LIke John the Baptist and Jesus, Paul challenged his listeners to turn around and come to the living God. For the Jews it meant to stop trusting in their own obedience to religious rules and traditions. For most of the Thessalonians it meant turning away from false gods like Zeus, Mercury, and Venus, toward the living true God. As Paul argued in the synagogues and in the marketplace that Jesus was the true Messiah, the one who died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven, he was confident that God was calling individuals into his heavenly family.  The Apostle Paul didn’t sit around saying, “Well, I don’t know who the elect are, but I’m one of the elect, so praise God I’m going to be alright." Instead, he used the reality that God had chosen some to believe to give him confidence. He knew that his proclamation of the Gospel would not prove to be empty. There would be some who would believe.  He spent his  life going from one city  to the next because he knew he was chosen and appointed to proclaim the Good News, especially to Gentiles. We've got this same command to love others enough to share Jesus' message of grace with them.

 

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