‘Now when they had passed through Amphipolus and Apollonius, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews.’
The Apostle Paul was a central figure in the turmoil that we read about in the city of Thessalonica. He was a man with great God-given courage. Previously, because of the message that he had preached, he had been beaten, he’d been imprisoned in the city of Philippi. And yet Paul was compelled to press on, to press on in his calling and to preach the same message now at Thessalonica. And together with Silas, they walk over 100 miles to bring the same message to this needy city. Despite the opposition, despite the persecution, they boldly come to this city and once again they preach Jesus Christ. And lives were evidently, wonderfully changed. They were transformed, but such an effect created turmoil in the society in that city.
And Paul writes of this experience later on in a letter to the church that was formed at Thessalonica. And he says, for you yourselves, brethren, know that our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain, but even after that we had suffered before and we were shamefully entreated, as you know, at Philippi. We were bold in our God to speak unto you the Gospel of God with much contention.
And so we see this evening, first of all, that the inspiration and the source of their courage was none other than Jesus Christ the Lord, the almighty Saviour and King. You see, the Apostle Paul had experienced a personal encounter with the risen Lord Jesus. And from that time he was a fearless preacher of the Son of God, Jesus Christ being both Saviour and Lord. But Paul also was greatly influenced and inspired by the hope that he had in Christ of heaven and future glory.
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