I finished reading 1 Thessalonians today. If you want to "hear" and know the heart of Paul, read this book! It's only 5 chapters and won't take long. But you truly get a look into Paul's heart and soul.
I think we Christians take our 2000 year heritage for granted. We go to our churches each week, chat and mingle with friends, sing awesome songs, listen to awesome messages, then go back to our comfortable lives. We have a dozen or more Bibles in our homes, Christian radio stations, Christian TV stations, Christian movies, Christian books and magazines, etc. etc. For those of us blessed to be Americans, we have never felt persecution as many of our brothers and sisters around the world have simply because they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!
And I'm grateful!! I'm grateful for all the above things I listed. I'm grateful I was born in America to Christian parents. I am blessed beyond measure!!
But Paul and the Early Christian Churches probably couldn't even imagine all that we take for granted. They were persecuted by Jews and Gentiles alike. They were thrown in prison and beaten. They didn't have beautiful church buildings to worship in and they didn't have the Bible to turn to for hope.
Yet look how the church grew!!
What they had was the simple truth that we still have today.
JESUS CHRIST DIED ON A CROSS TO SAVE US FROM OUR SINS!!!
Isn't that what it's all about anyway?
Thank you, Paul and all those Early Christians! Thank you for your perseverance, your sacrifice and your love for the Lord! I am here because of you!