Are You Watching For The Return of Christ Jesus

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Watching Consistently

1 Thessalonians 5

Last week in chapter 4, Paul gave us great comforting words about the “Rapture” of the Church and our reuniting with our loved ones who have gone on before us.

Paul described the never ending day when we will see Jesus.

So what are we to do up until that time?

We are to concentrate on our walk with the Lord!

The saints of God are to live by a certain standard that is laid out before us in the Word of God.

We are to study to be quiet and keep to our own affairs.

We are to study the Word of God and be ready to give anyone an answer from the word of truth, God’s Word.

We are to be busy about the things that Jesus Christ commanded us to do.

And we are to watch!

We are to watch for the return of Christ Jesus to get His Church!

But that word watch means more than to keep a keen eye for the return of Christ.

**We are to watch what comes out of our mouths.
**We are to watch how we walk as Christians.
**We are to be on watch, as a guard would, for the things of the Church and the things of the Word of God, as protectors.
**We are to watch, or be alert to the evil of this world we live in.
**We are to watch because we are commanded to do so!

Mar 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

**Watch also means to be prepared!

We must be prepared because we do not know the time of Christ’s return.

Let’s Begin:

*****1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

The Apostle Paul ended last weeks lesson telling us that we should find great comfort knowing that when the Lord returns to get His Church, we would be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on before us and also that our souls would be reunited with a glorified body that would allow us to be known in person as we were known while we lived in our flesh, but in perfection.

What is called death in this world is only sleep to the Christian because when the Lord Jesus arose from His own grave He robbed death of it’s terror.

1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

That loved one in Jesus that has gone on before us is as full of vitality right now on that side as we are on this side and can never die again. They already live in eternity while we still live day by day.

But whether here or there with our love ones, true life is only in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The closer we live to Him the closer we are to them!

That phrase “times and seasons” is only seen one other time and in the Book of Acts.

Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

These are words that Jesus used to answer the disciples who asked this question.

The “times” are periods and points in the future.

Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

The “seasons” are specific points in those time periods.

So when, will these things take place?

The Apostle Paul said there was no need for him to add to what the Lord Jesus had already said about these things.

These things will happen suddenly!

Suddenly means in an unexpected manner. The Lord Jesus already knows exactly what He will do.

The Lord Jesus does not have to prepare for His own coming, He knows exactly when He will return!

Jesus does not have to meditate on His coming.

For those that do not know the Lord their calamity will come suddenly!

Pro 6:15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

The world truly spends it’s days in carelessness and drunkenness.

But the theme of our lesson is “watching”!

We as believers are to spend our days “watching” and Not in carelessness and drunkenness.

The “Day of the Lord” is not just one day.

The “Day of the Lord” can be said to be that period of time after the Rapture of the Church, just described to us in Chapter 4, when God again begins to deal with Israel, beginning with the Tribulation Period and extending through the Second Coming of Christ Jesus to this Earth and His Millennial Reign and even on unto the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Joe 2:18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

Joe 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Joe 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
Joe 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Joe 3:16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Joe 3:20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
Joe 3:21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

How suddenly will this take place?

Jesus said.

Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

The day of Israel’s blessing is also the same day of destruction of Israel’s enemies!

We already know that a thief does not announce when he will come but actually takes great precaution to keep that day a secret that only he knows.

The Lord will do the same!

Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

There are no signs to watch for the Rapture of the Church but there are many signs that will be observed before the Lord comes as a thief.

Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Luk 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Luk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Luk 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Luk 21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
Luk 21:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
Luk 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Luk 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

Peter said this:

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

We already know that many in the world strive for peace.

*****1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

“Safety” means “security”.

The “Day of the Lord” will burst suddenly on an unsuspecting world at the very time when there is great worldwide concern for peace and security.

We live in such a time right now!

We can see much turmoil in our world today as we approach this time period.

The Bible says there will come “one” who will bring the look of peace but not real peace.

Psa 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

This man may even be on the scenes today.

Though the world will be fooled, the Lord will not be fooled.

This is the developing plan promoted by the many New Age cults and movements pushing toward a New World order.

This not a sign for the Rapture of the Church because the Church could be removed at any moment!

This is a sign of the coming “Day of the Lord”!

Paul uses the phrase “for when they shall say” meaning it is not the Word of God, nor the Church that says these things but “those of this lost world”.

The phrase “travail upon a woman” means the “day of the Lord” will be as an unexpected thief, but once it begins, it’s destruction is as inevitable as the birth of a child is to that woman in travail.

Not one unbeliever will escape the wrath of God!

*****1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

This darkness is “Spiritual Ignorance” and the state of living in sin!

How do we avoid living in the darkness of this world?

Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

This is the command we have of God as we see the “Day of the Lord ” approaching.

We need more of the Word of God and not less of it.

We need more comfort and fellowship with all believers and not less of it!

Our hope is in the Lord!

It is the Word of God that will bring us comfort in these last days!

*****1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Children of the light are those “Born Again” children of God and then filled with the Holy Spirit.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

There are times that we all know that we become careless in this world and be asleep to the things of this world when we should be watching for the return of Christ Jesus to get His church.

Paul exhorts us all to watch and be sober that we not be ashamed at His coming!

We should all keep in mind, whay will the Lord find us doing when He returns suddenly.

We must abide in the Lord at all times!

1Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

*****1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

If we take this verse literal and we should, we will understand that night is the time when sleepers sleep.

Night is also the time when drinking men are usually found to be drunk.

To sleep in the day time would be idle, lazy, and searching for the easy life.

To be drunken by day usually brings with it great shame.

To the Christian, who are to be people of the day, therefore our work should be done openly in daytime time and not secretly in the nighttime.

We cannot be witnesses for Jesus unless we can be seen!

Our conduct and our lifestyle must be open for the world to see!

We must not be ashamed of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

*****1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

What are the signs of the true Christian?

Faith and Love!

Col 1:4 Since we heard of your “faith” in Christ Jesus, and of the “love” which ye have to all the saints,
Col 1:5 For the “hope” which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
There should be no doubt in our minds that we are in a “spiritual warfare”!

The breastplate and the helmet are the clothing of the soldier in the army of God!

Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

2Co 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

The breastplate and the helmet defend the two most vital parts of the Christian. The head and the heart.

When our head and heart are right with God then our entire body can be right with God and we can become a weapon in the army of God.

Why?

*****1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

The Apostle Paul has been discussing the “Day of the Lord” throughout this passage.

The “Day of the Lord” will also be the great “Day of God’s Wrath”.

Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Paul has told us about the Rapture which will take place “before this day of wrath”.

In the Book of Revelation, this verse in Chapter 6 was only written after the Church was in Heaven.

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

The “day of wrath” will be upon the ungodly world that is left behind “after” the Rapture of the Church and has been rejected.

The world rejects the standards of God.

The world rejects the Word of God.

The world rejects the work of the Lord Jesus on Calvary’s Cross.

The world rejects the forgiveness of God!

To reject God, is then ungodly.

This “Wrath” will not be a time of chastisement and purification of believers!

This “Wrath” will be a judgment and a great tribulation on the ungodly, non-believers!

