Risen Life Church, Salt Lake City, UT. Was led to attend services at this Baptist church on the east side of Salt Lake City. I sat at the back of the meeting room, and soon Pastor Rob Marshall introduced himself and sat with me for a few minutes before the service. When he heard about my journey, he introduced me to his mother Evelyn, who has had many travel adventures in her life, including driving her five children and their Russian wolfhound from El Paso to Alaska! Well, here is a kindred spirit, I said to myself, and she shares her name with one of my dearest and cherished friends back home in Atlanta. I returned to my seat as the worship music began, and Evelyn sat nearby with family. I knew I wanted to learn more about her. More about that later.
- True Christians live their faith.
4 For we know, brothers and sisters[a] loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
Faith leads to changed hearts. When we understand how much we are loved by Jesus, we are changed to spread the Good News – to love and serve others.
- True Christians share their faith.
6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
Paul noted that the Thessalonians spread the message despite enduring “severe suffering.” Expressing joy in the midst of affliction is not something we are good at doing on our own!
- True Christians anticipate the culmination of their faith. (v 9-10). He will deliver us from the wrath which is to come.
Check out Rev. 19:11-16 for the Heavenly warrior defeating the Beast.