Stewardship of Proclamation of the Message

November 19, 2005 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Introduction:
1. We’re continuing our study during Stewardship Month on the topic: Stewardship of Our Service for a Living God
 Last week: Nov. 13 – Part 2: Stewardship of Discipleship of Others [Hebrews 5:1-14]
* We tried to emphasize that a Good Discipler is first a _________________! (Good Disciple)
- the passage in Hebrews 5 focused on being good steward of hearing the Word of God and being a good steward of one’s spiritual growth. . .– in the author’s words, ‘get away from the milk and eat the meat of the Word of God so you can make an impact on others!
 Next Week: Nov. 27 – Part 4: Stewardship of Thankfulness: Recognizing Who God Is & What He’s Done and Doing in our Lives – Psalm 136
2. We need to remember WHY we’re taking the time to do this series on Stewardship:
1) This is a very important subject in the NT – Jesus referred to it, and the epistles address it
2) This subject/teaching has been an important part of the development of the ministry of FBC – we’ve done a lot of what we’ve done in an effort to be good stewards of what God has given to us
Example: Building a Community Center – our Property, Resources (dollars, people, and land)
#1: DISCUSS the Stewardship Commitment Card – due today! Our goal is to raise an additional $200,000 toward the Community Center
- some have already pledged an amount, you may want to consider INCREASING it
- some are NEW to our church, and have not yet made a commitment
NOTE: Our emphasis is NOT equal giving, but equal sacrifice!
#2: Discuss the Praise & Thanksgiving Service – TONIGHT – very important night – takes the place of our Stewardship Banquet [became very costly – over $20,000 to have a Stewardship Banquet!] – Calvary Chapel will be joining us – singing/baptisms – stewardship update – Children’s Choir [grade 1-6 on the platform singing praise to God!]– Adult Choir & Orchestra!
3. * Quick Review:
 Stewardship = God-given responsibility with accountability!
“We do not choose to become stewards, we are stewards! Q: What kind of steward are you?
Q: What are the 4 Factors in Stewardship?
#1: God Owns Everything, and I Own Nothing.
#2: God Entrusts Me with Everything I Have.
#3: I Am Responsible to Increase What God Has Given to Me. I May Increase It or
Diminish It.
#4: God Can Call Me into Account at Any Time.
 Today: Nov. 13 – Part 3: The Proclamation of the Message
4. With those things in mind, let’s READ 1 Thessalonians 1 – we'll be focusing on v. 8-10
- as we read, notice that this church was the kind of church for which Paul, an Apostle, was very thankful!
- this church, though not perfect, was a strong church – as you read the book, you know why
[Note: I’m considering doing a study of this book next year in our ABF series on the NT]
Point: They were real people with real problems. but they handled life well
5. If our church is going to be effective, this characteristics will need to be true of our church
- and it will only be true of our church if it is true of us as individuals
- we’re talking about being good stewards in the proclamation of the message that has changed our lives!
- let's think about 3 questions concerning how this church at Thessalonica was a good steward of their proclamation of the message of salvation:


  I. How did they DO it?


A.  Receivers first, then transmitters
- read v. 5,6- they heard truth and applied it to themselves first – that’s part of what our study was about in Hebrews 5
- they were seeking to follow the Lord by being obedient to the Word
* Their evangelism/outreach was just another act of obedience!
- it was a natural part of their relationship with Christ – their “labor of love” led them to reach out to others to the point that those people they reached out spread "holy gossip"
- We can imagine they said things like: Did you hear about the change in _______ (name of the person)
• He went from idol worship to following Christ
• She went from adultery to loyal and faithful to her husband
• He went from a drunk to incredible self-control
• Sinfully angry to humble and being quick to ask forgiveness when he sins!
Q: Why? Because they HEARD the truth, BELIEVED the truth, and ACTED upon it!
- you may be thinking: It was easier for them to change and serve the Lord -- we have it a lot harder today with all the temptations we face
> but the issue from God's perspective (one that counts) is it's not CIRCUMSTANCES but how we RESPOND to those circumstances
- the church was what it was because of their response to the Word of God
- after they heard the gospel, they responded with the same attitude that Peter and John had:
 Acts 4:20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Lesson: The most effective tool is evangelism is a growing believer who is hungry for the word of God!
Quote: “Salvation does not always make one an effective witness, nor does salvation always make an eager witness; but salvation should make one an instinctive witness.” (source unknown)
- because we have heard the gospel and understand what price Jesus had to pay for our sin, we should be compelled to tell others what Jesus did for us
> not only "receivers" but "transmitters"
Q: Are you an effective transmitter of the gospel because you are aggressively pursuing to grow in Christ?
B.  Personal responsibility and vision
1.  Responsibility – "from you”
- these were individuals with a life's message that made up a church that saw they had a responsibility to get the message out!
- it is the responsibility and privilege of each local church to share the message of salvation with the lost world - at the end of each of the 4 Gospels and at the beginning of the book of Acts, there are commissions for the churches to obey
- many of you could give testimony to congregations who are content to pay staff to do the evangelistic work of the church
Input: What is wrong with the philosophy that expects the pastors to do it all?
- commission is for each believer - not the qualifications for a pastor
- in the NT church, the entire congregation is to be involved in the Good News
- the pastors job is Eph. 4:11-16 – equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry
- Let’s face the facts:  Most people come to Christ because somebody talked to them!
- the sense of personal responsibility and the personal contact brings the harvest
2.  Vision – "sounded forth” and “gone forth”
- both are in the perfect tense = past action, with on-going, continuous results
- these folks changed when they got saved - they immediately began to get the message out about what God had done for them
- others came to know Christ and when they heard Paul begin to preach they said, "Yes, we heard about your God from the those in Thessalonica!”
C.  Lessons to learn from this church:
#1: Don't underestimate your influence on others!
- only God knows the impact we make this side of eternity – and you can be assured that we will stand and give an account for the opportunities we had!
 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.