These are those who remain in bondage to Satan.

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

God will reclaim His creation but all those that follow Satan must be purged from it!

God has not appointed His Church to wrath but to “deliverance”.

The Church will be “Raptured” out of this world before the wrath of God begins!

Previous generations of Christians were also delivered just as stated in last weeks lesson.

Jesus Christ died for believers and “all” believers from the past up until the day of the Rapture will not be appointed to this day of wrath!

We are to find comfort in knowing that we will be reunited with our loved ones and also with Jesus.

But we are also to find comfort in knowing that we will miss out on this time of the wrath of God!

*****1Th 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

We would not find much comfort if we were watching for the coming wrath and tribulation rather than watching for Christ to come get His Church!

We cannot allow others to twist all these things around to mean something else.

The Lord will return to get His Church before He returns in His wrath to restore His Kingdom.

John wrote:

1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; “that ye may know” that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

God tells us all these things that we may know!

We may not know the exact day, nor the exact time but we do know that the Lord is coming and we will be going with Him.

We must be thankful to all those that teach the truth of the Word of God and who do not yield to the things of this world!

*****1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
1Th 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

To “beseech” is to implore or to exhort.

These Thessalonians had come to love the Apostle Paul and to beseech would like saying, “as a personal favor”.

To “know” is to recognize them for what they are. To have regard for and respect.

Paul was asking these Thessalonians to respect their pastor and their teachers “as a personal favor to him”.

After all this was a newly formed church and these men would also be “Babes in Christ”.

Jesus said:

Mar 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

The Apostle Paul ordained elders in every Church soon after it was established and this still seems to be the best method of evangelism even today.

After all Jesus also did this as He sent that “Born Again” demoniac back home to witness to his old friends and family.

Mar 5:19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, “Go home to thy friends”, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

It is that “change in the way we live” that is our best witnessing tool and those that know us the best will notice that change the most.

We should remember “those that labor” were not called of Paul to do so, they were called of God!

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Notice these called of God, were to labor for this new church but also “to be over” and “to admonish”, which means to warn, instruct and direct.

These were the God called shepherds “who were appointed and ordained of God”, to watch over the flock of God!

These are the God called ministers “who labor in the work of the Lord”.

What is the work of the Lord?

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and “to come unto the knowledge of the truth”.

We must keep the main thing, the main thing and “salvation” of the lost is the main thing!

Since Christ is the head of the Church then those called to do His work are to treated with respect and as the head of the Church until Christ returns to His rightful place.

We should look at this as the command of God and not a suggestion!

But we must not be fooled. Unless that person is teaching the ways of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, then that person has not been called and should not be followed!

Some men have disgraced the office of Pastor and teacher in the Church.

How must the true Pastor labor?

There is physical labor in preaching the “Gospel”.
There is intellectual labor in studying God’s Word.
There is moral labor in keeping himself right with God.

That man called of God that does these things and fulfills the office of Pastor, should be over the people and esteemed in love.

Why?

Not for their own sake but for the “work’s sake”.

What else is the church to do?

We are to be at peace among ourselves!

Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

When the flock of God does what it is supposed to do, then that group of believers will also be involved in the work of God!

It is so easy to allow little things to set one Christian against another and bring strife into the Church where Satan will take advantage of it and the work of the Church will always suffer.

The work of the Church is the same work of Jesus Christ!

*****1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Here again Paul is speaking to the Church, the assembly and not the Pastor.

It is the Church, the Body of Christ, that is to police itself.

There are always those in the Church who will want to run things to suit themselves. Some people are wonderful as long as they can have things their own way but when crossed their old nature seems to always return to them.

These people are to be warned by the Body of Christ because they will hinder the work of the Church.

Those that are feebleminded or “faint-hearted” are not courageous and will not want to act quickly but strife simply cannot be allowed to fester into more problems.

And we must always be supportive of all those who lack confidence and boldness and who are weak in the Word of God.

We are to be patient toward all men especially God’s babes!

*****1Th 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

A Christian will never retaliate for an evil that has been done to him!

What did Jesus do?

Jesus did nothing but good and suffered because of the good He did.

Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

It should be a rare thing for this to be impossible to do.

*****1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.

How can we rejoice evermore?

We have been saved!
We are Born Again into a new life and into the family of God.
We are saved from eternal damnation.
There are great benefits in serving the Lord, including our home in Heaven.
We will meet Jesus, face to face.
We have hope when we had no hope.
We will be reunited with all our loved ones who also knew Jesus.
We can rejoice in the faith, the hope and the love of God.

But our joy can only begin with our prayers.

*****1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We can only have joy when we realize that all things that happen to us are for the best.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

When did the Apostles rejoice the most?

Act 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name”.

We cannot always be on our knees but we should always be in a state of prayer. We must have a daily prayer life. To be honest we should begin each day with prayer.

How can we face this world if we have not put on our armour.

A soldier puts on his armour before he enters the war zone.

A football player puts on his protective equipment before he enters the game.

Remember God already knows what we need, prayer is more about having a conversation with our Father in Heaven than anything else.

Prayer shows the Lord that we know it is only He who can meet our needs!

Prayer says to God, “I love you”!

And there is something else we must not do.

*****1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

The Greek word used in this verse for the English word “quench” is used 8 times in the New Testament and it every case it refers to fire.

When the Holy Spirit is clearly using a Christian in a ministry to which he is called, he should be encouraged and assisted, not criticized and hindered.

We know this when they speak according to God’s Word.

Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: “if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them”.

The lost can resist the Holy Spirit but only the saved can “quench” the Holy Spirit who can also be “grieved” by those who are saved.

Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

We “grieve” the Holy Spirit when we are careless in our walk with the Lord!

We “quench” the Holy Spirit when we water down the Word of God by adding to or taking away it’s true meaning.

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

*****1Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.

What is the job of the Pastor?

To exhort, to instruct and to warn.

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

To despise is to have a low opinion of the Word of God or to hate the Word of God.

The world is filled with those that hate the Word of God because God has set standards that do never change!

When we as Christians say we love God and then despise His Word, then we do not love the God we say we do!

At the time Paul wrote this epistle there was no New Testament, the early Church only had the Old Testament and those that God had called to preach the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

To despise the “prophesyings” was to despise the “Gospel” and this is still what the world does today!

But we must insist on the truth of the scriptures.

*****1Th 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

What is the first test of any man of God?

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

The Lord Jesus Christ was truly the Messiah to deny this is to deny the true living God!

What else did Paul write?

Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

How do we hold fast that which is good?

*****1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Our testimonies maybe our greatest asset for it may well affect the eternal destiny of those around us!

When we behave like the world or even have the appearance that we are behaving like the world, “we are in the wrong” and living in sin!

Heb 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Why are these things so important as we walk the Christian life?

*****1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every believer is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit of God working within us that has shown us our need for a Savior.

It is that need of a Savior that led us to Jesus Christ.

Then the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us and continues the work of sanctification.

We are sanctified.
We are being sanctified.
We will be sanctified to perfection.

Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Christ Jesus is our sanctification and we are complete in Him!

We are sanctified by the truth!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: “thy word is truth”.

