Witnessing For Jesus

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Witnessing Authentically

1 Thessalonians 2

As we go through these lessons of the early church, we get an opportunity to meet the Apostle Paul on a new level. The Apostle Paul had a great love for the lost and was very passionate in his desire for all men to be saved.

This is what is expected from each of us. The “Gospel of Jesus Christ” is the message given to us from God but it is for the benefit of every man, woman, and child on this Earth!

A great question we can ask ourselves is this, “Is God pleased with us in the way we are handling His Word”?

As we see Paul in his words, we can see the heart of a Pastor but Paul was called by the Lord to be the Pastor to all the early church and not just one church.

**Paul was a Church planter. Paul was a Minister of Christ, and it was God’s purpose for Paul to deliver the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ to all who would hear him!

**Paul was a Pastor to the infant Church. God uses people to bring the “Gospel” to this lost world but God also uses people to feed, educate, and train those who He has saved.

**Paul was not to remain and be the full time Pastor. Paul was a Missionary. A Missionary is one who has been sent of God!

Today Paul will show us how he preached and how he felt about the Church.

The Apostle Paul had a “Christlike” ministry and it showed!

The theme of our lessons this quarter is “practical Christian living” James taught us much and we can learn much more as we follow the life of the Apostle Paul.

We are all to be faithful ministers of Jesus Christ. This is what sets the children of God apart from the World.

The entire world is trying to remove Jesus Christ.

It is the Christian that brings the pure message of Jesus Christ!

The truth is still the truth even when it is not believed and God’s Word will never come back void!

Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

We can only be the messenger sent of God, it is God who controls the results!

Rain may seem lost when it falls on desert or in the oceans but God has a purpose for each drop of rain, no matter where it falls.

So, the “Gospel” has it’s purpose no matter where it falls!

At the very least it will leave the lost without an excuse at the time of “judgment”!

What is the pure fact of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”?

Psa 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

There is no hope for success of the “Gospel” unless we are founded on the Lord Jesus Christ!

*****1Th 2:1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
1Th 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

Paul and Silas had been unjustly arrested in Philippi. They were then beaten and thrown into the dungeon of the local prison.

When most of us would have given up, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to the Lord:

Act 16:23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
Act 16:24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
Act 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Some say that this was the first “Gospel Concert” in Europe.

When Paul was released after many were saved, Paul refused to sneak out of town but forced the same government that locked him up to return and release him.

The Apostle Paul had no shame for preaching the “Gospel”.

Most of the world will not like the “Gospel message” but this should encourage us more than defeat us!

Paul had moved on to Thessalonica and many were saved, but Paul and Silas were again sent away for their own personal safety.

Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

Paul wrote this epistle from Corinth so the Church in Thessalonica was well aware of all these things that had happened to Paul!

This is why Paul was so bold, because the “Gospel is still the truth”, even when it is rejected!

*****1Th 2:3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

What is the character to the true “Gospel” preacher.

Every preacher of the “Gospel” must live the “Gospel”!

Exhorting is giving advice in a way to incite the listener. Preaching is exhorting!

Exhorting the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ opens our eyes to our sinful ways.

Exhorting the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ teaches us to apply the Word of God to our daily lives.

The entire Book of James taught us how to apply the Word of God to our daily lives!

This is also the message of the Apostle Paul.

The preaching of the “Gospel” will turn evil to good, misery to happiness, from Satan to God, and from Hell to Heaven!

**The “Gospel” is not deceiving!

Paul was very careful not to live his life in deception. We cannot live our lives in deception and be counted as Christians!

**The “Gospel” is clean!

A clean person is one who who maintains a pattern of personal cleanliness while also taking care to insure that their personal environment is kept clean.

Cleanness refers to spiritual cleanness. We are all spiritually unclean because of the fall of Adam.

Human sin becomes a barrier between us and a Just, and Holy God!

The Apostle Paul had to live a life of cleanness, because the Word of God is clean.

Pro 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Those that take the Word of God into uncleanness usually live their lives in uncleanness and are not called of God!

**The “Gospel” is the truth!

Guile is to be crafty and cunning in deceit.

