Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Church Has A Powerful Message
1Thes. 1:4-10 NASB

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. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Introduction
The GREEK word we use for the church is Ecclessia. It originally referred to a called out assembly. We refer to the church as a people called out of the darkness into light. In John 17, Jesus refers to believer as those the Father had given to Him. Notice John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24. In verse 4 of the text Paul refers to these believers being "chosen".

If a person is a born again individual there will be evidence. If God Chooses He Changes. As part of God's chosen people we have the privileges of sharing the message and seeing others come to Christ. This is true because the church has a powerful message.

    This Powerful Message Is A Saving Message.
        This Powerful Message Is A Serving Message.
            This Powerful Message Is A Sounded Message.
 
 

1.    This Powerful Message Is A . . Saving Message. v 4 - 5


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.
 

A.    The . . Choice of the Saving Message. v 4
            " knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; . . . "

        1.    His choice.
                John 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you
                should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain,  that whatever you ask of the
                Father in My name, He may give to you.

        2.    Our choice.
                Jer 29:19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD,
                which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye
                would not hear, saith the LORD.

                Matt 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to
                her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks
                under her wings, and you were unwilling.

B.    The . . Conviction of the Saving Message. v 5
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;

        1.    Conviction about the . . Scripture. v 5 a
                    ". . . for our gospel did not come to you in word only, . .

2 Peter 2:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

        2.    Conviction about the. . Spirit. v 5 b (also see v 8)
                ". . . but also in power and in the Holy Spirit . . ."

        3.    Conviction about the . . Sharing came. v 5 c
                ". . . with full conviction;, . . . "

Illustration
During the most recent Missouri Baptist Convention our President Gary Taylor shared this experience. Right around dinner time the phone rang and it was one of those telemarketing people. Gary listened for a moment and then said to the young man "I am so glad you called because I have a question I have been wanting to ask you."

My question is "have you reached the place in your life that you know for certain if you die you are going to heaven" The young man said " no The young man was really taken back and through." Then Gary asked "what would you say to God if he asked you why should I let you into my heaven? He again did not have a good answer so Gary asked if he could share how he could know for certain he was going to heave,

The man said "yes." Gary shared and then asked "does this make sense to you?" The young man said "yes" Then because of this presentation he prayed the prayer os salvation where-by he gave his life to Jesus.

Application

Our message is a powerful message. It changes lives for all eternity. It has Saving Power
 
 

2.    This Powerful Message Is A . . Serving Message. v 5 d - 7 


". . . just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

A.    Serving with . . Intent. v 5 d (Note Romans 12:2)

        1.    To Prove.
                    ". . . just as you know what kind of men we proved to be . . . "

Illustration
As a young man and a student at St. Louis Baptist College, which is now Missouri Baptist College, I went out on Revival team. I was the preacher, we had a music person, someone to lead devotions and someone to lead in fellowship. We were having a good weekend experience and on Sunday afternoon, one of the laymen invited me to go out and make some visits with him.

We were driving down a country road when all of a sudden he stopped and said, "There's old Zeke." And he just stopped in the middle of the road and we got out and traipsed through the brush, etc. to find Zeke who was out hunting. And he told Zeke who I was and that we were having revival and he wanted him to come to church. And Zeke looked at this young man and said, "There are too many hypocrites in your church." This young man stood up to Zeke face to face and said, "Zeke, are you calling me a hypocrite?" And Zeke backed away and said, "No, I'm not calling you a hypocrite. You're different."

Now friend, that's the exact kind of proof that this scripture is talking about.

        2.    To Persuade   "be imitators of me"   v 5 c
                ". . .to be among you for your sake. "

B.    Serving with . . Imitation. v 6 (1 Cor 11:1)

        1.    Serving with . . Personal Imitation. v 6 a
                "You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, . . . "

        2.    Serving with . . Persecuted Imitation. v 6 b
                ". . . having received the word in much tribulation . . . "

