As we have been working our way through I Thessalonians, I have been dwelling on Paul’s emphasis on the gospel of God in chapter 2. Over and over again Paul has reminded us of the essentials of our Christian faith, that Christ has died, and Christ has risen, and Christ will come again.
Our church is a very busy church. We have many ministries that reflect our desire to reach our community for Christ. However, if we are not careful, we can get so busy serving in the church that we fail to keep the main thing the main thing.
So, as you reflect on the glorious gospel of God in your life this week, ask yourself the questions I have asked in my study of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians:
1. Are we getting in the way of the gospel? In I Cor. 9:22 Paul declared, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”
2. Are we believing in the gospel as the source of our hope?
3. Are we relying on the power of the gospel? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
4. Are we getting the gospel out? “For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. 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.” (I Thess. 2:1-2)
5. Are we getting the gospel right? Paul emphasized the absolute priority of a clear gospel to the churches of Galatia, and as he criticized the legalists of his day, he emphatically stated: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
6. Are we praying for the work of the gospel?
7. Are we training up our children in the gospel?
8. Are we trusting that God will change lives as we emphasize the gospel?
Pray that our passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ will surpass our passion for anything else, even March Madness (there, I said it). Pray that our hope, our joy, our crown (I Thess. 2:19-20), will be to take as many people with us to heaven as we can.