Paul had to live his life with great integrity and uprightness, without hypocrisy and deceit, either before God or before men!

There is no deceitful design in the ministry of the Word of God.

There is nothing false or impure in the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

The “Gospel” came from God and He has called certain men to preach the “Gospel”!

Not everyone that stands behind a pulpit has been called of God!

*****1Th 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

You see that it was God’s choice for Paul to become a Missionary, Paul just had to submit to that calling.

It was by God’s permission that Paul preached the “Gospel”, and Paul considered it a privilege.

It is a privilege to study the Word of God!

Paul, Timothy, and Silas were allowed of God to be put in trust of the “Gospel” so their goal was to please God and not to please men.

When the “Gospel” is tailored to please men or for the betterment of mankind, then we have missed the point of the “Gospel”!

The “Gospel” must be preached to get men saved!

When that lost sinner gets right with God, then he will have no problem being a better person, and all mankind will be better for it.

Jas 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Our job is to keep the main thing, the main thing, and that is getting people saved by leading them to the Lord!

It is God’s job to clean them up!

*****1Th 2:5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
1Th 2:6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

At no time did Paul praise these Thessalonians when he preached the “Gospel”.

Their beauty, their wealth, their talent, nor their accomplishments could hide their need for the truth of the “Gospel”!

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Paul had carefully avoided all these things so he could be faithful to the command of God.

It is important for the lost to realize the sin in their lives and the “Gospel” preached according to the Word of God, will point these things out!

Jesus said:

Joh 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

Paul, Silas, And Timothy had that “gift of faith”. They had no concern for their own welfare. They depended on God to supply all their needs.

Their concern was for the welfare of others and the Glory of God!

This is the right attitude for every Pastor and Preacher!

This is the right attitude for every Missionary!

And add to that these things.

*****1Th 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

A mother that is nursing a child will not give that child up to another.

A mother will not nurse the children of another, the same way they nurse their own children.

Paul looked upon these Thessalonians as his own children in the faith!

A nursing mother provides nourishment to her child.

The Apostle Paul was providing nourishment to these born again Thessalonians!

Luk 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

To preach the “Gospel” and explain salvation, it must begin with the purpose and the love of God, as The Father.

God’s love shows His greatest power in the death of His Son Jesus.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

“Grace”===”God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”!

*****1Th 2:8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

There are many in the world who will actually lay down their own life for what they believe.

All of us who have placed our trust in Jesus should feel this way!

But Paul goes even farther saying he would have laid down his own life for these Thessalonians.

Some of us would probably lay down our lives for our own families, especially our own children, but not many of us would lay down our lives for strangers such as these Thessalonians.

Paul said: “you are your own witnesses”.

*****1Th 2:9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
1Th 2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

It can never be said that the Apostle Paul ever made a living off the “Gospel”.

Sure, some of of the churches sent support but this was not enough to sustain Paul and those with him.

Paul and Silas did not preach the “Gospel” in order to secure money as some do today.

To Paul this was done in order to avoid any appearance of any self-serving in his ministry.

The Apostle Paul went through real agony to bring people to Jesus Christ.

As a nursing mother, Paul provided the spiritual nourishment to all who would listen to the “Gospel”.

As a father who works to support his family, Paul worked to provide his own way so he was not a burden on the babes in Christ.

As many Pastors have found out, it is not easy to work a full time job and be a full time minister of the “Gospel”.

We know the Apostle Paul was a tent maker and no matter where he traveled there was always a market for tents.

Act 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent makers.

The tents of that day were made by sewing cloth that was frequently made from goat hair together and attaching ropes and loops.

Tent making was considered an honorable trade in those days!

Many times Paul was exhausted to the point of fatigue and the Thessalonians knew this to be true.

They had witnessed the hardships, they had seen the hard work, and they had heard the “Gospel” of the of the Lord Jesus Christ and they knew all these things came because of the love Paul had for lost.

Paul was truly an example of Jesus Christ to these new disciples of Jesus.

*****1Th 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
1Th 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Remember “exhorting” is the inciting to do good, by definition.

Exhorting leads to willingness of serving the Lord and the joy in serving God!

