“the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ:”
This is the smallest, yet might be the most important word in verse 1. “In”.
Every true church is in.
Which Implies vital union.
God has their life and their loyalty and is their goal and their aim.
They were spiritually “out”, now they are “in”.
How? What happened?
(en theōi patri kai kuriōi Jēsou Christōi)
By grace, through faith, they are in Christ.
This is the Gospel.
“I am no longer my own, I have been made new.”
How many times have you tried to share the Gospel with someone who fends you off with “I’m a Christian”.
No, you may have a Judeo-Christian ethic.
You may have a vague notion of “there being more to this”.
But the mark of the believer is that you are in God the Father, you are in Christ Jesus, you are in.
Not what you do, not what you don’t do.
But where you are. Metaphysically. In.
Many are near.
Many are on the outside, on the periphery.
They’re looking in, but they’re not.
Does Wellington need another church?
God knows. What I know is that Wellington needs hope. And for all people from all over the world real, enduring hope can be found only in Jesus Christ.
Wellington is a terrific place to live for so many reasons. Yet, despite the benefits of our historic town, people know that something is missing in their lives. People just know. "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead". The powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope for our town and for our nation.
I want to preach this Gospel, continuing that which began in Jerusalem, then Samaria, then all over. People need this hope - there is too much at stake for them to remain indifferent. For "they are without excuse".