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   The New Testament Idea of Repentance – Part 1
   Acts 15:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; James 5:19-20; 2 Corinthians 7:5-11
Wednesday Evening Service,  March 11, 2015
 
“Repent!” is the first sermon ever preached in the New Testament, for John the Baptist and Jesus himself came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (e.g., Mark 1:4, 15; Matt 3:2, 8; 4:17; Luke 3:3; 5:32). But there is sometimes confusion about this idea of repentance, especially regarding its place in the gospel and in the Christian's daily walk. Therefore, I hope to look at the meaning of this word, “repent,” how the word is used in the New Testament, and what it means for us today as we witness and walk with Christ.

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   New Covenant Giving - Part 1: How We Give
   1 Thessalonians 2:1–9, 19–20
Sunday Morning Service,  May 11, 2014
 
Paul wanted the Thessalonians to know for certain that when he and his ministry team came to town preaching the gospel, they were not in it for the money. The evidence for their genuineness could be seen in how completely they gave of themselves to the people, even as a mother lovingly gives everything for her baby. In Paul’s testimony we note several qualities of his giving which help define for us our own giving today as the Lord’s church .

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   The Political Background
   Philippians 1:12-18, 27; 3:20; Acts 16; 21:27-33; 1 Thessalonians 1:8, 9
Wednesday Evening Service,  May 8, 2013
Philippi was a Roman colony on a main highway called the Egnatian Way. It was a chief city of Macedonia (Acts 16:12). The citizens of Philippi were primarily pagan worshippers. The first converts who made up the first church were faced with incredible persecution. The early believers were growing so fast that they were accused of turning their world upside down. Both political leaders and religious leaders fearing the Christians opposed them at every opportunity. In spite of the opposition, a well organized church was established in Philippi.

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   Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day
   1 Thessalonians 5:25-28
Sunday School,  May 5, 2013
Paul wraps up his letter to the beloved church with a challenge to pray, love one another, and read the Scriptures. In these brief remarks, we find much for us to follow in the way of Christ.

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   Paul's Benediction for the Thessalonians
   1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Sunday School,  April 14, 2013
Paul brings the first letter to the Thessalonians to a close with his third prayer for them. It is also the benediction on their behalf. He prays that all their being, spirit, soul, and body would be totally separated to the God who brought them peace. He prays they will be kept blameless until the coming of Jesus Christ. Finally, he assures them that their spiritual health and growth is assured based upon God's faithfulness.

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   Pithy Guidelines for Christian Vitality
   1 Thessalonians 5:19-22
Sunday School,  April 7, 2013
In this lesson, we try to untangle the second table of brief bullet commands in 1 Thessalonians 5. From them, we learn to abhor sin and see the world with biblical discernment.

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   The Daily Practice of Christian Worship
   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Sunday School,  March 24, 2013
These three commands point us to the imperative of Christian worship. This lesson begins with a review of the fulfillment in the practice of worship and then discusses the interrelationship of Christian joy, prayer, and thanksgiving.

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   Instructions for Building a Young Church
   1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
Sunday School,  March 17, 2013
The apostle Paul here gives instructions to the young Thessalonian church. Paul teaches concerning the relationship of church leaders to members and also the relationship of member to member. This practical instruction comes immediately after his inspiring teaching on the Lord's second coming.

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   The Day of the Lord – Part 2
   1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Sunday School,  March 10, 2013
1 Thessalonians 5:2 states that the Day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night. Reading about the Day of the Lord, most people think only in negative terms: the wrath of God against sinners. Chapter five reveals both a negative and a positive aspect to this event on God’s prophetic calendar. Indeed, sinners are appointed to wrath (5:1-3, 9) but saints (those who are in Christ) are appointed to salvation (5:4-11).

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   The Day of the Lord – Part 1
   1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Sunday School,  March 3, 2013
1 Thessalonians 5:2 states that the Day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night. Reading about the Day of the Lord, most people think only in negative terms: the wrath of God against sinners. Chapter five reveals both a negative and a positive aspect to this event on God’s prophetic calendar. Indeed, sinners are appointed to wrath (5:1-3, 9) but saints (those who are in Christ) are appointed to salvation (5:4-11).

