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Acts 17:1-9 / The Church in Thessalonica

Thessalonians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:39
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Acts 17:1-9 / The Church in Thessalonica

Introduction

Things change...
One thing that is true of this area, you travel a few blocks and it seems like you are in a very different place.
As missionaries this is important to know.
Our culture is changing and that includes the acceptance and status of the Christian faith.
But you don’t have to wait to see what the future hold to be faced with different reaction to the gospel.
Just take a walk, or go to work, or to your child’s practice....
You will have to approach each situation individually when it comes to sharing the gospel.
It’s easy to share the gospel to a crowd who is accepting of it… but what about when you face those who oppose?
Not only is that a reality we already face in certain company, but I think it is going to continue to get worse on a societal level.
So we are going to take a walk through 1 & 2 Thessalonians and see (1) The struggles that Paul encountered in this young church and (2) how did he respond to the challenges, what truths did he focus on.
But first we are going to take a look in the days when the church was founded.
and we find that in the book of Acts.
Acts 17:1–9 ESV
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. 9 And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.
Acts 17:1–2 ESV
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
“…He came to Thessalonica…”
Trading city, on Egnatian Way.
Great Wealth, established
Cultural melting pot
Definite ruling class (civil & religious)
Pressure from To conform.
“…there was a synagogue of the Jews.”
This was not always the case.
It meant there was at least a strong enough presence to maintain a synagogue.
Would present at least one obstacle to the gospel.
“Paul went in AS WAS HIS CUSTOM,…”
There is nothing unspiritual about having a plan or method to sharing the gospel.
My mission is to share the gospel, where can I find people who need this message?”
For Paul, in Thessalonica, that was in the synagogue.
“…he reasoned with them…”
Implying what Paul’s approach was.
He didn’t beat them over the head with the Gospel.(there were times that it came to that, but Paul was there to win souls not win the argument.)
Implying that Paul was sensitive to where they are coming from.
understand their presuppositions,
understand their own pressure to be faithful to their beliefs.
In this case Paul was well versed in their beliefs, law, and customs.
“reasoned with them FROM THE SCRIPTURES.”
The scripture is the anchor of the gospel message.
This is not my word I am sharing with you...”
In this case, the problem wasn’t another scripture,
but a misunderstanding of Gods word.
(Illustration) I’ve had JW’s or. Mormons come to the house
(I’m not an expert on either).
I just asked them if they could tell me what makes out two beliefs different.
Then I am able to share what the Bible says on the topics that they brought up.
“…always be ready to make a defense...for a reason for the hope that is within you, yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
Most of the time that is going to mean that we “reason with them from the Scriptures.”
Acts 17:3 ESV
3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”
“Explaining and proving that...”
“It was necessary for Christ to suffer...”
This crowd understood their own sinfulness.
They understood who God was and desired to known Him.
Paul made the connection from what they know and what Jesus accomplished.
“...and to raise from the dead...”
Not a universal belief in life after death among the Jews.
Paul established that Jesus DID raise from the dead.
From here he can explain what that means for us.
Jesus has victory over death.
Physical Death is not the end
Physical Death is not the worst thing that can happen to us.
We also will be raised.
Our soul can also be preserved....HOPE!!!
“This Jesus who I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”
These truths about what Jesus accomplished leads to one conclusion... HE IS THE CHRIST.
The same conclusion Jesus brought the disciples to when he asked, “...but who do you say that I am.”
This is ultimately the conclusion we are to bring people to as well.
Jesus is the only way to God.
Jesus is the one who paid the price for our sin.
Jesus is the only hope for our eternal destination.To this crowd it also meant.....
Jesus is the King spoken of in the scriptures.
A Better picture of Thessalonica...
Acts 17:4 ESV
4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
Acts 17:5 ESV
5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.
“But the Jews were jealous...”
The gospel was well recieved.
Some (Jews) accepted Christ.
GREAT MANY Greeks
Leading women
So what was he problem?
Notice it didn’t say that they argued on a theological point. (just good old jealousy)
We care very little about what your saying
We don’t like how this will effect us.
This is something that even today we can relate to.
What do you Christians have against...
They really don’t care that we are simply upholding a moral law given to us by God
(So what did the Jews do about it?).....
“…taking some wicked men from the rabble they formed a mob...”
They couldn’t attack their theology...
They used a “herd mentality” to bully them and try to run them off.
They put them on blast!
They tried to cancel them.
Acts 17:6–7 ESV
6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”
These men and their message is destructive and damaging.
They are having a negative effect on the rest of the world!!!!
And they are trying to rule over us! (Jesus is King)
As missionaries what can we learn from Paul encounter with starting the Church in Thessalonica?
We have a message to share with a world that sometimes rejects it.
Share it anyway.
Don’t be afraid to reason with those who oppose your message.
We are ambassadors for God
Make sure your sharing HIS message
God is a holy God
We are broken because of sin
Jesus paid the price for that sin
Jesus won victory over eternal death.
Jesus is the ONLY WAY back to God!!!
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