Guest speaker Mike Kerem refers to the ‘Clash of Kingdoms’ and how the natural often precedes the spiritual. This is especially evident in the Middle East at the present time. One of the things that stands out, looking at the passage in 1 Thessalonians, is that “they received the gospel with power, the Holy Spirit and full conviction”. Right away their faith is tested so that they become an example — that is referred to again and again — of how to receive the gospel. The gospel also comes with persecution. Right from the beginning they knew that opposition and rejection was going to be a part of their walk with the Lord. The Biblical model is first of all in practice and then in learning the theory — we must walk through it. Why does God send tests, trials and tribulations? So we can gain authority in that area because God has met us in that place. This is not theory and not just words.
Readings: Exodus 33:12-23, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22:15-22