalm 1.  Today we start 2 Thessalonians.  

Chapter one is about how thankful Paul, Silas and Timothy are for the growth of the Thessalonian believers.  They mention 5 areas that the church is thriving in.  As we study, let’s think of how Impact can grow in each of these areas.  Also, let’s think how we can grow personally as well.

I. Genuine Followers

“This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” (1-2)

  1. They Belong to God: personal, spiritual and eternal union.
  2. Our Father: God is the Father of all Believers.

II. Increasing Faith

“Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing” (3a)

  1. Greatly Enlarged Faith: “Increase beyond Measure”
  2. Paul had Challenged them to Grow in Faith

“Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.” 1 Thessalonians 3:10

III. Growing Love

“and your love for one another is growing.” (3b)

  1. Paul had also Challenged them to Grow in Loving Others

“And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12

  1. Growing Faith and Love are essential elements for Christ Followers

IV. Persevering Hope

As many of you know the terrorist group ISIS killed 21 Coptic Christians on Sunday in Lybia.  Very sad and very shocking.  Jill and I cried as we watched the channel showing the images of the orange-clad Christ Followers, walking to their death on the shores of Tripoli.  They were on display in front of all to see before they were beheaded.  Very sad.  Persecution is real it happens all over the globe.  We need to make sure that we persevere in hope.  Keep on Hoping in Jesus and realize that he works for the good in all things.

The headline on Friday was, “Libya’s 21 Christian Martyrs: ‘With Their Blood, They Are Unifying Egypt’”  Although this is a horrific event, God is using it unify Egypt around Christianity.  God is always at work.  We have to persevere people.  Look at how the Thessalonians are praised for enduring persecution.

“We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.” (4)

  1. Boasting  about the Thessalonians
  2. Endurance, Steadfastness, Faithfulness in Hard Times

V. Kingdom Attitude

“And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering.” (5)

  1. Christ Followers Trust God to “Show His Justice

WHY? God is Just

  1. God is Just and Right in all He Does – “In his justice” (6a)
  2. He will give ‘Full Repayment’ – “he will pay back.” (6b)

WHO? Those who Afflict Believers/Don’t Know God

“those who persecute you…in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God” (6c, 8a)

  1. Those Who Refuse to Obey

“and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.” (8b)

HOW? Afflict those with Eternal Destruction/Separation

“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from   the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (9)

  1. Christ Followers Believe God has made them “Worthy of His Kingdom” – They Trust  God!!

WHY?  The Justice of God

  1. The Afflicted Need Rest  – “And God will provide rest” (7a)
  2. The Afflicted Need Prayer

“So we keep on praying for you, (11a)

  1. For God to Make You Worthy

“asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call.”(11b)

  1. For God to Give you Power

“May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” (11c)

WHO? The Afflicted and the Authors

“for you who are being persecuted and also for us” (7b)

HOW? Christ will be Glorified

  1. Jesus being Glorified will bring Relief

“When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people” (10a)

  1. Jesus being Praised  will bring in His Kingdom

“praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.” (10b)

  1. The Lord Jesus will Be Honored

 “Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ” (12)

5 areas that the Thessalonica church is thriving in…

  1. Genuine Belief

II. Increasing Faith

III. Growing Love

IV. Persevering Hope

V. Enduring Trust

Where are you?  Where do you need to grow.  Maybe you could circle the one you want to work on.  I think I would circle “ENDURING TRUST”.  While i am pretty strong in faith, I can have a hard time trusting God with everything and everyone.  I need to work on that!!  You what do you need to work on?