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   Comfort Comes by Believing in the Rapture of the Saints
   1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Sunday School,  February 24, 2013
Paul wrote to comfort the Thessalonians by sharing with them the revelation God had given him. Those in Christ who died would not be at a disadvantage when Jesus came for His saints. At the rapture, the dead in Christ would rise first and then those alive would be caught up together with them in the clouds. Believing this truth offered them the comfort they needed so they would not sorrow as those with no hope. This is God's word to us today.

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   Love and Lazy Busybodies
   1 Thessalonians 4: 9-12
Sunday School,  February 10, 2013
What is Love? Is there a difference between brotherly love and love for a neighbor? Why is it important and what instructions were the Thessalonian church relying upon for knowing what God's desire about it were? Also, what was up with the admonition about "working with your own hands"? Does this apply to Bethany and how? Audience comments galore ensued.

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   Christ's Command and the Antithesis of Brotherly Love - Part 2
   1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Sunday School,  February 3, 2013
In these verses, Paul begins with an admonition to live of the life of a Christian, and stresses the importance of progressing in that life. Then he explains, quite concretely, one of the ways brotherly love is exercised in the church of Christ, namely, through abstaining from fornication. To fornicate is to disobey, not the apostles, but God himself.

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   Christ's Command and the Antithesis of Brotherly Love - Part 1
   1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Sunday School,  January 27, 2013
In these verses, Paul begins with an admonition to live of the life of a Christian, and stresses the importance of progressing in that life. Then he explains, quite concretely, one of the ways brotherly love is exercised in the church of Christ, namely, through abstaining from fornication. To fornicate is to disobey, not the apostles, but God himself.

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   Paul's Prayer for the Church at Thessalonica
   1 Thessalonians 3:10-13
Sunday School,  January 20, 2013
There is no truth that establishes and motivates the believer more than the return of Jesus Christ. Each chapter in the two epistles of Thessalonians concludes with a reference to Christ’s coming. In I Thessalonians 3:1-13, Paul prays for the believers in Thessalonica. His prayer is a model for us as to how we should be praying for one another. He again concludes that we might be prepared to meet the Lord at His coming.

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   Encouraging Each Other in Faith and Love
   1 Thessalonians 3:6-9
Sunday School,  January 13, 2013
Timothy is sent to Thessalonica to check on the faith of the young church. Paul was worried about their spiritual condition. When Timothy returns with a positive report, the news rejuvenates Paul. What we can learn from these few verses can impact are relationships.

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   1 Thessalonians 3:1-5
   1 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Sunday School,  January 6, 2013
Paul, under the Holy Spirit's guidance sees fit to include much personal correspondence in the letter of 1 Thessalonians. This material gives us a window into authentic Christian ministry. In chapter 3:1-5 we see Paul's heart for the Thessalonians and his concern for their spiritual well being in the midst of persecution. Paul reminds them that suffering affliction for Christ is a Christian norm. We as American Christians would do well to think on that truth.

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   Paul's Longing
   1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
Sunday School,  December 30, 2012
Paul is refuting apparent accusations that he had just abandoned the new church in Thessalonica and is apathetic toward them because he had not returned for a visit. In this portion of the letter, he explains his intense desire to see them in person and gives the reason he has not bee able to return.

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   Authentic Ministry
   1 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Sunday School,  November 25, 2012
Paul had only three weeks to plant the church at Thessalonica. After his departure due to persecution, Paul feared that the believers would turn away. Evidently, some opponents of the gospel were trying to slander Paul and undermine his reputation in order to lure the believers away. Therefore, Paul takes great pains to remind them of the authenticity of his ministry among them. In the section, we gain valuable insight into what authentic ministry looks like.

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   Paul Defends His Ministry at Thessalonica
   1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Sunday School,  November 18, 2012
What does one say when his message and method is discounted? Paul, Silas, and Timothy were diligent in their motives as they proclaimed God's truth.

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   The Marks of God's Grace in the Church at Thessalonica
   1 Thessalonians 1:4-10
Sunday School,  November 4, 2012
As Paul opens his letter to the Thessalonians, he is overwhelmed with thanks to God for them because of the marks of God's supernatural work in them. As we look at these evidences of God's grace that brought Paul such joy, we as believers and as a church can look to imitate the Thessalonians.