- think of who might be there because FBC corporately, or because of you personally!
* . . . remained faithful to God's Word, modeled forgiveness, continued to grow and model submission to Word
- remember Paul’s words:
 Romans 14:7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself;
#2:  God is counting on you!
- that’s the whole point of:
 Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
 2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Quote: If you me, then who? If not now, then when?
2.  What was their MESSAGE? The Gospel of Jesus Christ! [death, burial, resurrection]
- Paul stated this very clearly in his letter to the Corinthians 15:
 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
- more specifically, their message and lives included:
A.  Faith for repentance – "turned to God from idols"
- he didn't use the word for repentance // he used another word that emphasizes the effects of repentance (i.e. change)
- the message of the gospel of Jesus is change – becoming a new creation in Christ
* Complete this sentence: Salvation changes you from _____________ to ___________!
[dead to life, enemy to friend, hopeless to hopeful, etc.]
B.  Love for serving – “to serve the living and true God”
- a natural part of our relationship with Christ is the desire to serve Him
- Paul said we are debtors to Christ – anything I do for Him is little in comparison to what He has done for me!
C.  Hope for endurance – “to wait for His Son from heaven”
- salvation gives “hope” = anxious anticipation of good as we seek to obey/follow His word
3.  What was their MOTIVE? v. 10
 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
A.  Imminent return of Jesus
- Paul is making reference to the rapture of the church – he will refer to this again in Chp. 4
* Imminent return is to be understood as nothing else has to happen in order for Christ to return for His bride (1 Thes. 4:13-18)
- this and other passages are why we hold to a PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE position – the next event on God’s time-table
>  other issues like the Millennial Kingdom where Christ rules from the throne of David  in Jerusalem (fulfilling the Davidic Covenant), are contingent upon other events and other fulfilled prophecies
- the Pre-Tribulation rapture, on the other hand, is imminent – could happen at any moment because there is nothing in the scriptures that has to be fulfilled for that to happen!
[this is all based on a literal interpretation of the bible – e.g. 1,000 years = 1,000 years unless the text would clearly indicate a metaphoric example – like a 1,000 years is as a day to the Lord, and a day is as a 1,000 years]
Input: How will this truth help us be more effective in our evangelistic outreach?
(a) personal anticipation (live differently when you know authority may be present)
(b) personal accountability -- 2 Cor. 5:10 [quote]
* It is tragic when churches forget this doctrine- but it is more tragic when churches believe it and preach it -- but do not practice it!
B. Impending wrath
- what wrath (deep seated anger) was Paul referring to?
* Possible 3 options:
(1) immediate persecution they faced
(2) the wrath poured out on the Gentile nations during the Tribulation – from which the Lord’s coming would save spare them
(3) the ultimate rejection of God toward the sinner – the Great White Throne Judgment and being cast into the lake of fire (2nd death) [Rev. 20:14] – in the context of salvation, this is the ultimate ‘wrath’ a person can face (eternal damnation by God when He pours out His wrath on those who reject the message/work of His Son!)
- Think about your loved ones, friends, co-workers, neighbors!
Q: What do we need to do?
1) keep growing
2) keep proclaiming
3) keep praying
4) keep trying to be effective in our evangelistic efforts

