This Week's Gospel Sermons

And Some Of Them Were Persuaded  - Scott Richardson

One God  - David Sandlin


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Scott Richardson



Owen Griggs

Tim Hamilton

Jackson Drive


July 27, 2014


And Some of Them Were Persuaded

Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women. 5 But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people. 6 When they did not find them, they began dragging Jason and some brethren before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here also; 7 and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8 They stirred up the crowd and the city authorities who heard these things. 9 And when they had received a pledge from Jason and the others, they released them. 10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea … (Acts 17:1-10).

While on the second missionary tour, the apostle Paul and his company, experiencing great trials and troubles, left Philippi and went to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1). Unlike Philippi, where there seemingly was no synagogue, this group went to the synagogue at Thessalonica (Acts 17:2). The account of Paul’s preaching here is told in few words—he preached Christ (Acts 17:3,4). When Paul wrote his first letter to these at Thessalonica, we learn much more about this visit recorded in Acts.

Paul preached to these people, not only with words, but accompanied with the power of the Spirit. “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake” (1Thessalonians 1:5). Paul and his group also set a good example before others while they were at Thessalonica. “You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers” (1Thessalonians 2:10). There was no question about the quality of the preaching at Thessalonica—indeed, it was a transforming gospel. “For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God” (1Thessalonians 1:9).

Just how was this transforming gospel handled?

The preaching at Thessalonica was done with great boldness. “But after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition” (1Thessalonians 2:2).

This preaching was done with much exhortation. “For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit” (1Thessalonians 2:3).

This preaching was the gospel of Christ in purity. “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness—nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.” (1Thessalonians 2:4-6).

This preaching was done with gentleness. “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children” (1Thessalonians 2:7).

This is how the gospel was handled in Thessalonica, but the most important thing about the preaching at Thessalonica — it bore fruit. (see Acts 17:4). “For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain” (1Thessalonians 2:1).

Trouble came to Thessalonica, too (Acts 17:5-10). Trouble began with jealous and wicked men. There will always be those who oppose the teaching of God’s word—the truth of the gospel.

We can see that those of us who are now Christians, just like those in Thessalonica, have much for which to be thankful. Good people before us have stood for truth; progress and growth have often come at great cost to someone.

There were such encouraging words for those in Thessalonica. These words are for Christians today, too. “So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him” (1Thessalonians 5:6-8).

Christians must stand firm. “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Thessalonians 5:15-23).

—S. Scott Richardson Sr.

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