The Word of God will open up the the truth of God!

It is God that forms us to be like Jesus.

It is God who created us in His image!

Man is a trinity within himself.

The spirit is the highest part of man.
The soul is the seat of all emotions.
Our bodies will be glorified the day we meet Jesus.

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

It is God who causes these things to happen and our God is faithful to continue in every work that He starts until it is complete!

*****1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

God is faithful to all His promises but especially to each individual believer!

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

To love God is to have that close personal relationship with Him!

Once we answered the call of God to salvation, God will not fall short of completing His design for each of us!

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Our God is faithful!

1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

What else should we all do?

*****1Th 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.
1Th 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
1Th 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
1Th 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

We must pray for all those that serve God.

We should be able to greet each and every child of God with the joy of seeing family. After all, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ because we have the same Father in Heaven.

Our attitudes toward each other must be a holy attitude!

We must all read and study the Word of God.

Without the “Grace” of God we would have all perished in a fiery Hell.

God’s Grace bring with it God’s peace!

Questions?

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Walking Honestly With The Lord

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Walking Honestly

1 Thessalonians 4

What is the greatest challenge we face after we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior?

Our greatest challenge is walking with the God we say we love!

Paul has been teaching us how we should proclaim the “Gospel” and this should begin with our own testimony.

Paul has been teaching us that we must witness for Jesus and this begins with the way we live.

Paul has been teaching us that we must take our stand on the Word of God and the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

Today Paul will teach us more about our own walk with God.

The goal of Paul’s ministry was to start churches in which those saved of God would walk worthy of God.

What did God tell Abraham?

Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; “walk before me, and be thou perfect”.

This command given to Abraham is the same command given to each one that depends on the Lord Jesus.

How does this walk begin?

The same way that Abraham’s walk with God began!

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

God would never ask us to do things that are impossible to do!

God will provide the things we need in our daily walk with Him!

There are only two ways to walk in this world. We can walk in darkness or we can walk in light!

Until we walk with God we are all walking in darkness!

1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin

Once we have been saved from the wrath of God, we should immediately begin our walk with God!

Psa 56:13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

So what is the walk that pleases God?

Let’s begin:

*****1Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

That word “furthermore” means “besides” having learned all the things in Chapters 1-3 then we must add to that these things in chapter 4 in order to walk in this life pleasing God.

To walk is to continue reaching for that goal of perfection.

We will never reach perfection in this life but that should still be our goal because in the eyes of the Lord we have already been justified in the perfection that we will have after we die once we know Jesus as our Savior.

Christianity is a walk and not just a name!

Christianity is not a badge to wear, not a luxury to own, nor a ceremony to take part in.

Christianity is life on this Earth while walking toward that eternal life that will be in Heaven with the Lord.

Christianity is life modeled after other Christians who are also following the Lord Jesus in their own daily walk.

Jesus Christ is our greatest example of walking as a Christian should walk!

The love of God is then the greatest power that a Christian can have.

We cannot please God unless our daily walk pleases God!

God will give us everything we need in our daily walk so that “we abound more and more”.

As long as we are in this body of flesh, we need to be reaching higher toward the goals of God!

As long as we are in this body of flesh, we need to reach deeper into the depths of the scripture.

As long as we are in this body of flesh there will be sins to over come in which we can claim victory if we trust in the Lord and not in ourselves!

As long as we are in this body of flesh, prayer will remain our greatest weapon until we stand before Jesus at the “Judgment Seat of Christ”.

It is at this moment when we can receive any rewards for our walk in this life after salvation.

Our walk begins when when we accept that the Word of God does not give us “suggestions” on how to live but “commandments” on how to live!

All the world and many Christians treat the Word of God as “suggestions” when they are in reality “commandments”!

How are all these things accomplished in this life? By living a life that is expecting the Lord to return at any moment.

What will you be doing at that very moment when the Lord calls us home?

Until that great day, and it will be a great day, we are to press on in patience, we are to put away every known sin, and we are to avoid the filthiness of this world!

These are not suggestions but commandments!

*****1Th 4:2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

In the Old Testament Ezekiel was called of God to be a watchman for the nation of Israel.

Eze 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

Ezekiel was to take the words that God gave him and warn Israel.

We should be able to see that the Apostle Paul was appointed as watchman to the New Testament Church.

Paul took the words that God gave him and gave them to the Church.

These are not suggestions from the Apostle Paul but they are commandments from a Holy and Perfect God!

The Lord Jesus will use such men as Paul and as our own Pastor, to do this until He returns.

Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Why? Because it is the will of God for our lives, while in this flesh, to resemble the life of Jesus Christ!

*****1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

Everyone is always asking, “what is the will of God for my life”.

The will of God begins with us striving to be perfect while we live in this flesh!

What is sanctification? Sanctification is the act of making holy.

Sanctification is first a separation from this world and linking to God.

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, “because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”:

Sanctification is then living a holy lifestyle, a complete change in what we once were.

Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; “even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness”.

When we are searching for the will of God, we need to realize that God’s will centers first of all on the total dedication of our lives to Him and His Words.

After all, we have been redeemed and belong to the Lord!

Psa 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

We say so, more by the way we live, than by the words we speak!

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

According to the Bible there will always those weak in the faith and have doubts about some things.

Our job is to not be weak in the faith but be one who can help those that are weak!

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

What we also see in this epistle from the Apostle Paul, “given to him by the Lord Jesus”, is that there should be no doubt that fornication is contrary to the will of God!

Fornication is any sexual relationship outside the biblical marriage of one man to one woman!

The home was instituted by God Himself, and the Christian Church must still uphold the Word of God and be custodians of the family and the home.

Gen 2:23 And “Adam said”, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:”she shall be called Woman”, because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Marriage according to the Word of God is between one man and one woman!

God expects each of us to walk in separation from all that is vile and immoral!

We are to learn how to control this body of flesh we live in!

Believers are to walk in purity of heart, mind, body, and soul!

*****1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
1Th 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

The world is on a mission to lower Christian standards in regard to immorality and uncleanness.

The world will not accept the Word of God, because the world will not accept God’s standards!

We need to constantly remind ourselves of the importance of living pure lives!

Our bodies are indeed a “vessel”.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2Ti 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, “he shall be a vessel unto honour”, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

To be sanctified is to set apart wholly consecrated to the Lord!

Jesus said:

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him

This is the only way our vessel, our body, can become a vessel in sanctification and a vessel of honor!

Sanctification requires a new birth!

Again Jesus said:

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Concupiscence is the unlawful or irregular desire of sexual pleasure.

This describes the so-called “gay lifestyle” but it is not limited just to this.

Concupiscence is coveting carnal things, an irregular appetite for worldly good and sinful enjoyments!

All we need do is turn on the TV to see that all these are happening increasingly in our world everyday.

Even secret concupiscence is sin!

We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners!

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Sin is anything that goes against the Word of God!
Sin is a failure to conform to the standard of God! “God’s standard is Jesus Christ”.
Sin is a principle within each of us!
Sin is rebellion against God!
Sin is wrongful acts against God but also against man!
Sin is the state into which we are all born!

