MP3: The Rapture Road Thru 1 Thessalonians 1
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Since the first installment of The Truth Will Set You Free podcast series titled “The Rapture Road,” Vic Batista of Miami’s Calvary Chapel Broward and Nathan Jones of Lamb & Lion Ministries have been teaching through the biblical prophetic book of 1 Thessalonians in a verse-by-verse study. We will begin winding up chapter one with verses 6-10.
Nathan Jones: 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 reads:
“And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
Vic Batista: Wow, another power-packed passage! It talks about the church’s faithful witness in their community and beyond. They were the light of God that was shining forth. That’s the only way to live out our Christian lives. In Matthew, we are similarly told that we are to be salt and light in a dark world. In other words, our Christianity also needs to be seen publicly, and not just heard within the confines of church and home.
Nathan Jones: I love when you see someone accept Jesus Christ, how they start bubbling over with energy and excitement. They exude this electricity about them. They feel compelled to share the Gospel. Some of the best preachers and teachers of the Bible are the ones who had just got saved. The feel compelled to share the Good News with everybody around them.
That’s the situation we’ve got here with the Thessalonians. We’re reading about a people who were raised in a pagan and idolatrous city, but who had finally been given the truth. That truth gave them a conscious by the Holy Spirit and they finally now understood right from wrong. They became excited about evangelism and desired for their fellow Thessalonians to also know about Jesus Christ as they did.
The Apostle Paul commended the new believers in Thessalonica for their faith and evangelistic zeal. Over the years our passion kind of cools. Jesus actually warned the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2 to remember their first love, because their love for the Lord had grown cold. Likewise, a cooling of our love for God happens to us as well when we get comfortable in our relationship with Him, and so our love grows cold. But, this church is still young and vibrant and excited to share the Gospel.
Vic Batista: You make a great point that Christians must be diligent in praying for ourselves and our ministries, that the fire of the Lord will always be burning, and we will not get complacent and comfortable in our walk with Jesus Christ. Evangelism keeps the fires of faith burning. As we go outside of ourselves and share Jesus Christ’s love with a lost people, the act of doing so also does wonders for our own faith.Vic Batista: #Evangelism keeps the fires of #faith burning. As we go outside of ourselves and share Jesus Christ's love with a lost people, the act of doing so also does wonders for our own faith. #BibleStudy Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Yes, sharing our faith is an act of love which constantly refreshes our own love for our Savior. A Christian needs to be sharing the Gospel. We are, after all, called “Christ-followers.” What did Jesus do while He was ministering on the earth? He shared the Gospel. He shared the Good News of the Kingdom to all He came across. Christians are called to follow our Lord’s example.
It appears the Thessalonian Christians’ witness was so strong that even in their affliction they remained joyful in the Holy Spirit. These Christians didn’t let their suffering and tough circumstances get them down, or to bottle up their beliefs. Because of their faithful example, the Gospel spread not just in the town of Thessalonica, but in all of Macedonia and Achaia as well. Their passion for the Lord reached out to all the various merchants who traveled in and out of Thessalonica selling their wares, and once saved the Gospel went with them, spreading all over Macedonia. Thessalonica was positioned in the perfect place to spread the Gospel out all across the lands of Macedonia.
Vic Batista: That’s not such a different situation from what we are doing today. Christians are proclaiming the Gospel over today’s crossroads, those being through the airwaves and the Internet, to people all around the world.
Nathan Jones: Great comparison! The communication venues we have available for spreading the Gospel today simply boggle the mind. We are now sitting on an (old term) — the Information Superhighway — where the trade comes and goes, just like the Egnatian Way through Thessalonica. Today’s a great time period for sharing the Gospel. It’s so easy for Christians today to get the Gospel out there online, letting our own passion for Jesus Christ also get others excited about Him, just like the Thessalonian church did.
In the fifth part of our travels along the Rapture Road and our verse-by-verse study of 1 Thessalonians, we’ll conclude chapter one.