These things are comforting to everyone who realizes that they are a sinner in need of a Savior!

Paul served this new church as the minister of the “Gospel” but even more important Paul served this church as the Pastor and shepherd to the flock of God.

Paul served for the “Glory of God” and not for himself!

It is our only job after salvation to walk worthy of God!

We are to be an example of Christ to all those in this lost world. Why?

Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

These things happen when we accept the truth.

*****1Th 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

These Thessalonians had witnessed the “Gospel” in the life of the Apostle Paul.

They saw such evidence of reality in Paul that they finally knew the life they had been seeking for themselves.

They knew they had actually heard the Word of God and they yielded to God’s Message, and it went home to their hearts!

They believed what God says!

The Apostle Paul always made sure to claim to preach the “Inspired Word Of God”.

Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The “Gospel” is energized by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word will work effectively in the heart of those that will listen to it and believe.

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The Word of God is powerful!

Jesus said:

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Those that hear the truth usually know they have heard it, and it then becomes the time to accept it or to reject it.

It is the plan of God to bring everyone to this point in their lives!

*****1Th 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
1Th 2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:

All those that were Jews by birth had to turn away from their loved ones.

They had to turn away from their closest friends to accept the Word of God.

They were persecuted simply because they accepted Jesus Christ.

Those that were Gentiles had to turn away from their former friends and their relatives.

Those that reject the Word of God develop a prejudice toward anyone that believes upon Jesus Christ.

The Non-believers for some reason will do everything within their power to “hinder the Gospel”.

A point I have never understood, except to understand that it is the work of Satan!

God is going to deal with those who reject His Son and those that hinder those who believe on Him!

This is also the truth of the “Gospel”!

*****1Th 2:16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

God is long-suffering toward all sinners but even God has a limit.

God warned those before the flood:

Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, “My spirit shall not always strive with man”, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

Regardless what the Evolutionist say, there is real proof of a world-wide flood!

God delayed giving the Promised Land to Israel until the sin of the Amorites was full.

Gen 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

But the command did come when God knew there would be no Amorite believers.

Deu 20:17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:

The Lord is long-suffering still today but the “Day of the Lord” will still come!

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Those Jews of whom Paul was writing had slain their own prophets.

They had crucified the Lord Jesus Christ.

They were doing all they could to hinder the “Gospel”, not only from other Jews but also from the entire world.

Their iniquity was full in 70 AD and The Temple and Jerusalem was completely destroyed and those that were remained were scattered all over the world for near 1900 years, until May 1948.

We should also wonder how much longer will God be patient with America!

Satan is still busy hindering the Word of the One True God, Jehovah!

*****1Th 2:17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
1Th 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.

As Christians we know for a fact that one day in the not so distant future, we will get to see again all those that have gone on before us face to face.

Paul had this same desire to see those Thessalonians.

We should have that desire to see all our brothers and sisters in Christ at every opportunity, after all we will spend eternity with them and we will be known by them all.

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

But Satan is a powerful creature.

Satan will do everything he can to hinder those that carry the “Gospel” to the lost.

Paul says that Satan hindered him at least on two occasions to get back to these Thessalonians, but God does what God does.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The Apostle Paul was forced to write this epistle to those Thessalonians and now the entire world can read the Inspired Word of God and know the work of the Apostle Paul.

God’s Word cannot be stopped by Satan nor this world we live in!

Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Satan may cause us some problems but Satan is not a problem for God!

*****1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
1Th 2:20 For ye are our glory and joy.

There are rewards for serving the Lord and furthering the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

There is a great joy from knowing that you were involved in some way in leading someone to the Lord!

Any reward will be given at the “Judgment Seat Of Christ”.

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

These are the crowns that are mentioned for believers:

1) The “incorruptible crown.

1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

2) The crown of righteousness.

2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

3) The crown of life.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

4) The crown of glory.

1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away

5) In our verse the crown of rejoicing.

We should notice that near the end of every chapter in this book the Apostle Paul makes a reference to the return of Jesus Christ.

The return of Christ is a prominent doctrine in the scriptures and is mentioned more than 300 times in the New Testament.

It is in Heaven where we can discuss these things without being hindered by anyone!

Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

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