Mankind is totally depraved. There is nothing in the natural man that can merit the favor of God!

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:

Man has an innate sin nature and every part of man is affected.

Intellect:

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Conscience:

1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Will:

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Heart:

Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

The total being:

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

The world is blinded toward sin!

And it is impossible to sin without it causing harm to someone else!

*****1Th 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

“To go beyond” is to not conform to any standard of righteousness according to the Word of God.
“To go beyond” is to not conform to any part of the truth of the Word of God and then think you are justified by your own actions.

This describes the world we live in today!

Our President, our congress, our judicial system, most Americans, and this world “go beyond” the truth of God and think they are justified in their actions while those who know the truth of God and try to live by God’s standards are considered to be the trouble makers.

They take advantage of those who have a set standard to live by and refuse to conform to their humanistic ways.

To defraud is to deprive a person of their rights, to cheat the innocent, and to deceive anyone who will not be a part of their views.

They have ignored the “Fear The Of Lord”.

Though they say they do know Him, God says they are all liars!

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; “for God hath shewed it unto them”.

These are not the ways of God nor of God’s people!

Our God is holy!

Our God is entirely set apart from all sin!

Our God is entirely set apart from all sinners!

The Spirit of God is called the Holy Spirit because holiness is an attribute of God!

To be holy is to be set apart. As Christians we are to separate ourselves from the ways of this world.

To be holy is to is to be perfect. Our God is perfect and every Christian should strive to live by the Word of God.

To be holy is to evoke awe. Awe is fear mingled in admiration and reverence toward our God.

To be holy is realize the awesome power of God. God spoke our world into existence. When God speaks things happen!

Jehovah God the Father is the source of holiness!
The Holy Spirit is agent of holiness!
Jesus Christ is our example of holiness!

Christians can be holy because of work of Jesus Christ and this is the only way!

*****1Th 4:8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit

When we are saved our vessels, our bodies become a temple for the Holy Spirit.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

The Holy Spirit is God Himself and it is insulting to God if we misuse our bodies in fornication or in any uncleanness.

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

These are things that we need to be taught and a need to have a clear understanding of, but there some things we should already know.

*****1Th 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

When we are saved we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit then teaches us how to love.

Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

The two most used Greek words used for our English word “love” are “philia” and “agape”.

“Philia” love is a love of deep affection such as in true friendship and godly marriage between one man and one woman!

“Agape” love is the love that God shows to those that love Him.

“Agape” love is not based on feelings but in our will!

“Agape” love treats all others as God treats His children, regardless of feelings or even personal preferences.

All true Christians are in the same family because we have the same Father in Heaven and God has taught us to love one another.

1Jn 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1Jn 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

This is the same thing that God the Son taught us.

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

These Thessalonians had “Agape” love and it showed.

*****1Th 4:10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;

We will never grow from “babes in Christ” to more “mature Christians” unless our “Agape Love” increases more and more.

Our “agape love” must begin in our homes, then show in our place of worship, and then extend out to our communities and on throughout our nation.

This is something that the lost world can see and once they see what we are, then they may listen to the message we have about Jesus Christ.

There are also other things we need to be doing as Christians.

*****1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

1) As Christians we are to be ambitious to do our own business. We must “diligently strive” to be calm and quiet, except when speaking is necessary. Our speech should then be graceful and have a real purpose.

Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Jesus, Himself, warned against idle words.

Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Idle words are all words that could lead someone away from God!

And Paul warns us against all foolish talking.

Eph 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

2) We are to do our own business.

We are to concentrate on our own affairs and not on the affairs of others.

1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other man’s matters.

When we seek the will of God in our lives, we will find that God has a purpose for each one of us. It is in that purpose where we need to spend the most of our time!

Life in itself is a business and it takes a lot of time to straighten our own selves out before we can be much assistance to others and it is the trials of life that make us valuable enough to help others.

3) We are to work with our own hands. The Apostle Paul gives us an example of what he means.

2Th 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
2Th 3:8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
2Th 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

“Idlers” are out of place in the Christian ministry!

Ezekiel said this was the sin of Sodom:

Eze 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

Idleness is the reluctance to be busy about the work of God!

Are you a lazy Christian? This shows God, that what He says is not very important to us.

4) We are to walk honestly. We have no right to ask or receive the product of someone elses labor when we are able to produce our own.

In America our government has caused this type of culture to exist.

From this type of culture we will always have beggars, loafers, gamblers and thieves and all these things will grow more violent and unusable in the work of the Lord.

An honest person will avoid this kind of behavior and will be decent and strive for purity and holiness, which things are useful in the Christian ministry.

Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

What is the best reason to do this? That we lack nothing!

Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

We have our provider. He is the Lord!

Psa 147:11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who will meet all our personal needs

*****1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

The Jews had been taught many things in the Old Testament but the Apostle Paul is speaking of the Church in this verse. (notice the word brethren)

Daniel wrote it like this:

Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Death for a Christian is considered as merely being asleep.

Joh 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Joh 11:12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
Joh 11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
Joh 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Death is the calm and holy sleep of the body.

This sleep only applies to the body, because the soul and spirit are already with the Lord!

Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

The hope of the Church is not in this calm and peaceful sleep but is bound up in the fact of the Lord’s coming so that we all can be glorified together!

Those that are asleep and those that are alive and well at His coming!

Those that have gone on before us will not miss out on Heaven or of a “Glorified Body”!

In false religions somethings are mentioned about the soul but only to the Christian is the hope of the glorified body!

1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

How can these things be true?

*****1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

Our hope rest on our faith!

If we have faith that the Lord Jesus died and rose again, then we can be saved.

Act 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

As sure as the Lord Jesus died and rose again, so also will all those souls that the Lord brings with Him when He returns in the clouds.

Believers are laid to sleep by Jesus and so all believers will be brought back from that sleep by Jesus!

The sting of death has been taken away from the believer!

1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the Word of God that teaches this and this is not some fable of the Apostle Paul!

We can be certain of these things!

All “born-again” Christians, having real faith in the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ will be “caught up” (raptured) to be with Jesus when He returns just as will all believers who have died in this same faith!

It is OK to sorrow at the death of our loved ones who know the Lord but we are not to loose hope in their salvation and that great reunion some day!

The lost have no such hope as this nor does false religion!

*****1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you “by the word of the Lord”, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

In reality even the Apostle Paul felt like he might even live to see the return of the Lord.

In other words the “rapture” has always been imminent just as it is today.

Jesus said to be watchful for His return.

Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

We should remember this. When the Lord returns to set up His kingdom He will bring with Him all His Saints.

Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

This verse could not be true if the Lord did not have all His Saints with Him so the “rapture” of the Church makes this possible!

The “Rapture” has always been a single part of scripture and not linked to any other part of any other event!

That word “prevent” means the “rapture” must come before the Second Coming of Christ!

And it is the Lord Himself who will handle this event personally!

*****1Th 4:16 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:

It is the Lord Himself who will return to get His Bride, the Church!

Not some spirit.
Not some angel.
Not some saint already in Heaven.
Not some human on this Earth.

But the Lord in person, in his human nature, in soul and body and in the Majesty of His presence!