Adult Bible Fellowships
Stewardship of Our Service for a Living God
Part 3: The Proclamation of the Message – 1 Thes. 1:1-10
Introduction:
 Nov. 27 – Part 4:  Stewardship of Thankfulness Recognizing Who God Is & What He’s Done and Doing in our Lives [Psalms 107]
 Stewardship = God-given _______________ with _________________!
#1:  God Owns ________________-, and I Own _______________.
#2:  God _______________- Me with Everything I Have.
#3:  I Am Responsible to ______________ What God Has Given to Me. I May ____________ It or _______________ It.
#4:  God Can Call Me into __________________ at Any Time.
* 3 questions concerning how this church at Thessalonica was a good steward of their proclamation of the message of salvation:
  I. How did they DO it?
A.  ________________ first, then __________________
* Their evangelism/outreach was just another act of ________________!
 Acts 4:20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Lesson: The most effective tool is evangelism is a ______________ ______________ who is _______________ for the word of God!
“Salvation does not always make one an effective witness, nor does salvation always make an eager witness; but salvation should make one an instinctive witness.” (source unknown)
Q: Are you an effective transmitter of the gospel because you are aggressively pursuing to grow in Christ?
B.  Personal __________________ and _____________________
1.  Responsibility – "from you”
Input: What is wrong with the philosophy that expects the pastors to do it all?


2.  Vision – "sounded forth” and “gone forth”

C.  Lessons to learn from this church:
#1: Don't underestimate your _________________ on others!


#2:  God is _________________ on you!
* If you me, then who? If not now, then when?

2.  What was their MESSAGE? The Gospel of Jesus Christ! [death, burial, resurrection]
 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
A.  Faith for repentance – "turned to God from idols"

* Complete this sentence: Salvation changes you from _____________ to ___________!

 

B.  Love for serving – “to serve the living and true God”

C.  Hope for endurance – “to wait for His Son from heaven”

3.  What was their MOTIVE? v. 10
 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
A.  Imminent ___________ of Jesus
* Imminent return = nothing else has to happen in order for Christ to return for His bride (1 Thes. 4:13-18)
Input: How will this truth help us be more effective in our evangelistic outreach?


*  It’s tragic when churches forget this doctrine; but it is more tragic when churches believe it and preach it -- but do not practice it!
B. Impending ___ ___________
* Possible 3 options:
(1)
(2)
(3)
Q: What do we need to do?



Adult Bible Fellowships
Stewardship of Our Service for a Living God
Part 3: The Proclamation of the Message – 1 Thes. 1:1-10
Introduction:
* 3 questions:
  I. How did they DO it?
A.  Receivers first, then transmitters
* Their evangelism/outreach was just another act of obedience!
 Acts 4:20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."
Lesson: The most effective tool is evangelism is a growing believer who is hungry for the word of God!
“Salvation does not always make one an effective witness, nor does salvation always make an eager witness; but salvation should make one an instinctive witness.”
Q: Are you an effective transmitter of the gospel because you are aggressively pursuing to grow in Christ?
B.  Personal responsibility and vision
1.  Responsibility – "from you”
Input: What is wrong with the philosophy that expects the pastors to do it all?
2.  Vision – "sounded forth” and “gone forth”
C.  Lessons to learn from this church:
#1: Don't underestimate your influence on others!
 2 Corinthians 5:10
 Romans 14:7
#2:  God is counting on you!
 Matthew 28:19-20
 2 Corinthians 5:20
* If you me, then who? If not now, then when?
2.  What was their MESSAGE? The Gospel of Jesus Christ! [death, burial, resurrection]
 1 Corinthians 15:3-4


A.  Faith for repentance – "turned to God from idols"
* Salvation changes you from _____________ to ___________!
B.  Love for serving – “to serve the living and true God”
C.  Hope for endurance – “to wait for His Son from heaven”
3.  What was their MOTIVE? v. 10
 1 Thessalonians 1:10
A.  Imminent return of Jesus
* Imminent return = nothing else has to happen in order for Christ to return for His bride (1 Thes. 4:13-18)
Input: How will this truth help us be more effective in our evangelistic outreach?
(a) personal anticipation
(b) personal accountability
* It’s tragic when churches forget this doctrine, but it is more tragic when churches believe it and preach it -- but do not practice it!
B.  Impending wrath
* Possible 3 options:
(1)  immediate persecution they faced
(2)  the wrath poured out on the Gentile nations during the Tribulation – from which the Lord’s coming would save spare them
(3)  the Great White Throne Judgment and being cast into the lake of fire (2nd death) [Rev. 20:14]
Q: What do we need to do?
1) keep growing
2) keep proclaiming
3) keep praying
4) keep trying to be effective in our evangelistic efforts