"DON'T CHECK OUT"'
"Unmoved by Afflictions"
1 Thess. 3:1-10
Intro: Staying at a motel, revival, hard time. Mentally
I had gone home! Heard the operator say, "I'm sorry, Rev.
Seaborn has gone home." "Oh, no, I've got two more days!"
"I'm sorry, according to our records you have already checked
Are ye ever tempted to check out of life's battles and
tensions? Is it worth the strain?
Difficult people, demanding situations, doctrinal differences?
The temptation is to give up/check out, while the battle
is constantly before us.
Paul was deeply concerned about the danger of the
Thessalonians checking out on faithful discipleship. He
couldn't get them off his mind and heart. His worry over
them prompted him to send Timothy back to find out how they
were doing. The report Timothy brought back to the apostle
in Corinth was mixed. Yes, their authentic conversion had
taken deep roots, and yes, they were holding fast in spite of
persecution. But some were wavering, and all needed courage.
So Paul's word to them was to "stand fast in the Lord"
(1 Thess. 3:8). This is the jugular verse.
And Paul needed to stand fast in Corinth. Things were
not any easier for him there than they were for the new
Christians in Thessalonica. Two realities converged to fire
the apostle to write stirring words of courage to his beloved
friends. One was his knowledge of their need and the other
was the Lord's gift to him in his needs. The Lord always gives
us what we need, not only for ourselves, but for others who
are confronting similar needs.
I am very thankful for the book of Acts as a companion to
a study of Paul's Epistles. It helps us identify what he was
going through during the time he wrote many of his letters of
love and encouragement. This is especially true of the
Thessalonian Epistles. In Acts 18 we discover what was
happening to Paul when he received word of the Thessalonians
and wrote this first l ...
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