1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

This is not some new doctrine because even Job knew this and Job was the first of the written Word of God.

Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

It is the Lord who will give that command, “the shout”, just as The Lord gave to Lazarus.

Joh 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

And John said marvel not at this.

Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

The “Rapture” of the Church are the “they that have done good”.

And more than a 1000 years later, the “they that have done evil” at the White Throne judgment.

There will not only be a shout from the Lord but there will certainly be the sound of the trumpet.

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

And what is the order of the “Rapture”?

The dead in Christ shall rise first!

The Bible mentions more than one resurrection but this is not what this verse is referring to.

This verse states that those in the grave “asleep in Jesus” will rise before “those that are alive” are changed.

Those that are alive will witness the resurrection of the sleeping saints!

To any others that may witness these things, it should be noted the time period, “the twinkling of an eye” is the shortest actual time period of today’s time.

To the saints, time will already have ended and the saints will now be in eternity, where time is not relevant!

It will be a glorious last day that will never end, for the saints of God!

*****1Th 4:17 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.

That phrase “caught up” gives us the meaning of the Latin word “rapto” or we say “Rapture”.

Rapture means “to seize” and “to carry off”.

Those bodies that were in the grave reunited with their spirits and souls that were in Heaven, brought back by the Lord will then met together with those that are alive and remain and together, you and I and all others “born again” to the Lord will meet Him in the air!

And we will forever be with the Lord:

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

It is at this time when there will be the “Judgment Seat of Christ”.

Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Only believers will be there.

Any rewards for service will be awarded at that time.

We will then be reunited with all our believing friends and family, “together with them”.

It is very possible at this time, that it will Jesus who will reunite all the broken families and friendships and then wipe away all their tears.

We will know each other just as we do now because we will all have the mind of Christ.

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Death is a fact of life but we can escape death by being alive in Jesus Christ!

That’s why there is no other way to get to Heaven!

We should have a clear under standing.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

The choice we make while we are alive is to choose which judgment where we will stand.

The “Judgment Seat of Christ”.

Or the White Throne Judgment!

*****1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

When we choose Jesus, we can have comfort in these words.

Comfort equals “strength”.

Strength in the Lord brings hope when our loved ones die!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Standing For The Gospel

Standard

Standing Staunchly

1 Thessalonians 3

The goal of the Word of God is salvation but God’s Word goes much further by teaching us all how to walk worthy of Him.

God has a specific purpose for His Word and a specific purpose for each of us.

The rewards for serving the Lord go far beyond anything we can see on this Earth.

We should also clearly understand, Satan does not rest, and the next trouble we see will not be an “if” it will be a “when”.

We must take our stand on the Word of God and then stand unmovable!

Before any human child can walk they must learn to stand!

It is usually the mother and the father of the child that teaches the child these things.

The Apostle Paul is like a spiritual parent to all believers!

But Paul can only be with us at this time by the Inspired Word of God!

God said we need all of His Words in order to stand in this world we live in.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, “to stand”.

“To stand” is to be established!

The entire ministry of the Apostle Paul was first to get people saved and then, to make Christians who could stand, out of “Babes in Christ” who struggle to take a stand!

What is wrong in America today?

The Christians are not taking a stand on the unchanging Word of God!

People try to modernize the commandments of God into something they have never meant.

As Americans, we brag about the freedoms we have in this nation but our own freedoms are disappearing at a fantastic rate and the freedom of religion is under constant attack, especially on those who call Jesus Christ their Savior!

Christian persecution is on the rise throughout this world we live in!

It is not time to fail as a Christian, it is time to stand!

One of the greatest needs of the Church is to stay encouraged in these latter days and “to stand” on the Word of God.

The Lord said these days would come:

Jer 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: “in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly”.

God’s plan is going just as He has decided for it to go!

It’s God’s plan and not for us to try to change. God does not need our help!

Our hope lies in the return of Jesus Christ as did these Thessalonians.

And we are fools if we think we are not in the last days.

What other proof exist of this?

Rev 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
Rev 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
Rev 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

In just this week we have seen again that there is nothing that happens on this Earth that cannot be seen by the entire world while it is taking place.

Smoke from a plane shot out of the sky, bodies that laid on the ground for three days, while the world went about it’s business.

Wars in Europe, wars in the Middle East, wars in other places and even a greater threat of major war while men strive to make weapons of mass murder.

There is no other time in history when these two men mentioned in the Book of Revelation could lie dead in the streets and be seen by the entire world.

This a prophesy that can only be fulfilled in our time and forward.

If we are to take a stand, we need to do it now, the time of the church is running out!

Let’s begin.

*****1Th 3:1 Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
1Th 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:

Here again in this chapter it will be hard to miss the love Paul had for this newly formed church.

Paul was beginning his ministry in Athens but he still had a deep concern for those young converts in Thessalonica.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were a missionary team but Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to establish this new church.

“Wherefore” means because of our earnest love.

“Forbear” means that Paul could not endure the suspense in knowing the welfare of these early Christians.

Athens was the most celebrated city in the ancient world at that time.

Athens was the home of Greek literature.
Athens was the home of the Greek civilization.
Athens was named after the goddess Athena, sometimes called Minerva and home to her temple.
Athens was home of the Temple of Zeus, sometimes called Jupiter.
Athens was home to the Acropolis, which was at the time of Paul, the center of architectural splendor in this city.
Athens was the place where it was said, “it was easier to find a God in Athens, then to find a real man”.

Almost everyone that lived in Athens worshipped a different god.

Sounds a whole lot like America today!

Paul was left alone in this great city of sin.

**Paul describes Timothy as a brother in Christ.

In other places Paul says Timothy is his dearly beloved son but to these Thessalonians, Paul wanted them to know Timothy was his equal.

**Paul describes Timothy as a “Minister of God”.

Timothy was called of God and not called by Paul to preach the “Gospel”.

**Paul describes Timothy as his fellow laborer.

Timothy, just as Paul, had a specific purpose in the work of the Lord.

Timothy even at this young age, was uniquely qualified to establish and comfort this group of new believers.

Timothy was Greek and familiar with the ways of these people.

Timothy spoke their language and could relate to their way of living.

Act 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Act 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

Timothy had a special gift from God for these type situations.

1Ti 4:14 Neglect not “the gift that is in thee”, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Paul could trust Timothy to be obedient to the Word of God!

This new church was forming in in the midst of a godless, pagan world and they needed someone such a Timothy to calm their afflictions.

We all need a Timothy!

*****1Th 3:3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

Those afflictions are the same trials and temptations we all go through!

Without going through these things we will never appreciate the “Grace” of God!

We should keep in mind, the same afflictions that make a child of God better will harden the heart of that lost sinner.

The Apostle Peter said it like this:

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

The Bible is very clear, we should expect these things to happen.

It is in these things that we must have victory but that victory can only come by Jesus Christ!

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

*****1Th 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

It is important for every preacher to preach “all the truth” of the Bible!

Those that preach a prosperity gospel only are not helping God’s people because they are not preaching all the truth of God.

God has said that all His saints will suffer distress in this world!

