Tag: The Rapture

Believing The Bible

Believing Biblically

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

From the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior we should be looking for one thing.

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.

This is believing Biblically!

In our lessons we have been seeing ways to improve our walk with the Lord.

Many places in the Bible will teach us how to better serve the Lord but the bottom line is that looking for Jesus Christ to return to take us home is our greatest encouragement to living a life dedicated to Him.

We need to live our lives with the expectation of seeing our Lord.

We should be filled with joy continuously with this thought and the reality of it.

This is the medicine we need when we are having that bad day.

There is nothing wrong with this being the topic of our conversation!

Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

It is only after the Rapture of the Church that it will be the “time of Jacob’s trouble”.

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

Jesus is coming and we will be going and only then will the Lord begin again to deal with Israel.

Israel will go through the 7 year tribulation period but not the Church!

So Paul continues:

*****2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

Paul is writing this epistle to erase any doubts and any confusion this church may have had about the return of Christ in the two separate events. (The Rapture and The Second Coming)

Paul will go further to explain the time of Christ’s return and place it in it’s proper light.

Paul is not referring to the day Christ came as a babe born in Bethlehem.

Paul is not referring to the day of the Lord when Christ will sit on His throne in Jerusalem.

Paul is referring to the day Christ will gather His Saints in the clouds!

Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in “the day of Christ”, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

The “day of Christ” is the day of the Rapture.

The “day of the Lord” is the day the Lord returns to this Earth at least 7 years after the Rapture.

This also the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and Israel will be saved out of this tribulation to begin the 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

Paul is speaking to saved people as these things only concern saved people.

It is these saved people who gather together unto the Lord and have been commanded to gather more often as they see the day of the Lord approaching.

Paul said we must consider and learn all these things before we get so shook up worrying about God’s day of wrath.

Let the world concentrate on the day of God’s wrath and we concentrate on the day Christ Jesus will gather His Church!

For the Church, we should be looking for that “Blessed Hope” and not the “wrath of God”!

The Bible teaches us these things for a specific reason.

*****2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

We sometimes have poor memories. Paul had tried to make himself clear in his first epistle but through false teaching or a letter from some other source than Paul, these people had gotten confused and were shaken in their minds.

When they found themselves going through such bitter persecution and in their many troubles they felt that they had missed the Rapture and were already in the “day of the Lord”.

They had lost sight of the truth!

When we lose sight of the truth of the Word of God, we will get confused!

The Lord will definitely return with His mighty angels but not till the Church has been removed from this Earth!

We must not be deceived.

*****2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for “that day” shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The “day of the Lord” cannot begin until the Church has been gathered to the Lord!

There are some things that must take place before the Second Coming of Christ!

Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

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.

What is the “falling away”?

A “falling away” is a defection from the truth. A falling away is a turning away from the teaching the sound principles of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Not one soul that believes on the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ can be lost but much teaching today denies the fundamental doctrine of the “Gospel”.

This was occurring even at the time of these Thessalonians and this was the reason Paul was writing this second epistle.

Many who claim to be saved today do not know what to believe in and to doubt in the truth is to remain lost!

In the Book of Revelation this is called the doctrine of the Laodicean Church.

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

When this teaching reaches it’s full fruition the Lord will return.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When the Lord Jesus cannot enter any doors He will call His Church out of this world!

Jesus said:

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

That “falling away” actually means “standing away” and on the day of the Rapture, the Church will stand before Christ at the “Bema Seat”.

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.

The 7 year tribulation period cannot begin until after the Church has been removed and it is only then that the “Man of Sin”, the “son of perdition” can be revealed!

This a fact of the Scriptures!

That “man of sin” is called the “son of perdition” because of his being fully energized and control by Satan and can be said to be the “son of the Devil”.

When we look back we have one example who was named Judas.

Luk 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and “one of you is a devil”?

Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the “son of perdition”; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Mar 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: “but woe to that man” by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

This same person is called the “Antichrist”.

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Just as Judas was antichrist there were many others but the true Antichrist will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church.

This is the same prince that shall come in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of “the prince that shall come” shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

This is the Beast of the Book of Revelation.

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

His true identity will not be revealed until after the Rapture of the Church and soon after that the first half (3 and one half years) tribulation period on this Earth will be begin.

