1Thess 3:1-13   

 Blind Spots   

 11-22-98

Intro: Iíll bet no one here is concerned about themselves, that they will ever lose their faith.. We begin our Christian walk with the best intentions of living out our life in faith and service. We have no thought of anything else. We are confident that, without wavering, we can deal with anything that comes our way regardless of whatever twists and turns life takes. That is as it should be- to a point.

Watch out for that -Blind Spot

Naturally Occurring Blind Spot

They tell us that everyone has a blind spot naturally occurring in the eye, a hole in our vision. Itís where the optic nerve exits the eye.

When it comes to faith I think we also have naturally occurring in our psyche a blind spot (at least one). The blind spot is the vulnerability of our own faith

There ought to be a term for that kind of myopia

Confidence tempered by caution.

1. 1 Cor. 10:12

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!

Paulís illustration was the failings of Israel which prevented them from entering the promise land.

2 Peter 3:17

Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, (that there are already men in the world corrupting the gospel message) be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

C. Thessalonians Blind Spot, Paulís Concern.

Iíll bet the Thessalonian Christians spent little time thinking about, let alone worrying about losing their faith.

So why was Paul Concerned?

Teens never worry about their abilities to handle every situation and stay out of harms way.

So why are parents always so concerned? Because they know about the -

Blind to Subtleties of Satan

What are the subtleties of Satan?

Whatever it is is whatever it is.

Whatever it is that affects our faith or faithfulness.

Whatever disturbs, destroys, dissuades, discourages, diminishes or otherwise harms our faith.

Was it Paulís own "trials"

Paulís "success" in Thessalonica stirred up the Jews who stirred up a mob to cause a riot which they blamed on Paul.

From whence he went to Berea. When the Jews learn that, they followed, stirred agitating the crowds forcing Paul to go on to Athens.

Maybe God is not really with Paul? There must be something wrong with this faith?

Paul had not painted a rosy picture, but warned them what might happen.

Itís the "pattern" of this world Rom. 12:2

Thessalonians not exempt

Itís the pattern of this world.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Mr. Nye the Science Gut. How patterns are how we make sense of life.

Itís easy to fall (or fall back into) a pattern.

Teens in trouble because they followed a pattern of this world.

Blaming each other, justifying themselves

That did not remove the consequences, the pain,

Blind to the Consequences

Lot at Stake

Ready to stand before God. V. 13

Potential for reward is enormous, also for loss.

Luke 13:26-28  ...[27] "But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'... but you yourselves thrown out.

Jesus will not put His arm around them and say, "let me kiss it and make it all better".

No More Blind Spots

All of us "know in part" but "then face to face"

1 Cor. 13:12

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Abundant welcome into the Kingdom

1. 2 Peter 1:10-11

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, [11] and you will receive a rich (abundant, copious) welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: Paul was overjoyed to learn of their continued faith. He let them know that otherwise all his efforts, all the trials he faced to bring them the gospel, all the love he had shown them would have been for nothing.

There are a lot of corpses strewn along the roadway of faith. It only emphasizes how great is the victory when we see those who continue to be faithful. Some Christians are only a flash in the pan. One of the big problems is some will not even realize it. They have one big blind spot and will wake up too late.

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