(My note-taking from Sunday, if you trust it. From Dr Chris at FBC Ruston.)
BEING RIGHT ON THESE
1 Thess 2: 13-16
Paul is writing to this relatively new church about some things they must be 'right' on ..
1. The Word (v. 13)
a. The divine expression of the ultimate authority
The Bible IS the word of God, not just the words of God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 --"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Peter 1:20-21 -- "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
b. Points us to salvation
2 Timothy 3:15 "...and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus..."
c. It will continually feed the soul of the believer
* A lot of us are bored with Christianity, and when a friend asks if we're in the Word, we are usually NOT. (We want growth by osmosis.)
Heb 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
2. Suffering (v. 14)
a. Make sure you suffer for the right reasons
b. Know it is part of the Christian way (v. 14-15 and ...) Mt. 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."
c. Suffer well (v. 14) "...imitators of the churches of God..."
* Be consistent
* Be Christlike
* Positive attitude
Persistence and optimism and a happy heart; that's how to "suffer well."
Suffering, even at the hands of religious people, is a part of the Christian walk.
3. Don't Hinder the Gospel of Jesus (v. 16)
* Romans 10:14 "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
* Be a springboard to the Gospel, not a barrier.
* ANYTHING we do to hinder the spreading of the Gospel is of the devil
* 2 Peter 3:9 .."The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
How do we hinder the Gospel?
* We don't share it.
* Bad example
* We stay mad at the church or 'religion'