This is the 70th week that is mentioned in the Book of Daniel.

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The second half of the tribulation period (The Great Tribulation) will begin when this Antichrist sits on the throne in the rebuilt Temple of God.

*****2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The Apostle Paul clearly understood all these things and he was trying to keep the “Gospel” simple for these Thessalonians.

This Antichrist, the son of Satan, will be the leader of a worldwide global religion that is against all the Word of God.

This will consist of all false religion that is left behind after the true Church has been removed!

This is the false king of the Book of Daniel.

Dan 11:38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

This evil son of the Devil will take this opportunity to speak to all those that are left behind by speaking great words against the Most High God.

He will win many over with his “God given” powers.

Dan 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

He will proclaim himself to be God to all those that are left behind.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.

We must remember the things that are taught in the Word of God and not from those that teach a false doctrine.

*****2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

Wherever Paul preached he declared the whole counsel of God.

Just like these Thessalonians, we listen to others who only preach what we want to hear or just tickle our ears when we truly need to the truth of God in it’s entirety over and over again.

As faithful as these Thessalonians were they did not study the Bible as they should have and none of us do!

Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

There are no secrets in the Bible “that we need” during the Church Age that are hidden! Everything we need to know is in the written Word of God!

Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

The Word of God is perfect now.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

So what restrains the man of sin from being revealed?

It is not in the power of governments that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of social structures that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is not in the power of man-made laws that hold back the “Man of Sin”!

It is only by the work of the Church that follows the whole counsel of God that can hold back this evil Antichrist!

The true Church would point this man out immediately and he would lose some of his power!

Evil in our world is growing because so many places of worship avoid teaching the whole counsel of God as the truth!

It is the influence of Christians in this world who, not only win others to Christ Jesus but who are the salt of this Earth and the light of this world!

This only happens because each Christian is indwelt and guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the Church that prevents the revelation of the Antichrist!

*****2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

The “mystery of iniquity” is the exact opposite of the “mystery of godliness”.

What is the mystery of the godliness?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The “mystery of godliness” is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Holy Spirit indwells each believer and delays and hinders the “mystery of iniquity” which is the Antichrist, the “Man of Sin”.

That word “let” means the Holy Spirit will “make late” and will not “permit” the Antichrist to reveal himself until He (The Holy Spirit) is taken out of the way.

When will the Holy Spirit be taken out of the way?

Paul has been teaching the Rapture of the Church. The Church has no power without the Holy Spirit.

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.

When the Church is removed from the Earth there will be no one left on this Earth who will have the power of the Holy Spirit to resist evil.

There will be no one left to witness for Jesus until God begins dealing with Israel.

The Holy Spirit is not removed, it is His influence on evil in the world through the human beings that follow the Word of God, that will be removed. It is the Church that has been removed.

The Holy Spirit will not be restraining the forces of evil as He is today through true Christians!

This is when the “son of perdition”, the “man of sin”, the Antichrist will be revealed.

*****2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

This evil man will have 7 years to claim to be triumphant!

He will be lawless. He will set himself above the laws of God and also the laws of man.

He will have certain powers given to him by God.

Rev 13:5 And “there was given unto him” a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and “power was given unto him” to continue forty and two months.

Rev 13:7 And “it was given unto him” to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and “power was given him” over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

After these 7 years the Lord will destroy him with the “sword of the Spirit” from His mouth.

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Rev 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

In our day and for many years, many Christians have sought for “signs and wonders” to increase their faith.

Jesus preached against these things.

Joh 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

It is obvious that the danger is very real of being led into a false doctrine and not in the “Saving Grace” of God.

It already estimated that 80% of those that say they are Christian will slide off the pews into Hell.

Satan and his false prophets are also able to shew “great signs and wonders” but these are “lying wonders” intended to mankind into a false worship of this “Man of Sin”.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, “they shall deceive” the very elect.

How are these things avoided? By receiving and accepting the truth of God.

*****2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

What is the truth of the “Gospel” and the entire Word of God?

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.

Those that refuse this truth before the “Rapture” of the Church, will “perish” into eternal damnation under the rule of the “Man of Sin”.

There will be no second chance after the Church has been taken out of this world for anyone who has had the opportunity to receive the truth of the Word of God.

