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1 Thess 01 05-10 Essential for Being an Encourager Lesson 02

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INTRODUCTION

 

1.      Last week we began our study in the letter of 1 Thessalonians

a.       It was during Paul’s second missionary journey

                                                              i.      Along with Silas, Timothy and Luke

                                                            ii.      That a church was established in Thessalonica

b.      After a brief ministry in Thessalonica, capital of Macedonia, Paul travels south to Corinth leaving Timothy behind

c.       During this period of 51 – 52 AD that Paul writes this letter

2.      Eventually Timothy traveled to Corinth to see Paul

a.       Reporting to Paul on the progress of the young church in Thessalonica

3.      In response to this report, Paul wrote this letter

a.       Paul begins by encouraging them to grow in Christ

4.      Sadly there were many folk in this young church who were getting discouraged

a.       Since we all get discouraged from time to time

                                                              i.      God gave us a command

1 Thes. 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

5.      Three times in the book of 1 Thess. we are commanded to be comforters or encouragers – 4:18, 5:11, 14

a.       How do we encourage people?

FIRST: WE MUST BE AROUND GOD’S PEOPLE

 

1.      Paul writes to the church of the Thessalonians

a.       To be encouragers, we must be actively involved in a local assembly

SECOND: WE MUST CORRESPOND REGULARLY

1.      Few things encourage us like knowing someone is praying for us 

a.       Written words of appreciation and encouragement last longer than spoken words

THIRD: WE MUST COMPLIMENT

 

1.      Paul lists three specifics for which he is thankful

a.       FIRST: Paul is thankful for their work of faith

                                                              i.      Those good works produced by their faith

b.      SECOND: Paul is thankful for their labor of love

                                                              i.      Their work was a product of their love

c.       THIRD: Paul is thankful for their patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ

                                                              i.      Patience = speaks of the fortitude of a strong hearted soldier

1.      It is that ability to stand firm in the face of opposition,

2.      So many of the Thessalonian believers were the most encouraging believ­ers mentioned in the New Testament.

a.       Their faith in God is spread abroad (1:8).

b.      Everywhere Paul went he met believers who had been encouraged by the believers at Thessalonica.

c.       A big part of God’s purpose for our lives is to be like the Thessalonians and encourage other believers.

3.      The Thessalonians had three things that identified them as encour­agers.

 

 

FIRST, WE MUST LOVE THE WORD OF GOD 

 

1 Thes. 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

1.      The Thessalonians had a great love for the Word of God.

1 Thes. 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.

2.      The Gospel is not just words;

a.       It is accompanied with power.

                                                              i.      Power  = force

b.      The Word of God has awesome spiritual power,

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

3.      Sometimes we need encouragement when no one is around to encourage us.

a.       At these times, we can turn to the powerful Word of God.

b.      Psalm 119 is a devotional on the Word of God.

                                                              i.      With 176 verses, it is the longest chapter in the Bible,

                                                            ii.      Every verse directly or indirectly refers to Word of God, the Bible.

Psalm 119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

c.       As we read God’s Word we come to love it more and more.

d.      God doesn’t give us power through His Word just for our own benefit.

                                                              i.      Paul tells us why God encourages us through His Word

2 Cor. 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

4.      We are told

Eccles. 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

a.       Bread, in Paul’s day, was like our pancakes, was light enough to float.

b.      When cast into the sea, the waves would wash it back.

c.       This means because we have encouraged other people, when the time comes that we need encouragement, we will find it again.

d.      Sadly so folk complain that nobody was there for me in my times in the valley

                                                              i.      Must ask – where you ever there for someone else in their time of trouble?

                                                            ii.      You got to show you care before people will show they care

5.      The Bible is filled with encouraging and comforting words.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

a.       The devil doesn’t want us to be encouraged; he would rather put negative thoughts into ones mind

                                                              i.      Negative thoughts about ones church

                                                            ii.      Negative thoughts about ones brothers and sisters

                                                          iii.      Satan wants to keep us away from going where the Bible is preached and taught.

6.      Paul continues by telling us who the person is behind the power of God’s Word     

1 Thes. 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

a.       Holy Spirit job is to call, to convict, to transform, and to comfort.

b.      That’s why Paul preached the gospel with much assurance.

                                                              i.      Assurance of the truth of God’s Word.

c.       The first essential characteristic for becoming an encourager is we must love the Word of God and...