        3.    Serving with . . Privileged Imitation. v 6 c
                ". . . with the joy of the Holy Spirit, . . . "

C.    Serving with . . Increase. v 7

        1.   Becoming Example v 7 a
                ". . . so that you became an example . . . "

        2.    Believing example v 7 b
                ". . . to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.. . . "

Illustration
This story was shared at the MO Baptist Convention. The pastor in First Baptist of Leesburg, Florida shared at the Executive Committee meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention that while flying on a plane he sat next to a young lady who had the physical problem called "Down Syndrome". She was very talkative and this pastor thought well, I won't get any rest sitting next to this lady. Sure enough, just as soon as they got up in the air, she nudged him and said, "Sir, do you eat candy?" And he said, "No." She said, "Good because candy rots your teeth." In a little bit she nudged him again and said, "Sir, do you smoke?" He said, "No." And she said, "Well, good. Because smoking causes cancer." Said they went on for a little while and she nudged him again and said, "Sir, do you know Jesus?"

And this pastor smiled and looked at the young lady and said, "Yes, I do and thank you for asking." Went on a little bit further and the girl nudged him and said, "Ask those questions to the man next to you. Go ahead, do it." she said.

So the pastor looked at the man next to him and said, "Sir, do you chew candy? Sir, do you smoke, sir, do you know Jesus." And then this pastor shared that the man next to him began to open up his heart and share where he was emotionally and in his relationships with his wife and through the conversation this man gave his life to Jesus Christ. Friend, we have a message that we are supposed to share. When we share, we are serving our Lord.

Application

We can serve and God's Power will enable us.
 
 

3.    This Powerful Message Is A . . Sounded Message. v 8-10


8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Introduction
" This phrase, the word of the Lord, may be subjective with the Lord as its author or objective with the Lord as the object. It is both. . . . "Sounded". . . ( our echo) to sound out of a trumpet or of thunder, to reverberate like our echo. Nowhere else in the New Testament. . . . So "from you" as a sounding board or radio transmitting station (to use a modern figure)]"   AT Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database.

A.    The Sounded Message . . Traveled. v 8

        1.   Traveled through . . Conscientious Sharing v 8 a
                ". . . For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and
                Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, . . . "

        2.    Traveled through . . Complete Sharing v. 8 b
                ". . . so that we have no need to say anything. "
 

B.    The Sounded Message . . Transforming. v 9

        1.   The . . Reporting of the Transforming Sound. v 9 a
                -"For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, . . . "

        2.    The . . Repenting of the Transforming Sound. v 9 b
                ". . . and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, . . ."Psa. 115:4-8

C.    The Sounded Message's . . Trustworthiness. v 10
           ". . . and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who
            delivers us from the wrath to come."

        1.    Decisively trustworthy. V 10 a
                ". . . and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead . . . "

                a.    Decisive In That It Is Not . . Passive Waiting.
                b.    Decisive In That It Is Not . . Private Waiting.

        2.    Delivered trustworthiness. v 10 b
                ". . . that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come. "

                a.    The Person of this Deliverance.
                        ". . . that is Jesus, who delivers us . . . "
                b.    The Purpose of this Deliverance.
                        ". . . delivers us from the wrath to come. "

Illustration
My pastor Mack Douglas told this story and I like to repeat it. . One of our Southern Baptist Convention missionaries went to a country where the predominant religion was that of the Muslim's. Several times a day they bow towards Mecca and pray a prayer. Included in the prayer is Allah is God and Mohammed is His Prophet.

The missionary was walking with his son one day and his son said, "Dad, don't you get tired of hearing that?" And his father said, "Oh yes my son I do." As they were walking along, the time came for this message of Mohammed to be sounded out. The missionary could not take it any longer. He came up to one of the men, put his hands over his mouth and hollered out, "NO! God is God and Jesus is His Prophet.

The message echoed down the corridor, rows, streets and sidewalks and in and out of the buildings. And over and over again was heard NO! God is God and Jesus is His Prophet! NO! God is God and Jesus is His Prophet. It seemed the echoing would not stop, and the little boy said, "Daddy, you just can't stop it can you?"

Friend, this is what Paul said to these folks. They had sounded out the message of Jesus Christ. We should likewise sound out the message because it is a powerful message. A life changing message.

Application

    This Powerful Message Is A Saving Message.

        This Powerful Message Is A Serving Message.

            This Powerful Message Is A Sounded Message.
 
 


 
 


 

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