Presentation on theme: "Theme for March – April 2012. …our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction... (1Thess."— Presentation transcript:
…our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction... (1Thess 1:4-6)
The word ‘conviction’ Grk: plerophoria = assurance or confidence (full belief) Not just belief about anything! It’s a response to the gospel.
Large Grecian city Progressive and tolerant culture Culture of acceptance (anything goes)
Paul is specific “… in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (NIV) IN SPITE OF SUFFERING
“…you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” welcome is in a form meaning “having received or accepted” Two things about this passage: in spite of suffering…
Suffering can make us ‘closed’ to the message. Hurts can make us reject the gospel. Many people today are skeptical about the gospel message.
Many people today think that the absence of suffering makes it easy to accept God’s message.
Do you remember when you welcomed the message? Do you remember when your eyes were opened? Do things have to be ‘perfect’ for a person to accept God’s word?
1Thess 1:6-8 …in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia; your faith in God has become known everywhere…
CEV: And because of you, the Lord's message has spread everywhere… ESV: the word of the Lord sounded forth from you… MSG: The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master's Word…
Suffering never lessens the impact of the Word. Suffering is never meant to slow down the spread of the gospel. If anything, suffering makes evangelism so much more powerful!
Don’t let hardships stop you from receiving the message, and don’t let hardships stop you from spreading the message!
Let’s be inspired by the Thessalonians. In times of suffering and hardship, let’s keep dreaming and believing in the power of God!