Sunnyside First Baptist Church
There is room at The Table
  • Thessalonians

    Paul wrote this letter to encourage new believers in their faith. He wanted to encourage them in Godly living.
    That’s the place that we are. Most of us here are NOT new believers. But this is a time in our world when all of us are being called on to act like new believers.
    If you have been a believer for many, many years return to your first love. Get excited to meet with other Christians, eat together, pray together, share each others lives. Be intentional about being in relationship with each other.
    The people of Thessalonica were concerned that they had been left behind. They knew that people in Jerusalem had witnessed Jesus’ death, burial, Resurrection and ascension..
    Because of all of those events and the ministry of Paul that came to the Thessalonians, They too thought their time had come to “be caught up in the air” and brought to Heaven. It was not yet and it’s still not yet. Although we continually see the beginnings of end of times.
    Thessalonica was the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia, near present day Greece.
    Paul visited early in his ministry but was forced to leave because of Jewish opposition. On Paul’s second try he sent Timothy.
    Timothy worked, grew and multiplied the faith of the church.
    This was one of Paul’s first letters written in 50-51 AD.
    First Thessalonians is a love-fest from Paul, Silas and Timothy to the Church
    1 Thessalonians 1:1 NLT
    1 This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God give you grace and peace.
    He is addressing directly believers in this community by asking God to give Grace and Peace.
    As I pray regularly for all of you by name, I think about....
    1 Thessalonians 1:3 NLT
    3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    [I] think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    PRINCIPLE #1 - Work faithfully because of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Why even today 2000 years later do we have discipleship for our adults, for our “littles” and “middles”, why do we have #CityWide Youth.
    Why do we live a life guided by faithful principles?
    1 Thessalonians 1:5 NIV84
    5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
    When you accepted the Lord, it was probably with words. It may have been at your bedside with your parents, it may have been in a men’s or women’s group, it may have been at a camp or like me it could have been in the Parking Lot of Burger King in Puyallup. We said some words and they were meaningful.
    What was most important was that you received power from the Holy Spirit.
    Now some of you might by saying… I didn’t have that experience, I don’t if I have the power that Paul is talking about it. Let’s talk about it? Let’s walk through your experiences and put some kind of spiritual framework around them.
    1 Thessalonians 1:6–7 NIV84
    6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
    For the Thessalonians, following Jesus ment a number of things. Persecution from the Jews, murder, crucifixion, loss of income, loss of family and it goes on and on. Paul and Jesus both suffered in the most extreme ways for the cause of the Gospel. Paul
    Because of who we are and where we live in the United States that kind of persecution for our faith is not widely happening in our country.
    I do believe that is changing and we are being challenged everyday in the choices that we make and how that represents Jesus. There are people on the sidelines looking for us to depart from our core values and then label us.
    Followers of Jesus around the world are being persecuted each and every day. Pray for our brothers and sisters.
    I find some comfort in
    1 Peter 3:13–17 NLT
    13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
    Let’s move to the next principle...
    PRINCIPLE #2 Let your loving deeds pave the way of your testimony to God’s Grace and Mercy.
    Ask the 50 of so people that here in our sanctuary today. Ask them to tell you about the “loving deeds” that they have been shown by friends, neighbors, strangers.
    It is those same “loving deeds” that brought us to Christ, keep us in him and allow us to share with others
    listen to v. 8-9
    1 Thessalonians 1:8–9 NLT
    8 And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, 9 for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God.
    The “arms open wide” that we have and need to have to be a part of the body of Christ. To welcome and interact with others paves the way for others to see the Lord in faith.
    One of the first weeks that Jill and I attended our local Baptist Church in University Place, I wasn’t exactly brought kicking and screaming… but I was certainly nervous.
    We sat next to Jim and Beth Moller, it was their first or second week there too. They invited us for lunch. I can tell you what we ate, who was playing the football game we watch and I have a vivid memory of seeing the guy in the end zone hold up his sign that said
    John 3:16 NIV84
    16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
    It was their “loving-kindness” with that meal, with that explanation that Beth gave me of what that meant that led me into a relationship with Jesus.
    I hope the days are LONG GONE that we beat people over the head with the Bible, tell them unless they accept Christ right now, they are going to burn in hell.
    Christ has paid the penalty, Christ has been the once for all sacrifice. It’s our job now to use relationship and “loving kindness” to win people to Christ.
    We pray that maybe, just maybe, we will have the opportunity to lead someone into an eternity long relationship with Jesus...
    Let’s get to our final principle
    PRINCIPLE #3 - Believers have an “enduring hope” in Christ Jesus.
    1 Thessalonians 1:10 NLT
    10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
    There is a time coming, maybe tomorrow or made a million tomorrows. But there is a time coming when Jesus will return to this earth. When He comes this time, He does not come as a lamb, He comes as righteous Judge.
    From The Book of Revelation
    Revelation 19:11 NLT
    11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.
    Revelation 19:14 NLT
    14 The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses.
    Revelation 19:16 NIV84
    16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.
    As followers of Jesus, I believe that we will avoid this terrible judgement that will be brought down to earth.
    We will be FREE from these terrible circumstances that await those who do not follow the leading of God in their lives to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior.
    We will be in Heaven, huddled around the throne of God, praising Him day and night.
    So what develops that “enduring hope?’
    Why do we have the “enduring hope?”
    What does that “enduring hope” get us while we are here? While we are on earth, slogging along in our daily lives, messing up, sinning, following God but following our own ways?
    Where is our enduring hope in the day-to-day, year-to-year, in our lifetimes?
    Store that one away, let’s come back to it in a couple of minutes.
    This “enduring hope” is built on the backs of the many many generations of faithful followers that went before us all. At the very beginning, when Paul first sent out on his missionary journeys. To reach Thessalonica, Philippi, Corinth for Jesus he laid down a pattern and a process. It began clear back in the Book of Acts
    Acts 2:42 NLT
    42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
    Acts 2:47 NIV84
    47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
    This enduring hope, is built by sharing in teaching, sharing in worship, sharing in discipleship and most importantly sharing and building relationships with each other.
    A good thing that happens when we do this is we are encouraged, we are built up and we move ourselves along the path of sanctification or becoming more like Jesus.
    The best thing that could happen is that through all this. Through your faithful work, your loving deeds and your enduring hope is that your example either one on one, with your family, with a small group may lead just one more person to a decision to love for Jesus.
    1 Thessalonians 1:3 NLT
    3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    I left you with a “so what” question a bit ago, let me remind you of it. And that’s how I will end today
    Where is our enduring hope in the day-to-day, year-to-year, in our lifetimes?
    It comes in the realization that those that you pour your lives into whether it is your spouse, your children, your relatives, your friends, your neighbors, those you work with, those who your don’t know yet.
    It comes for missionaries in England, in Sunnyside, in Africa, Asia that toil for their entire lifetimes for the opportunity to know that the one person, even just ONE person is now seated at the table of Lord.
    If this idea of not wanting to be left out at the coming to the Lord. If this idea that you need to explore faith in Christ, if you need to move along the path of becoming more and more like Jesus… This is place and time for you.
    I’m serious… This is the time and place for you to be, let us be apart of that process in your life.
    Let’s pray
    Jack if you would come and hold our very short business meeting.
      • 1 Thessalonians 1:1ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 1:3ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 1:5ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 1:6–7ESV

      • 1 Peter 3:13–17ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 1:8–9ESV

      • John 3:16ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 1:10ESV

      • Revelation 19:11ESV

      • Revelation 19:14ESV

      • Revelation 19:16ESV

      • Acts 2:42ESV

      • Acts 2:47ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 1:3ESV

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