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Sermon Quotes: "Saved From What?"

“In reality the Thessalonian church was probably comprised of no more than fifty to one hundred members. They were a fledging and insignificant group in the midst of a large city like Thessalonica. How easily these believers could have been discouraged when considering the godlessness and evil lives of most people in the Roman empire, not to mention Thessalonica itself. If Paul resorted to counting, the number of believers paled in comparison with unbelievers.” Thomas Schreiner

“The conversion of the Thessalonians is described in deceptively simple terms: ‘how you turned to God from idols.’ Yet in a society where cultic and social activities were intimately connected, there was nothing simple about turning to God from idols. Such a total renunciation of all pagan deities also meant complete rejection of a variety of social events closely associated with the worship of these gods. Such actions by Christians evoked feelings of resentment and anger in their non-Christian family members and friends. The exclusivity of these Christians-their seemingly arrogant refusal to participate in the worship of any god but their own-deeply wounded public sensibilities and even led to charges that they were ‘atheists.’ Citizens of Thessalonica worried whether the gods, whose home on Mount Olympus they could see a mere fifty miles away to the southwest, might punish the whole city for the sacrilegious actions of a few by sending disease, famine, or other natural disasters. Turning from idols also meant a rejection of the imperial cult, thereby potentially jeopardizing Thessalonica’s favored status with Rome and the emperor. The conversion of the Thessalonian Christians involved a truly radical break with their previous way of life-a break that naturally incurred the resentment and anger of their fellow citizens.” Jeffrey Weima

“What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. [An idol] can be family, or career, or making money, or achievement and critical claim, or saving ‘face’ and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in Christian ministry. An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure. There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.” Tim Keller

“Much of modern Christendom has lost this expectant waiting for the return of Christ, much to its impoverishment. This expectancy is an essential part of a mature Christian life.” Edmund Hiebert

“The point that cannot be escaped is that God’s wrath is not some minor and easily dismissed peripheral element to the Bible’s plot-line. Theologically, God’s wrath is not inseparable from what it means to be God. Rather, his wrath is a function of his holiness as he confronts sin. But insofar as holiness is an attribute of God, and sin is the endemic condition of this world, this side of the Fall divine wrath cannot be ignored or evaded. It is not going too far to say that Bible would not have a plot-line at all if there were no wrath.” D.A. Carson

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36

“What do we need to be saved from? We need to be saved from God-not from kidney stones, not from hurricanes, not from military defeats. What every human being needs to be saved from is God. The last thing in the world the impenitent sinner ever wants to meet on the other side of the grave is God. But the glory of the gospel is that One from whom we need to be saved is the very One who saves us. God in saving us saves us from Himself.” R.C. Sproul