Right now we look at the headlines in the news and we see the need for transformation in our government / politicians, we need transformation in our systems of education, we need transformation in our medicine / mental health, we need transformation in how ethnic and cultural groups relate to one another, and in 1 Thessalonians we are going to see how it is only Jesus that can bring the transformation we long for in ourselves, and in our world.
I don’t mean Jesus as ethereal, hypothetical, heavenly thoughts, but it is Jesus who gives us the perseverance, courage, and power to keep pressing into this world, so that we might taste of heaven, not just in eternity, but we can taste of heaven here on earth. That’s the dream! (Part 2)
The Gospel Is Powerful.
It’s important to understand that the gospel is a message, but the gospel is also powerful, so that when we read God’s Word, listen to a sermon, sing a song we want to hear and see the message of the gospel, but even more so we must engage the power of the gospel. Look at verses 3-5: (SLIDE: Verses 3-5)
1 Thessalonians 1:3-5, “3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”
This is so important. Stay with me. A non-religious person (a person who is indifferent to God) could reject the message of the gospel, and a religious person (someone who believes in God) may agree with the message of the gospel, and at the same time, neither person could be engaging the power of the gospel, and as a result, not the gospel.