Message – Sunday, November 8, 2020

Brothers & Sisters:

I share with you from Power for Life Bible with contributions by Robert Anthony Schuller and Robert Harold Schuller

A Faith Powerful Enough to Withstand Persecution

In one of his most personal letters, the apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Thessalonica to express his thanks to God for their spiritual growth and steadfast faith, to encourage them, and to challenge them on such matters as moral purity, love toward one another, and Christ’s expected return.

In this deeply personal letter, the apostle Paul addressed the members of one of his earliest and most difficult churches.  Almost as soon as he and his co-workers established this congregation, they faced intense persecution from Jewish leaders over their gospel message, forcing them to leave while the new believers faced continued persecution.  How did they fare after Paul left? Did they keep the faith and grown in Christ, or did they completely abandon all they were taught?  Paul’s affection for the people of this Church and his concern for their spiritual growth prompted him to send Timothy to find out what was going on.

Timothy braved the round trip and returned with wonderful news.  The Thessalonian Church continued to thrive and grow in spite of facing persecution, without a pastor!  This news led Paul to write this letter filled with warmth and tender pastoral counsel, with the heartfelt prayer that God would continue to strengthen them so they might stand “blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones” (3:13)

The immoral culture at that time, similar to ours today, had a tendency to impact the daily lives of the Thessalonian believers.  As their spiritual father, Paul counseled them specifically regarding how to live a godly life.  He encouraged them that a pure life (abstaining from immorality) was important for a close walk with God.

As he addressed the other needs of the Thessalonians, Paul reminds us that God calls us to be sensitive to one another’s needs and to stay vigilant and watchful as we wait for the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to withstand all challenges, even persecution.

Think on these things.