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   Paul's Salutation
   1 Thessalonians 1:1-3
Sunday School,  October 28, 2012
First Thessalonians is the Apostle Paul’s first epistle (letter) written in the New Testament. He established a pattern with this letter that he continued in six other New Testament epistles. He always began with a salutation which included an introduction of the one writing the epistle, the church addressed and a greeting expressing some statement of good wishes for the readers. This greeting was often a desire for grace and peace which was common in the letters written in the Hellenistic world. For Paul’s readers, grace is God’s provision of everlasting life through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Peace was the byproduct in the inner lives of those who by faith accepted God’s provision.

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   Introduction to First Thessalonians
   1 Thessalonians; Acts 16:9-10; 17:1-14
Sunday School,  October 21, 2012
The city of Thessalonica was evangelized as part of the Second Missionary Journey by the Apostle Paul and his coworkers (Acts 17; 1 Thessalonians 1). They were led there by the Spirit of God by what we know as the Macedonian Vision (Acts 16:9-10). The letter to the church of Thessalonica was written by the Apostle Paul to encourage and comfort the church facing severe persecution (1:2-10; 2:13-16) and to correct misunderstandings concerning future events (4:13-5:11). Our study in the Book of Thessalonians should prove to be a great blessing as well as challenging. It is an intimate epistle as Paul writes like he is having a heart-to-heart talk with the new believers at Thessalonica.

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   Progressive Sanctification
   1 Thessalonians 5:23
Sunday School,  September 30, 2012
All true believers who have born again by a supernatural work of God ought to manifest it by growing in holiness and righteousness. The Spirit of God works sanctification in us through love. Sanctification is a long process, and the war for holiness continues until death. Sanctification brings glory to God.

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   Hearing God: Bible Preaching and Reading
   1 Thessalonians 2:13
Sunday School,  August 5, 2012
The Bible points to itself as a necessary instrument to spiritual vitality. Therefore all Christians must attend to hearing God’s Word. The primary way we receive God’s Word is in attending to its public ministry at our church. The second way we receive God’s Word is in our own private reading and meditation on it.

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   The Rapture of the Church
   1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Wednesday Evening Service,  July 13, 2011
The Rapture of the Church takes place prior to the Great Tribulation recorded in Revelation chapters 6-19. The Tribulation Period is known as a time of Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:6-7). This period is referred to in Daniel as the seventieth week. Since the first 69 weeks were directly related to Israel, it only makes sense to believer that the last week will be related to Israel as well. The Church is promised deliverance from God's wrath also known as the Hour of Temptation (Revelation 3:10; I Thessalonians 1:10, 5:9).

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   The Church and the Coming of Christ
   Matthew 24; 1 Thessalonians 4-5; 2 Thessalonians 1-2
Wednesday Evening Service,  July 6, 2011
Many believe that the Lord will rapture the church before the Tribulation, and that the Rapture and Second Coming are two separate events. However, a look at the Olivet Discourse, especially in light of Paul's application of it to the church in the Thessalonian Epistles seems to indicate that the church will go through the Tribulation. At the very least, it is wise to be prepared for such a possibility.

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   The Nature of Being Human and the Origin of the Soul
   1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:44; Luke 12:4-5; John 5:28-29
Sunday School,  May 1, 2011
There are many questions that surround our humanity, such as who we are, where we came from, what is our purpose, and where are we going. The Bible answers all of these questions. But the Bible also helps us to understand our nature or our substance—of what we consist. The answer to the question of our nature helps to inform our understanding about many other aspects of our Christian life. In this lesson we will look at the three leading views of the nature of humanity and also look briefly at the subject of the origin of the soul.

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   The Meeting in the Air
   1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Sunday Morning Service,  August 19, 2007
 
What we believe affects how we interpret the events of life. The Thessalonian Christians were ignorant about an important truth concerning the coming of Christ for His own. As such, they were experiencing the wrong kind of sorrow. Paul instructs them with God's revelation.

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   Paul's Three Levels of Evangelism in Thessalonica
   1 Thessalonians 2:1-9
Sunday Afternoon Service,  April 22, 2007
 
In this passage, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of how he presented the Gospel of God by conversation, sharing and preaching.

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