More Giving. Less Taking. (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
Last Days – time between Jesus’ 1st & Second Coming (Endtimes)
1:10 wait for his Son from heaven…raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
4:15-17 the coming of the Lord…the Lord himself will descend from heaven…the dead in Christ will rise first.Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
5:2-9 the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape….God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ
Matt. 24:8 Jesus “birth pains” – discomfort, contractions, frequency/intensity = new life birthed
=Labor Pain = births new life IN US & AROUND US
=Prophecy (2500) = overcomes false proph. (planet dies; evolving; abandoned/alone)
- Life is hard & getting harder as we near 2nd Coming
- Looking out causes fear.
Economy? Election? West culture? Single – who marry, how afford? Parent/Grand -kids future?
Mental health is plummeting, especially for younger generations.
Please get the poll “teen girls who persistently felt sad or hopeless increased dramatically from 2011 to 2021”
People are destructing by self-medicating.
“With U.S. overdose deaths hitting a new high in 2022, a majority of adults…have felt the impact of the substance use crisis…2/3 say either they or a family member have been addicted to alcohol or drugs, experienced homelessness due to addiction, or experienced a drug overdose leading to an emergency room visit, hospitalization, or death.”
People are losing hope and ending their life.
Please get chart “US suicide rose steadily over the last two decades”
Christians endure the same experiences as non-Christians.
“suffered & been shamefully treated…much conflict…labor & toil…suffered…drove us out… Satan hindered us…we could bear it no longer…distress & affliction grieve…fainthearted…weak”
- Looking out causes fear. Looking up causes faith. #! Fear NOT!
A. Our God is over this world & everyone/everything in it
B. Our God 1.goes w/us through this life, 2. is coming to judge the world, 3. rescues us forever
Birth Pains teach & model: 1 Thessalonians 2:1–12 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
“Birth pains” – Paul “suffered”
1. Mentally – “shamefully treated”; “much conflict”
2. Physically – Acts 17 angry mob ran him out town, wanted dead
3. Legally – Acts 17 Jason who housed him got arrested, paid fine, gov’t wants Paul jail/dead
4. Spiritually – he obeyed God & “lost”
5. Professionally – wrote a false letter (2 Th. 2:1-3 deepfake)
6. Financially – said he stole money as con man “we worked day & not…not to be a burden”
7. Relationally – said he left because he did not love the people
1. When a Christian leader is attacked, consider the source (no converts, church, name)
2. Sometimes God gets you out of suffering. Most of the time God goes w/you thru suffering
3. When opposition gets harder, take your obedience deeper (ready now)
4. Your test is for your testimony “please God who tests our hearts”
5. God will vindicate you (we don’t know their names, or have their letter)
More giving. Less taking. = “Birth pains” = Hurting/suffering/scared = more selfish less generous
Paul is going through a lot, but writes the letter because he is thinking about others suffering
“Like a mother”; “Like a father” Zac & Chloe
- Give yourself to the Lord – “please God” – winning vs worshipping; my will vs God’s will
- Give yourself to the “gospel” A. Become XN B. Help someone else become XN
- Give yourself to a few godly friends (Silvanus & Timothy 15% men 0 friends)
- Give yourself to a good church family (brothers, mother, father).
- Give yourself to being honest with yourself, God, God’s people
INVITE THE BAND UP
- Give yourself to the Word & Spirit
1:5 “Word…and power in the Holy Spirit”
1:6 “you received the word in much affliction, w/the joy of the Holy Spirit”
Return to Joy – 5 minutes brain focusing on 1. Appreciation 2. Expectation (vs seconds)
4:8 “God…gives his Holy Spirit to you” (Jesus Lk 11 ask Father)
5:19 “Do not quench the Spirit”
- Pray for yourself (unburden, ask help/direction, thank God)
- Pray for someone else
- Give a word/Scripture to someone
- Repent and/or forgive
- Raise hands, clap, cheer, kneel, sit