God has said that all His saints will make it to Heaven. Not one will be left out.

God has also said every Saint will suffer hardships and heaviness and not one will be left out.

Those Jews had had to travel that wilderness road to their Promised Land for 40 years.

What did Jesus say?

Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

If the Lord Jesus Christ had to suffer to enter into His Glory, what makes us think we will not have to?

It is the afflictions we suffer in this life that prove we are who we say we are, the true Saints of God!

Remember what James said:

Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

It is an absolute fact that no soldier can prove his true worth until he has been on the battlefield!

And no child of God has a testimony until they have been through some tribulation.

God will send prosperity, but in order for us to learn to praise Him.

God will also send affliction, but in order to build our worthiness.

We should not forget, Noah and his family had to sail through some mighty stormy waters before escaped the flood into salvation but it was those same stormy waters that raised the ark into safety!

1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Those that are lost will also struggle in affliction but most just get hard in their hearts.

Remember Pharaoh became much more hardened by the plagues of Egypt because he would not yield to God and he saw the same Word of God be true and the same miracles, as did the Jews.

Again Jesus had these words:

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

It is under our own cross where we can expect God to be with us!

It is because our Savior also suffered that we can have hope in our suffering!

It is because our Savior suffered that we belong to Our Lord Jesus!

Isa 43:4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: “therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life”.

If we never suffer in our walk with the Lord, then we can only look upon those that have and wonder, if we can have that same strength that they show by their actions.

The Apostle Paul knew that these Thessalonians were suffering great tribulation and because he could not be with them to help them go through these things, Paul sent Timothy.

*****1Th 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

The Apostle Paul could relate to these saints of God in their suffering because he had suffered tribulation in every place he had preached and had actually been the cause of tribulation to many of the saints before his own salvation and repentance.

Paul said, “I can no longer endure the suspense”.

Timothy was sent by the Apostle Paul to these Thessalonians to be steadfast in the midst of their persecution!

Why? Paul also knew the works of Satan.

That “Tempter” is Satan, the Devil.

This is the same creature that went after the Lord Jesus and failed.

Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

Satan is at work 24 hours a day seven days a week. Satan never rests from his evil!

We should realize that as the “Born Again” children of God, Satan will come with all his temptations but God has already given us the power to resist.

If you want to see a smile in Heaven, resist the devil and make him flee.

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and “he will” flee from you.

We can only blame ourselves when we give in to Satan’s temptations!

I can see this same smile on the face of our own Pastor, when someone of our brothers and sisters have gone through the fire and have returned to the House of God stronger than they were before.

The news, that Timothy returned with, brought great comfort to the Apostle Paul.

The “Good News” of the “Gospel” is never preached in vain but sometimes it seems that the labor that is wasted on those that do not believe could have been better used on others.

*****1Th 3:6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

**These Thessalonians had not only accepted the “Gospel” but they had believed on the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

**These Thessalonians had not only believed but it showed in the way they lived for Jesus and before God.

**These Thessalonians had a giving love, (charity) for the work of God and toward each other.

**These Thessalonians had a clear understanding of salvation and repentance and the commandments of God!

1Jn 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1Jn 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

When faith is our guide, our love will always lead us to God, because God is love!

*****1Th 3:7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:

Therefore always means “for this reason”.

The Apostle Paul was still suffering persecution in every place he preached.

The Apostle Paul was still making tents when he could and still preaching at every opportunity.

So this news brought great comfort to all this band of missionaries but especially to Paul.

This great news made the Apostle Paul work even harder for his own people, the Jews!

Act 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

And this good news was also the turning point for the Apostle Paul to be the missionary to the Gentiles.

Act 18:6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

*****1Th 3:8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

The Apostle Paul was broken hearted over the Jews but got great joy from seeing the “Gospel” do it’s work on the Gentiles.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he had these words.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

As Paul was writing to these Thessalonians, he was saying that it was the good news from the saints who remained steadfast that kept him alive.

Many a pastor has given up because they could not see the results of the “Gospel”.

We can only imagine how Noah felt after preaching 120 years with no results but if Noah had not remained faithful then we would not be here today.

Through all tribulation we must all remain steadfast in the Lord!

Noah was steadfast.
Paul was steadfast.
But no one, is more steadfast than the Lord Jesus!

We must take a stand and then stand on the Lord!

**The truth is that the “Gospel” will always tells what is right.
Tribulation will show us what is not right.
Conviction will teach us how to get right.
The Word of God will teach us how to stay right.

And there are not enough words in any language to show our thanks to God for what He has done!

*****1Th 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sake before our God;

The “gift” of the Lord Jesus Christ and the “Gospel” are the two greatest gifts that God has given to us because these brought with it “our salvation”.

There are no gifts that we could manufacture that could come close in repayment for these wonderful things of God!

Psa 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
Psa 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

That cup of salvation was filled with the blood of Jesus Christ.

Luk 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The only thing we have to offer that is pleasing to the Lord, is our selves.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

And we should be very glad, and filled with joy at this opportunity that the Lord has given to us!

Psa 68:3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

And then we are to stay in touch with our God!

What father does not like to hear from his children?

*****1Th 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

Preaching the “Gospel” was not a profession with the Apostle Paul.

Paul did not go from town to town holding meetings and then pass on and forget those that believed.

Paul carried every believer in his heart and always hoped he would get back to them to give them further instructions from the Word of God but no matter what, Paul remembered them in prayer day and night.

It is sin not to pray for the church to succeed!

1Sa 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
1Sa 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
1Sa 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

Peter prayed:

Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Paul prayed:

Act 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Jesus prayed:

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

But our prayers must have a purpose:

Paul prayed that God would “perfect” their faith of the church.

That word perfect means to adjust, to equip, and to furnish.

While in this body of flesh our faith will never reach perfection.

There will always be a need to adjust and always room to grow our faith!

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The bottom line, it is God Himself who directs the Church!

It is when we do not yield to God’s calling and God’s direction that causes problems and the Church to fail!

*****1Th 3:11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

We should not miss how Paul has written this passage.

Our God, Our Father, and Our Lord Jesus are all written as One.

The Lord Jesus Said these words:

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

God the Father is a distinct person.
God the Son is a distinct person.
God the Holy Spirit is a distinct person.

But together they are One God.

Jesus Christ is both Son of God, and Son of man.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

The Lord Jesus is distinguished from the Father in personality but is “One” with Him in the Godhead!

Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

This is our God who will direct our ways!

Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Have you ever crossed a street and not know why?

The Apostle Paul knew he had to follow the path that the Holy Spirit had laid out before him.

Paul could only return to these Thessalonians if it was in the plan of God!

This is also our task!

When we have lost our way, it is only God who can direct our path!

Paul prayed earnestly that he might see these Thessalonians again but he was also conscious of his own inability to overcome the hindrances of Satan.

As Paul prayed he gave that matter into the hands of the Lord.

The Apostle Paul knew to pray to the One True God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost but Paul also knew that the Church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ who died and gave His own blood for it.

God must direct our steps because salvation is still God’s plan!

We must keep the main thing the main thing!

*****1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

What life does to us depends on our relationship with the Lord!

