5/16/2010 Sunday

Who Are the last Ones Standing?

1 Thes. 3:1-13 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'
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  • for new believers, Thessalonians found life even harder
  • 1 Thes 3:8 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'
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    ; who ARE the last ones standing??
  • standing firm in times of trial; but some cave in to the pressure…

Characteristics:

  • those who get above the shock of having challengers from which they thought salvation might rescue them
    • “wait, isn’t life supposed to get easier after accepting Christ?”; get blindsided
    • v3; trials: Paul discusses unsettlement so we won’t “return” our faith to God (ie. reject our faith)
      • Paul says we are destined for affliction, persecution…
    • who do we run to in times of need?
      • Mr. Rogers-type (happy go-lucky, “everything will be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiine”) vs someone who has suffered much (realistic)?
        • spur one another on…
  • those who make the right choice between temptation and trust
    • Satan’s great @ spiritual espionage; will pounce on those in weakened state (to break you down)
      • temptation to give up and fall
      • discouragement…
    • v6; convinced to give in to faith; in times of trial, the Good News of Jesus is for you
      • your life is still Jesus’ show; trust Him.
    • v10; need equipping!!
      • 2 Tim 3:16 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'
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        ; discipleship, correct what is off track…
  • those who are moved from self-taking to love giving
    • v12; love increase
      • The 1-2 Punch: faith & love
    • we have spiritual bi-polarism; the constant up’s and down’s…
    • something unbelievers can’t manufacture: love for all people
    • self-centered = weak
  • those who God has made His holy ones
    • v13; strengthen your heart
    • causes you to be blameless in holiness; set apart
    • suffering = preparation, practice
    • Holy ones = angels, believers
      • Big Hope: one day will be all about God & The Holy Ones
    • your faith & love NOW must overflow to stand strong against the storm

He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intention may be ever so honest… God hates visionary dreaming.

– Bonhoffer