God is sending His Word around the world as time goes forward and with the technology of today surely the Word of God can reach into all places.

Behold, now, today is the day to believe!

2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, “now is the accepted time”; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Now, before the Rapture of the Church, is the accepted time to to be guaranteed to miss eternal damnation.

Christ Jesus has made this to be such a simple thing.

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted “from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

Because they have rejected the truth of the Word of God they will have missed their opportunity to be saved when the Church is taken out!

*****2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

A merciful God will withdraw His mercy from these that have rejected Him because they received not the love of the “truth”.

The “truth” is still the “truth” even when no one believes it!

Joh 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

What is strong delusion?

“Delusion” is the misleading of the mind.

What is the lie that Satan has told from the beginning of sin?

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and “ye shall be as gods”, knowing good and evil.

That “lie” is the idea that man is his own god and can do whatever he pleases without any judgment!

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.

All those who have refused the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be given strong delusion by God Himself when the “man of sin” is revealed and they will believe Satan’s lies.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Now we are foolish to believe that the Holy Spirit will not convict souls to be saved after the Rapture of the Church.

There will be those that never had the opportunity to understand and receive the “Gospel”.

There will also be those Jews who will then see the “light of the Gospel” once the Church has been removed!

Souls will be saved during the tribulation period!

Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Most of them will have died as martyr’s!

Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

**And there will be a great many saved BUT not one individual who has rejected the Lord Jesus during the Church Age and is alive during the 7 years of tribulation will get another opportunity to be saved because they will believe the lies of the Antichrist, the lies of Satan!

All those that did not believe the “truth” of the “Gospel” will be damned to eternal damnation.

Even during the tribulation period salvation can still only come by Jesus Christ!

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The names of those that die before accepting the Lord Jesus Christ are not in this book of life.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

The names of all that worship the Antichrist are not written on this book of life.

Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, “whose names are not written in the book of life” of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Why should we be so thankful? Because from the beginning this has been God’s plan.

God has never had to piece meal a plan together, God has always had this plan!

*****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:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has had this plan from the beginning to save every soul He created!

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The means of salvation was decided before God spoke His first words of Creation in Genesis 1:1.

Those that are saved are called when they hear the “Gospel”, believe the truth of the “Gospel” and are then sanctified by the Holy Spirit or set apart by walking in the “Gospel” by the Holy Spirit.

It is only these who have believed who will one day be “Glorified”!

How was this plan accomplished for these Thessalonians?

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.

And there are always those that will reject the “Gospel”.

Act 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
Act 17:5 But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Jesus said:

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

God will provide this opportunity to every human being that has been born on this Earth!

God already knows because God knows the beginning and the ending of us all!

Act 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Therefore because these things are true.

*****2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Traditions can be either valuable or they can cause harm depending on whether they follow the Word of God!

The New Testament Church was barely 20 years old at this time and there were only a few books of the New Testament written.

The Word of God was taught according to the Doctrine of the Apostles.

Act 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

These teachings are the “oral traditions” that Paul was referring to.

To deviate from this “Doctrine of the Apostles” caused confusion in the early church, until all the books of the New Testament were written and then there would be no more “oral traditions” of the Doctrine of the Apostles it was this doctrine that has now been written down for them and us all.

We now have the complete Word of God and Jesus has these words as John last Apostle has written.

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.

We can be established if we adhere to the Word of God!

*****2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and “good hope” through grace,
2Th 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

All these things have been provided for us by the “Grace” of God and by God’s salvation plan, and they all come through Jesus Christ!

We must go through Jesus Christ to reach God, Our Father.

Why?

Because He has given us everlasting comfort, and not just hope but “good hope” because He loves us.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Don’t you just love the Word of God and the Truth of it?

God’s Word is not confusing!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Are You Watching For The Return of Christ Jesus

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?

Let’s Pray!

Walking Honestly With The Lord

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!

The Promise Of God’s Servant

The Promise Of God’s Servant

"He Will Return"

Book of Mark Chapter 13:24-37

In our last lesson Jesus tells us many things that cannot be denied and have already come to pass. There are those that say anyone could have said these things and they be true, but this is not the message of the world nor of false science.

The message of the false science is that, the world is evolving into something better when the truth is, the world is decaying and dying.

Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

The message of the world is that, because of technology, things are getting better all the time, when the truth is, these same things are causing death and decay and the world is being deceived.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The pure fact is that Jesus said in our last lesson these words:

Mar 13:23  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

So let’s continue Chapter 13 as Jesus continues to answer the disciples.

That question was:

Mar 13:4  Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

*****Mar 13:24  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
Mar 13:25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

There should little doubt that there was a great deal of tribulation after the ascension of Jesus Christ back to Heaven.

The work on Herod’s Temple was completed in 64 AD.

By 66 AD Israel had rebelled against the tyranny of Rome. Nero who was Caesar at this time, dispatched Vespasian to stop this rebellion.

By 68 AD the resistance had been put down and Vespasian turned his attention to Jerusalem. This same year Nero committed suicide and Vespasian returned to Rome as ruler and Titus his own son became General of the Roman army.

In 70 AD the walls of Jerusalem fell and the city was destroyed and the Temple ransacked and burned. Not only that but most all the residents of Jerusalem, innocent men, women, and children were ruthlessly slaughtered.

Those that remained, upon seeing these things rebelled again and it was not until 73 AD that the Jews were completely defeated when Masada fell. Those left at Masada would not allow the Roman Army the pleasure of another slaughter and they robbed them by killing themselves.

When Jesus said "those days" and "after that tribulation" we can be sure He was referring to this time period.

But God has already said this:

Mat 23:35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

This is the generation that was destroyed by Titus, except for a small remnant, that Jesus was making reference to!

But Jesus is also speaking of another time period. Jesus was quoting from the Book of Isaiah.

Isa 13:9  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isa 13:10  For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isa 13:11  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Only the Jew was punished in the day of Titus. The Lord says He will punish the world and that has not taken place yet, so there is coming another period of Tribulation and even Greater Tribulation to the entire world!

These are the days "yet to come" when the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give of her light!

And the stars will fall from heaven and the powers in heaven shall be shaken.

In 73 AD any remaining Jews were driven off their own land by Rome and many made slaves and scattered throughout the Roman empire.

But that was not the end of the Jews then and their troubles are not yet over!

Jer 30:10  Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; "and Jacob shall return", and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.
Jer 30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations "whither I have scattered thee", yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Jer 30:7  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: "it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble"; but he shall be saved out of it.

It is this future time when The Lord Jesus says He will return and it is the Lord Jesus Christ who will save Jacob, "the deceiver", out of the troubles of the Antichrist, at this future time!

The Lord will sit as King then, not only of Israel, but the entire world!

*****Mar 13:26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

There is a great judgment coming to this world we live in.

It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that the world was made:

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that "Salvation came" to this world:

Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

It will be by the Lord Jesus Christ that "Judgment" will fall on this world:

Psa 96:13  Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Act 17:30  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

The Lord Jesus will return "to be the climax and the conclusion" of the Great Tribulation Period.

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

There will be "unmistakable" signs from on high.

What the Devil is doing at that time will be seen as only a deception because he is only a deceiver but he will have caused the murder and mayhem and slaughter to many of the innocent.

But it is not that remnant that will rebel at this time, because there is coming the Savior!

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Then, what will the Lord do?

*****Mar 13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

These elect are not the Church because the Church is already in Heaven and will return with the Lord at His second coming!

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.
Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
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.

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:
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.

Those two words, "caught up"(snatched out) are the meaning of the word "rapture" and this is the victory of the Church!

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Church will not see those 7 years of tribulation!

Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Through Jesus Christ and He alone, the Church will come in fullness of joy to Heaven being saved from the wrath of God.

This is what is called the Rapture of the Church.

The Church is the is the object of God’s love, "and not His wrath".

It would be a contradiction of Christ’s relationship with His Church, His Bride, for the Church to go through the punishments of the seven year tribulation period.

1Th 5:9  "For God hath not appointed us to wrath", but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

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:

And there is no greater proof than this verse that the Church will not see the tribulation period:

Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth".

The signs of the Lord’s coming were given to Israel and should not be a concern of the Church!

It is "the remnant" of Israel that will be gathered by the Holy Angels.

Dan 12:1  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

And Jesus explains:

*****Mar 13:28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

We already know that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel!

On May 14, 1948 a strange thing happened.