SECOND, WE MUST PATTERN OURSELVES AFTER FAITHFUL BELIEVERS 

 

1.      The people we choose to imitate will affect the quality of our Christian lives.

a.       We all need examples who encourage us to be all God created us to be.

b.      Paul was a great example

c.       Jesus is the ultimate Model for all of us.

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

2.      Jesus was God in flesh and blood

a.       He was perfect,

b.      We are not.

                                                              i.      We also need human models who encourage us in the Christian life.

c.       We need people to model in dealing with

                                                              i.      Life’s mistakes, child-rearing, marriage, and even the stress in our jobs.

d.      Paul understood this

Philip. 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

                                                              i.      Ensample = “pattern.”

1.      Patterns are used in sewing and woodworking.

2.      When we follow a pat­tern, our job is faster and easier,

3.      We make fewer mistakes.

4.      We always learn quicker and better by using models.

5.      Paul writes about this to the Thessalonians: .

1 Thes. 1:5-6 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

                                                            ii.      Paul says to us him as an example to the extent He fol­lowed the example of Christ

1 Cor. 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

                                                          iii.      It was because of the preaching and lifestyle of Paul and his co-workers, the Thessalonians became followers of them and the Lord.

                                                          iv.      Followers is from the word we get our English word “mimic.”

1.      We all need to mimic - to learn from – to follow the example of older faithful believers.

                                                            v.      You may say, “I don’t know anyone I respect that much.”

1.      Maybe you are expecting too much in a model.

2.      There are no perfect models because only Jesus is perfect.

3.      So, we need to find people with good spiritual strengths and model their strengths but not their weaknesses.

4.      If you don’t think you need follow someone else, you have a pride problem.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

e.       You can learn from anybody if you just know the right questions to ask.

Proverbs 20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

3.      The believers at Thessalonica received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost - 1 Thess. 1:6b

a.       Joy is the part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit   

b.      The joy - the examples of the Thessalonians was known far and wide

1 Thes. 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

c.       Paul is talking about all of Greece, includ­ing Philippi, Corinth, and Athens.

d.      Paul adds that everywhere he travels, the reputation of the Thessalonian believers precedes him,

e.       People were talking about them

1 Thes. 1:8-9 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

f.       People were talking about how they turned from idols to serve the living and true God  

4.      Our lives either encourage or discourage other believers.

a.       Our lives also either draw people to Christ or drive them away.

b.      Our greatest opportunity for en­couraging other believers

                                                              i.      Or for witnessing to unbelievers

                                                            ii.      Occurs during times of severe suffering.

c.       All of us can encourage other believers by being good Christian models  

d.      Younger believers should be able to look at your life and say, “That is what it means to be a Christian”

Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

e.       God wants us to be good Christian models that others can duplicate.

f.       To be encouragers, we must love the Word of God, be good examples for others to follow, and.

THIRD, WE MUST ANTICIPATE CHRIST’S RETURN 

 

5.      As encouragers, we must not only look back at Christ’s first coming but also look forward to His second coming.

a.       The Thessalonians waited for Christ’s return.

b.      They not only turned to the living and true God but were waiting for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead

1 Thes. 1:9-10 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

c.       To anticipate Christ’s return, we must believe what Acts 1:11 says

Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

6.      There are two aspects to the second coming of Christ.

a.       FIRST: Jesus will gather His Church from earth

1 Thes. 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

                                                              i.      This is called the “Rapture.”

                                                            ii.      Jesus describes it in Matthew 

Matthew 24:40-41 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

b.      Jesus also said

Luke 17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

c.       Why is it some will be in the field working, obviously in daytime, and yet Jesus says in that night?

d.      The Rapture will be worldwide; so while it is daytime in one place, it will be night in another.

7.      SECOND: This event will usher in the Great Tribulation.

a.       At the end of the Tribula­tion, Christ will return to earth to set up New Jerusalem as the capital of His eternal kingdom (Rev. 21).

b.      The Rapture will save Chris­tians on earth from the wrath to come  

1 Thes. 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

c.       Jesus describes this terrible time 

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

d.      Before God destroyed the world with the Flood, He rescued Noah and his family.

e.       Before he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, God got His people out.

f.       God is the same yesterday, today, and forever

                                                              i.      He will also rescue His people from the wrath to come.

g.      We are not to be apprehen­sive about the future but anticipate the glorious return of Christ.

CONCLUSION

8.      To be encouragers like the Thessalonians, we

a.       We must love the Word of God,

b.      We must duplicate faithful believers, and

c.       We must anticipate Christ’s return. 

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