What the Church Should Do in the Midst of Persecution (I Thessalonians 1:6-8) - Part 3
I Thessalonians 1:6-8, And ye became followers of us, and of the LORD, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the LORD not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
B. F. Mills, a preacher from a generation ago told the following story: “I remember going down stairs in a hotel about midnight, with some letters in my hand that I wished to mail. The clerk was not in the office, but a policeman was there, and he said, ‘I will take your letters and mail them for you.’ I thanked him and handed them to him, and started up the stairs. As I went, I heard a voice say, ‘Why did you not speak to that policeman about Christ?’ I said, ‘It was because it would not do any good.’ The voice said, ‘How do you know?’ I kept going up all the time. ‘Why did you not speak to him about his soul?’ I said, ‘Lord, he did not look as though he had a soul.’ He was a very fleshy-looking sort of a man. The voice said, ‘Are you going to preach to others and then be cast away yourself?’ I said, ‘No, Lord; I will go back.’ I started down the stairs, but I heard the door shut, and when I came into the office the policeman had gone. I had a sore heart that night and a sore heart the next day. I said, ‘If I see that man again, I will preach Christ to him, if it is a possible thing.’ To my great surprise and joy, he came into the afternoon meeting and sat down on a back seat. There was a throng there, and I tried after the benediction to go back where he sat, but the aisles were filled too quickly and I could not do it. I thought I had missed another opportunity. As I stood talking with some people, in a few moments the aisle was cleared, and as I looked down it, I saw the policeman coming up toward the front. The tears were streaming down his cheeks, and he said to me, ‘I have never known what it meant to be a Christian, but if you will tell me I will commence now.’ There are those all around us, looking into our faces, people who are waiting for the touch of a living, earnest Christian in order to be led into the kingdom of God.”
3. They Shared the Word:
This young church was so committed to the Lord that their testimony spread all over the world. What a glorious testimony and dynamic example of witnessing! What a lesson for us today! How desperately we need to get to the task of living for Christ and being a testimony for Him. It was their focus on the Bible that made this church an example for others. They were not ashamed of the Gospel or shy about sharing it. They literally shouted out the Gospel message. I believe they talked of it wherever they went. We do not need to be silent as the world around us perishes without the Lord. We have the truth and the answer to all the problems people are facing today. They did not squander the Gospel message, they spread it abroad. They had proclaimed Christ to the entire nation. There was not a corner of the country where the gospel had not been shared. May we continue to reach others, beginning with them in our community, county, state, country, and throughout the world.
Questions to Consider:
Points to Ponder:
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Thank You for saving me. Forgive me for not sharing this Good News with others on a regular basis. Bring people into my life that I can tell about Your amazing love. Lead me to the people You have prepared for me to encounter today, whatever my impression of them. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.