When the Scripture was read, you may have thought, This is a strange message for a weekend when we are welcoming large numbers of first-time visitors at the public launch of a new campus. You may have wondered, Is he really going to speak on these verses from the Bible? I have to tell you, I had the same question. On an occasion like this you have to make a choice. We can do something different because it is special, or we can do what we normally do and say, "This is who we are." I've chosen the latter. What we do here week-by-week is take a passage of the Bible and place ourselves under it. We don't come to the Bible to evaluate it. We want to listen to the Bible in such a way that our thinking, feeling, choosing, believing and behaving are shaped by the Word of God.
It would be very easy to come to the Bible, picking the bits that we like, and ignoring anything that makes us feel uncomfortable. But if we did that then we would only hear a reflection of our own preferences. We would always be affirmed, but never challenged. We would always be comforted, but we would never actually be changed. That is why we use the discipline of working through a book of the Bible, so that we can listen to what God is saying, without us deciding what the topic will be. Last summer, long before we knew the date of this public launch, we planned to listen to God through 2 Thessalonians, and the verses that were read were set for today. It's often tempting for a preacher to fit the message to what he guesses people will want to hear. But I am not helped by people who only say what I want to hear. I am helped by people who "tell it like it is." I am helped by those who are willing to confront what I may be hiding from without even ...
This sermon is available to PreachingToday.com members only.