oday I see another way that we can apply Paul’s letter to our daily life as Christians living in 2020.
“You know that we never tried to influence you by saying nice things about you, we were not trying to get your money; we had no selfishness to hide from you. God knows this is true.”1 Thessalonians 2: 5
In one of the devotionals that accompanies Max Lucado’s Study portion is this quote from Billy Graham:
“I have found that the casual Christian has little or no influence upon others. I am finding it is only the Christian who refuses to compromise in matter of honesty, integrity and morality who is bearing an effective witness for Christ.”Billy Graham
Often when we are facing opposition to sharing the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ, it is tempting to backpedal.
Our hearts may be somewhat in the right place – it is so urgent in us to offer the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ that we fear we will push someone away if we are too open.
So we might decide to use methods that seem to work in the world for bringing someone to the point of decision.
We might fabricate some kind of flattering atmosphere for a “friendship” with the secret hopes that we might win this one for Christ.
I think Paul is challenging that kind of subtle deception.
There was a movement a while back to make churches “seeker friendly.”
While I am totally in favor of making the church a safe place where all are welcome and loved, I am not in favor of tucking the message of salvation away until a person who has been searching for meaning and purpose while never having to confront the issue of sin in the life is pulled in enough that we deem them ready to hear the full message.
Kind of like we ease people into believing and accepting the message of redemption through Jesus Christ death and Resurrection.
This is contrary to what Paul is commending about the church in Thessalonica.
He repeatedly encouraging them that they heard and shared the Gospel with the power of the Holy Spirit.
We don’t need to figure out how to market Jesus.
We need to study His teachings, follow His ways and proclaim the Good News with our words and our lives.