Proclaiming the Gospel of Hope
Read : 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13
Text : 1 Th 2:4 (KJV) But as we were allowed
of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not
as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
Theme : Since God entrusts us with the
gospel, and observes what we do with it, our goal should be to
please Him by sharing it with others.
- Can you make a difference in this world?
- It's easy to be pessimistic as we read the news, which is
increasingly depressing. However, for the believer,
there is always hope, and always hope that can make a
- I can't physically do anything for the poor of our
country or our world...
I can't help those who die
around me of various illnesses...
I can't stop the violence and crime that saturates our
I can't help the insanity that fills the minds of our
leaders, and says it's O.K. to burn our flag, but not to
display our Bible... it's O.K. to kill our babies, but
not our wildlife...
... or can I?
- God has given me the greatest news that has ever
been proclaimed to mankind in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Rom 10:13 (KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved.
That includes the
seemingly hopeless poor, the seemingly helpless sick, the
seemingly unreachable criminal mind, and the seemingly
insane philosophers of our day.
- The hope of America is not her politicians or political
parties, not the constitution, not the courts, not
education (which is held up as a panacea for all of
- The hope of America (and all the world) is the gospel
of Jesus Christ.
- Paul, in our scripture today, gives us an example of a
life dedicated to proclaiming the gospel. The passage is
arranged as a defense of Paul's ministry (for he was
always under attack by those who would discredit him). In
his defense, he spoke of his message, his motives, and
- We will follow that line of thinking in our study.
I. Our Message
- A. Definition.
- QUESTION - What is our message?
The gospel of God. (vss. 2,4,8,9)
1 Cor 15:1-5 (KJV) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto
you the gospel which I preached unto you... By which also
ye are saved... For I delivered unto you first of all
that which I also received, how that Christ died for our
sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day according to the
scriptures: And that he was seen....
QUOTE - "I brought you what I received -
something very important - that Christ died for our sins
as the Bible said He would. He was buried, and He rose on
the third day, as the Bible said He would." (1 Cor.
15:3-4 - BECK)
- B. Some things to remember about the message.
- 1. It takes courage to proclaim it. (vs. 2)
- "Of the memorials in Westminster Abbey there is
not one that gives a nobler thought that inscribed on the
monument to Lord Lawrence - simply his name with the date
of his death, and these words: 'He feared man so little
because he feared God so much.'"
2. It is a stewardship. (vs. 4)
Col 1:25 (KJV) ...I am made a minister, according to
the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to
fulfil the word of God;
QUESTION - Does viewing the gospel this way
impact what we do with it? How?
3. It takes work. (vs. 9)
QUOTE Charles Whitfield, "Men, preaching
4. It is the message of salvation. (vs. 12,
"who hath called you.")
QUOTE "Man talks of the survival of the
fittest, but the glory of the gospel is that it
transforms the unfit."
5. It is the message of sanctification. (vs. 12
"that ye might walk worthy")
QUOTE George L. Smith, "When a Christian
is winning souls, he isn't messing around with sin."
QUESTION - What do you think of this quote?
What does it tell you about the need to proclaim the
II. Our Motives
- ILLUS. "Bobby Dodd, Georgia Tech's athletic
director, tells of the coach who, with his team leading 7
to 6 in the last minute of play, carefully instructed his
quarterback not to pass under any condition. But when the
ball was carried within the opponent's ten yard line, the
quarterback was overcome by temptation. He passed, and
the ball was intercepted by the rival's fleetest back,
who broke into an open field and raced toward pay dirt.
He was speeding past midfield when suddenly, out of
nowhere, the quarterback who had passed overtook him and
brought him down. After the game, the losing coach
remarked to his barely victorious counterpart, 'I'll
never understand how your boy overtook my fastest back.'
'Well, I'll tell you,' came the reply. 'Your back was
running for touchdown - my boy was running for his
life.'" (Wall Street Journal)
- QUOTE Thomas A. Kempis, "Man sees your
actions, but God sees your motives."
- QUOTE Dr. Paul Vanaman, "Men, examine your
- QUESTION - What are some motivations that you
observe in Christianity today? (LIST ON WHITE BOARD)
- QUESTION - Which do you think are right and which
do you think are wrong? Why?
- QUESTION - Is there a single thought in our
passage today that sums up what our motivation should be
in proclaiming the gospel?
- A. Our motive should not be pleasing men (vs. 4)
- B. Our motive should not be pleasing self (vss. 5-6)
- C. Our motive should always and only be pleasing God!
- QUESTION - How can we ensure that this is our only
III. Our Methods
- QUESTION - What are some of the methods mentioned
by Paul in our scripture?
- A. Accuracy (vs. 3)
- B. Honesty (transparency) (vs. 5)
- C. Simplicity (vs. 6)
- D. Compassion (vss. 7-8)
- QUOTE - "Compassion is your pain in my
QUESTION - How does this apply to
proclaiming the gospel?
So often our position is right, but our disposition is
- E. Discipleship (vs. 8)
- F. Preaching (vs. 9)
- QUOTE George W. Peters, "The world is far
more ready to receive the gospel than Christians are to
hand it out."
QUOTE "The best tact in
soul-winning is contact."
- G. Holy example (vs. 10)
- H. Encouragement (vs. 11)
IV. Our Purpose (vss. 12-13)
- It works!
- It is the only hope!
We asked the question in the introduction, "Can
I make a difference in the world today?"
The answer is NO, if I try the worlds
But the answer is YES, if I faithfully do
that which God wants me to do: proclaim the gospel of Jesus
May God help us to integrate the sharing of our
faith, and the winning of souls, into our daily lives, so that
we, like Paul, can make a difference to our world.
Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1997 William E. Johnson.