JUST THE FACTS! In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7 NIV there are some facts about Christians in the Church at Thessalonica that should be true of all local church Christians and all local churches in every age. The first fact is that Christians are loved by God and chosen by God. This is demonstrated in the Christian’s life by the Word of God and the work of God in their life through the Holy Spirit and their Godly convictions. The Apostle Paul said, “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.”
The second fact Paul gave us is that it is good for local Church Christians to be “imitators” of other godly Christians and of the Lord. Godly examples are a vital part of church life. Without them the local church will not function properly. Do you recognize those examples in your church? Are you one? Paul said it this way, “You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord.”
Paul revealed in a third fact that local church Christians may undergo difficult times. But that should not keep the church from welcoming the Word of God with great joy because of the work of the Holy Spirit. In fact this should cause the local church to be a model of God’s power, grace, and love to other believers in Christ. Difficult times for the church may be the best of times for a church’s testimony and witness for Christ. As Paul said, “for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.” The local church is vital to God’s plan for this age. May God help each Christian to be an important part of serving God through the local Church. How are you doing?