Some people will build walls and shut themselves out but those that trust in the Lord will build bridges and draw closer to God and God’s people.

True Christian love must be shown not only to believers but also to all mankind!

Abounding love must not be bound but be freely given to all.

The Lord Jesus will not only direct our paths but He will also increase our love and with these things we can be established.

*****1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

It is by the will of God and our prayers that we can shall continually progress in our steps toward glorification while we live on this Earth and in these bodies.

Here again we see that as we keep our thoughts on the return of the Lord Jesus, this will encourage us to be busy about the work that the Lord has given to us.

“Stablish” means to be fixed. To have things settled. To be permanent in our beliefs.

To “blame” is to find fault with and to accuse and have no reason to praise.

God says we are to be unblameable!

Holiness is the state of living in integrity, and solid moral character.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

And again we a reference to the coming of Our Lord.

The Lord did not stay dead and the Lord will not stay gone from us!

**In chapter 1 we learned that the return of the Lord is linked to our salvation.

1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

**In chapter 2 we learned that the return of the Lord is linked to our service.

1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

**Today we have learned that the return of the Lord is linked to our sanctification.

**In chapter 4 we will learn that the return of the Lord is linked to our comfort and joy.

1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

**And in chapter 5 we will learn that the return of the Lord is linked to our separation.

1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord is coming and it could be in the next moment!

Start your stand for the Lord today and then stand until He returns!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Proclaiming The Gospel Of Jesus Christ

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Proclaiming Diligently

1 Thessalonians 1

Last week we ended our study of the Book of James. We certainly did not spend enough time to learn all that is in this great Book of the Bible but we did learn many things about living like Christ.

If we are not living like Christ Jesus, the Messiah that has come, then how can we be known as Christians?

A Christian is not for us to decide but it is for others to see!

We should be very clear, God will never force any of us to trust Him!

God tells us what sin really is and how sin leads to eternal spiritual death.

God’s Word will convict us of our sin!

Once we realize that we are all sinners then we will also realize the need for a Savior!

This is the beginning of a life of prayer!

That first prayer for salvation is the beginning of our faith and the first step in drawing nigh to God!

Today we will leave the writings of James and begin a short study into the writings of the Apostle Paul to the Church at Thessalonica.

We already know that the Book of James was the earliest of the Church Epistles.

We already know that though the Book of James was written to Christians most of them were converted Jews at that time.

We already know that by the Apostle Peter, it had been established that God deals with “whosoever” will believe upon Him and salvation is for all believers, even the Gentiles.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God “by faith in Christ Jesus”.

1Co 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Today we will begin with the earliest of writings of the Apostle Paul to the Christian Church.

The city of Thessalonica still exist today simply called Salonika.

The theme of this first book to the Thessalonians is “the return of Jesus Christ”.

Thessalonica was at the time of Paul the principle city but also the Capitol city of Macedonia.

Thessalonica is named after the sister of Alexander the Great.

The city of Thessalonica was the crossroads of where the East met the West at the time of the Apostles.

Paul had been in the East when he received the call of God to spread the “Gospel” to Europe which eventually came to America.

Act 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.
Act 16:10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the early church for many reasons.

Paul wrote to assure his new friends of his love and his concern for them.

Paul writes to all believers to ground us in the “Doctrines” of the Christian faith!

Paul writes to us all to assure us of the return of Jesus Christ to get His Church!

All the letters of Paul were inspired by the Holy Spirit to correct the weaknesses “that come from inside the Church” just as James had done!

Confusion about prophecy exist today because there are so many preachers and teachers who contradict each other upsetting the saints.

Many ask, is the coming of the Lord near?

Many ask, what are the signs of Christ coming soon?

Many ask, will God’s people go through the Tribulation Period?

The Apostle Paul answered these questions and much more in the two letters to the Thessalonians.

Above all the Apostle Paul teaches us how to live holy lives in this sin-filled world and respect the Church that Christ built with His own blood!

Faith, Hope and Charity are the best evidence of being Christians with Charity being the greatest.

1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

So let’s begin:

*****1Th 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because the preaching of the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ had stirred up a turmoil in Thessalonica, Paul had to leave and was now in the city of Corinth.

He had left Timothy and Silas behind and a Church had been established.

At the time of this letter both of them had rejoined Paul and had brought with them many questions from the believers.

In our area there are more churches per square mile than probably any other place on this earth but we always seem to have these same old questions!

We have questions because we refuse to study the Word of God as He commands us all to do!

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

We may all accept that we need to study more but at the same time we always seem to seem to listen to vain teaching which causes confusion.

Babblings are fruitless discussions that lead to confusion!

Paul was deeply concerned with these young converts and knowing that he could not return to them at this time, he did the next best thing, he gave them the written Word of God.

We do not have the Apostles with us today!

We do not have the eyewitnesses of Jesus with us today!

We do not have as many great instructors of the “Gospel” with us today!

But we do have something much greater!

We have something that the early Church did not have, we have the Complete Holy Inspired Word of God!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

No matter how many so called prophets come.

No matter how many preachers come.

The most sure thing we can have in our possession is the complete, Holy Ghost Inspired Word of God!

2Pe 1:19 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy”; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

And according to the Holy Inspired Word of God, the Church is only a Church if it is established in God the Father, “through” the Lord Jesus Christ!

All other so-called religions are cults!

As we go through these letters to the Thessalonian Christians we will find that the Second Coming of Christ Jesus will be referred to in some way in every chapter.

The Apostle Paul realized that every believer needs clear and precise instructions because we all begin as babes in Christ!

Many today are taught that the Second Coming of Christ is not so important to the Church, because the Church will already be in Heaven because of the “Rapture” when Christ first returns in the clouds like a thief.

But, the Apostle Paul gives us much teaching on this subject and we need to know these things!

These new, mostly Gentile believers, were now linked to the infinite ‘Grace” of God and it was important for them to know that this “Grace” can come only through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace is the unmerited favor of God!

It is important for us all to have this same understanding!

The “Grace” that saves from judgment was already known to these new believers.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, “to them who are the called according to his purpose”.

The “peace” that comes from salvation was already known to these new believers.

It was now time to learn of the “Grace” that sustains each of us from day to day!

Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

It was time to learn of the “peace” that comes from a daily walk with the Lord Jesus Christ!

It was now time to pick up their own cross and walk with the Lord Jesus!

The Apostle Paul now introduces them to these things.

*****1Th 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

That “we” of course was Paul, Silas, and Timothy.

We should not forget, Paul was a Church Planting Missionary and was very busy about the work of God.

If Paul was not preaching, he was visiting house to house.

If Paul was not doing these things, he was busy as a “tent maker” to meet his personal needs.

But Paul always found the time to pray for the Body Of Christ, the New Testament Church.

As we saw in the Book of James, faith without works is dead faith!

Without men such as Paul, who interceded in behalf of the Church, the “Gospel” would not have spread very far.

Eze 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

We will reach that point in our lives when we cannot be the feet and legs of the “Gospel” but until we reach the grave we need to always pray for the Church to succeed!

*****1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

“Without ceasing” means continuously more than it does continually!

