Saturday, September 8, 2012
“For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain” (1 Thessalonians 2:1 KJV).
The believers in Thessalonica demonstrate that ministry work for the Lord is not done in vain.
Paul and Silas, on Paul’s second apostolic journey, arrive in Thessalonica in Acts 17:1. Here, there are Judaistic Jews and Greeks (verse 1), people who have some comprehension of the Old Testament and the one true God. However, there are also pagan Gentiles, individuals who later “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
The Lord through Paul and Silas preached the Gospel of God’s Grace to us in Christ (dispensational Bible study). By placing their faith in that message, the Thessalonians either progressed to further understand God’s Word (that is, how God was now revealing advanced information—the mystery program—not found in the Old Testament), and/or learned that the one true God, unlike the pagan gods they had worshipped as heathens, had come in the form a Man to die for their sins. After the Thessalonians trusted Christ, today’s Scripture and its context (1:3–2:1) describe how God used them to evangelize their neighbors!
Ever wonder, “Are our preaching the message of God’s grace and teaching the King James Bible rightly divided, really worth it?” After all, many—even professing Christians (!)—hate it. Too prideful and too attached to their religious tradition to admit that God’s message to us Gentiles is Paul’s epistles (Romans through Philemon), denominational Christians vehemently oppose and attempt to suppress dispensational Bible study… THAT is vain. For, though we are few in number, we Pauline dispensationalists “serve the living and true God,” and nothing God does is ever “in vain” (worthless, futile). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Again, “Are our preaching God’s grace and our teaching the King James Bible rightly divided, really worth it?” Today’s Scripture is a resounding, “Yes, it is worth it! It is ‘not in vain!’” 🙂