A long time ago, the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write a letter to a church in a Greek city called Thessaloniki. Even though it was specific to their situation, much of it applies to us, including Paul's closing exhortations. A good summary of these is kindness to everyone. The visible marks of Christianity are not complicated. We’re glad you’re joining us as we review God's words from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 and see how they still apply 2,000 years later, over 5,000 miles away.
Life has a way of coming at us fast and furious. This crazy life also creates more questions than it does provide answers. Thankfully, we have God's Word to retreat to as not only our "answer guide,” but also to provide encouragement and comfort about why things are the way they are and how our gracious God works everything out for our good and his glory. This week in worship, we travel back to the Garden of Eden and watch sin rear its ugly head. Sin forcefully enters the world . . . but so does God's mercy and love. We worship together today proclaiming, "That explains everything,” marveling as a Savior is promised for the very first time.
Don’t blame me. Who hasn’t said that? Taking responsibility for a minor faux pas or a major accident is unpleasant at best and devastating at worst. For that and a host of other reasons, the Bible doctrine of Judgment Day is not a popular topic. But it is a prevalent one. When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he was even bold enough to say God’s judgment helps Christians build each other up and encourage each other. We’re glad you’re here to sing, pray, fellowship, greet, welcome, commune, and give thanks . . . for Judgment Day.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a French philosopher in the Age of Enlightenment, wrote, "He who pretends to look on death without fear, lies." What words best describe how you look upon death? Paul wrote to a congregation of people in the ancient Greek city of Thessaloniki who had lost loved ones. The Holy Spirit inspired him to give them words of hope and comfort. Now, by God's grace, he gives those same words to us. We are people who have grieved, are grieving, and will grieve but may God the Spirit fill us with the kind of hope only he can give.