Faith, love and hope are the foundations of Christianity!

***What is the “work of faith”?

Our foundation must be set on the solid ground of “Faith”!

Faith is the only way man can approach God!

But that faith must be based upon the work of Jesus Christ!

We must remove faith in ourselves and fill that void with faith in Jesus Christ!

Then there is the “gift of faith”.

We cannot be Christians without “saving faith”!

This “saving faith” will sustain each of us through our daily walk with the Lord.

The “gift of faith” is not possessed by all believers. The “gift of faith” comes from the Holy Spirit and has the capacity to see something that needs to be done and the belief that God will provide all the things needed to accomplish that thing.

Our Pastor, Preacher Sam, had the “gift of faith” to begin this Church we now call Gethsemane.

This is stepping out in the call of God, knowing that God will provide!

In our study of the Book of James we learned that there is a work of faith after salvation.

This Church in Thessalonica had a true work of faith but they also had this “gift of faith” and it showed.

Faith is the key that opens the door to do the Work of the Lord!

Faith is the key to touching the Heart of God which leads to the labor of Love!

***What is the “labor of love”?

Out of “faith” rises love.

No one can love God unless they believe that God loves them!

God is love!

1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

When those times come when our “faith” seems to fail us, if we will continue because we love the Lord, we will find that God’s love will never fail us!

When we are saved we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

If God did not possess love then He could not produce love in each believer!

God has proved to us that He loves us and for this same reason we need to love one another.

1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

To be “Born Again” is to be born of God and therefore to resemble God.

The Church in Thessalonica knew the love of God and had love for one another, and had a labor of love for the lost and it showed in their personal lives.

***What is “patience of hope”?

Patience of hope is the endurance of hope!

The is the persevering endurance of the trials that all Christians go through.

We can only have this patience when we look to the end of our faith and not just linger at the beginning of out faith!

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Hope is looking to the future and not in the now!

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

This Church in Thessalonica was looking forward to the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ and it showed!

Their faith, love, and hope was in the Lord Jesus Christ because they realized there was no other way to Heaven.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

They also realized that God is always watching because He truly cares!

When we realize that we are under the watchful eye of God while we yet live, we will not have to concern ourselves with appearing before God at the White Throne of Judgment.

Pro 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

*****1Th 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

When all our faith, all our love, and that love is in the Lord Jesus Christ then we can become the elect of God.

To believe on the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be the chosen of God!

Jesus had these words:

Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me”, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Elected means God has elected each individual believer.

This does not mean that God has already preselected those that He will save as some teach!

The key to being the elect of God is being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is the choice we all must make!

Every elect of God must accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the Savior!

*****1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

It is the job of each one of us, after we are saved, to proclaim the “Gospel” to this lost world we live in!

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

We should realize that without the Holy Spirit there would be no results from this preaching.

What did Jesus say to the Apostles?

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, “after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you”: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Without speaking in the power of the Holy Spirit there will be no results!

Paul did not mean that the “Gospel” originated with him, or Silas, or Timothy, but that it was they who had delivered to them the “Gospel” by the Holy Spirit.

***For the Word of God to be effective, it must be preached:

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

***The Word of God must be bathed with the power of God’s “Grace”:

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

***The Word of God must be preached with the assistance of the Holy Ghost:

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

***The Word of God must be preached in assurance:

It is a fact that that most preaching today does not give much assurance.

We are truly blessed here at Gethsemane.

But this is not the assurance of the speaker!

The “Gospel” must produce assurance in the believer!

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Paul said: just as you know what manner of men we are by the way we conducted ourselves and we know what manner of people you are by the way you are conducting yourselves, after receiving the “Gospel”

Jesus said:

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

***The “Gospel” must be preached for only one purpose:

2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

The salvation that is in Christ Jesus will not only save us from the wrath to come but brings with it the glory of being with the Lord Jesus Christ.

***Glorification is the fullest expansion of salvation:

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Knowing all these things will make followers of Christ.

A follower is therefore an imitator of Christ and therefore a Christian!

*****1Th 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

It is truly important that we walk before God in holiness of life and righteousness before all others!

Righteousness means, to do all things right according to the Word of God.

Each believer then becomes a weapon that God can use in this sin-filled world!

Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

More and more people in our world have never even heard of the “Gospel” nor Of Jesus Christ, but they see what the world looks like everyday.

If they cannot see Jesus in us, then our words will have no meaning to them!

Paul said if you see us(Paul, Silas, Timothy) you are seeing the ways of Jesus!

1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

We will receive the Word of God in affliction because the Word of God cuts:

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of God will reach deep into our flesh to separate us from the desires of this world and cause much affliction within us, until we feel the joy that comes from its freedom.

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

There is great joy in being free from the wages of sin!

This change was so great in these Thessalonians that most all others soon noticed.

*****1Th 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

Shortly after 146 BC all Greece south of Macedonia was formed into a Roman province named Achaia.

There was then the province of Macedonia and the Province of Achaia.

The Church in Philippi had been established previous to this one in Thessalonica, both in Macedonia.

The Apostle Paul was in Corinth where a Church had been started in Achaia but those of Thessalonica were setting the example for all the Churches in Europe at this time.

*****1Th 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

Thessalonica was a great commercial and political center but these saved of God, had no problem spreading the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ even to all the strangers that passed through this great city.

They not only witnessed in Achaia and Macedonia but to anyone who would listen no matter what part of the world they called home.

They lived in a nation of false gods and Greek folklore, but now their faith was directed toward the One True God!

They did not need for the Pastor to encourage them to go out on visitation.

They did these things on their own and allowed their Pastor to be about the business of the Lord.

These people evangelized!

2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, “do the work of an evangelist”, make full proof of thy ministry.

It was evident by the change in their lives, that these of the Church of Thessalonica were in touch with God!

It was even more evident to the Apostle Paul who had endured much, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

These people were evidence of the truth of the Word of God to the Apostle Paul and to the world around them.

*****1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols “to serve” the living and true God;
1Th 1:10 And “to wait” for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

What is the job of the Christian after salvation?

To serve the Lord Jesus Christ and to wait on His return!

To repent is a complete change of mind which leads to a complete change of ways!

All those in Thessalonica could noticeably see the change in these that were “Born Again” of God!

They had completely turned from idols to worship the True and Living God!

These people were busy about the Master’s Work, because they fully believed that the Lord Jesus Could return at any moment!

The more we believe this truth, the more we should telling others about the salvation that comes by the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Surely we love our families this much!

This wrath that is coming, is not to those that love the Lord Jesus but to those that will not accept the Lord Jesus.

Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

This wrath is still in the future but the opportunity to miss this wrath of God, will run out when the Lord returns to get His Saints, which could happen at any moment!

When we are not looking for the Lord to return at any moment, we do not believe the truth of the “Gospel” and it will show up in our lack of “Good Works”!

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

This is our message to the world we live in!

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

We know that Hell was prepared for Satan and his angels.

But we also know that Heaven is prepared for the people of God!

Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. “I go to prepare a place for you”.

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

When we do not believe the Words of Jesus, how can we say we love Him!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!