In times of leisure, nonessentials create conflict. In times of persecution, nonessentials disappear.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- What was one thing in this message that you found particularly encouraging, beneficial, or challenging?
- Read and discuss 2 Thessalonians 1. What are the main issues that Paul is addressing with the church in Thessolonica? How does he encourage them? What does he commend them for?
- Do you think we can say as a church that “your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing” (v. 3)? Why or why not?
- Why is suffering a given if you are in the kingdom of God?
- Have you ever experienced persecution as a direct result of your faith in Jesus?
- How do you distinguish essential issues from non-essential issues in a church? How can non-essentials create conflict and divide a church?
- How does the gospel answer the issues at hand and shape our thinking about essential/non-essential issues, persecution and faithfulness?
- Discuss Pastor Mike’s tagline for this message: In times of leisure, non-essentials create conflict. In times of persecution, non-essentials disappear. What examples can you think of?How have you observed or experienced this in your own life?