1. What does suffering for the gospel look like today?
Persecution, being ridiculed for doing things in response to having a relationship with God (e.g. going to church on Sunday mornings, going for AG/bible study etc.)
2. How might the message to the Thessalonians give us courage for such a time?
That it is possible to stay faithful in the face of suffering, and that this suffering can be an encouragement to others when they see and imitate our response to it. Ultimately, this suffering is also what points us to the Hope- the coming day of the Lord.
3. In your life, what does it mean to proclaim that Jesus is King?
Choosing to build the church over the way of our hearts in our interactions with others, our choices and our time. To be radical in our actions and words, that non-Christians can see that we are not of the world (light and salt).
And above all, making the simple but hard choice of choosing His way all the time.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.