Isa 66:8  Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

Having been nearly destroyed by the horrors of the Holocaust(6 million Jews slaughtered by Hitler), still facing persecution around the world(another 6 million in Russia), and being constantly surrounded by their enemies(Jews persecuted around the world), the Jewish people gathered together in Israel and declared themselves a nation in a single day.

The United States recognized Israel as a nation on that same day, and Israel’s victories in the wars since have solidified their place among the nations of the world!

That fig tree that God owns, was replanted back onto their land promised to Abraham and it has budded and blossomed ever since but has still not produced spiritual fruit up till today.

"Her branch is yet tender"!

It has not been an easy road for the reborn nation of Israel.

Zec 12:2  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:3  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

The rebirth of Israel has brought about constant war and conflict with surrounding Muslim nations. Israel attempts to live in peace but those around her want her destroyed!

There seems to be not a day go by that Israel and or the Middle East is not in the world news. It seems the main focus of world’s attention today, concerns Israel’s relationship with its neighbors.

The other atrocities in the world are ignored for the most part!

Just as God foretold, Israel has become a "burdensome stone" for the world’s political leaders.

The majority of the Islamic countries surrounding Israel have made it clear, "their primary goal is the destruction of Israel".

However, God has made it clear that Israel is here to stay!

Israel has had to defend herself from annihilation since her rebirth.

In 1967 Israel did not wake up one morning and decide to go to war – she woke up one morning and found she had to defend herself.

A war between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria that began on June 5, 1967 and ended on June 10 1967.

In this war, Israel regained, by the hand of God, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

It seems the world wants to still punish Israel for trying to hold on to what God has given to them. Israel has made many concessions and each time those concessions have not brought peace but just more turmoil.

Israel cannot be forced to concede this land to the so called Palestinians!

It is those foreign governments that were defeated by Israel that have ceded these lands to the Palestinians knowing that they never owned them to begin with.

Not many Palestinians that are on these lands now were ever raised on these lands in 1967!

But this fig tree, "Israel", will still not produce fruit until the Great Tribulation period.

This is when 144,000 Jewish men will evangelize the world. There will 144,000 men similar to the Apostle Paul that will preach the "Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and many will be saved.

Remember what Paul said:

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, "as of one born out of due time".

God says:

Rev 7:3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads".

Satan will have his seal 666 but God will also have His seal, the blood of Christ Jesus!

Rev 7:13  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white "in the blood of the Lamb".

ALL these things can only happen after the Church is already in Heaven.

When Israel was re-birthed, it was then we should realize that "summer is near" and we could go home to be with the Lord any day now.

So what does Jesus say to His Church?

*****Mar 13:29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Mar 13:30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

As Israel and the world is watching the signs of the Second Coming of Christ, the Church needs to watch the fig tree, Israel!

So what have we already seen so far?

1) Increasing religious apostasy.
2) Wars and rumors of wars.
3) Kingdoms against kingdoms.
4) Earthquakes, famines, and troubles.
5) The Gospel published and available to all nations.
6) Disregard for the moral laws.
7) Persecution toward the Gospel and those who preach and teach it.
8) The rebirth of the Nation of Israel.

What should we remember as we watch for the coming of the Lord to take us home?

A) Unbelievers will always act like unbelievers.
B) This world we live in needs Jesus.
C) When Jesus Christ returns, He will bring with Him, Justice first and then Peace!

The job of the Church is still to tell the world about Jesus!

This last age of the Church and at least seven years before the Second Coming of Christ will culminate in a time of trouble such as the world has never seen.

Then Jesus says we can depend on the Word of God to be true!

*****Mar 13:31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Psa 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 19:8  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psa 19:9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psa 19:11  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

God’s Word is the foundation of life and God gives life eternal!

Jesus said, God is not the God of the dead!

All those that have gone before us to Heaven are still alive!

*****Mar 13:32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

God knows exactly when He will return, but only in the limits of of human flesh did Jesus say he did not know when He would return for His Church. Jesus says "we must watch the fig tree"!

The date of the Rapture is concealed from the Church!

BUT, Israel and the world can see the signs, if they look, and know that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is very near!

So, what else does the Church know?

There will be a "judgment seat of Christ"!

Paul wrote to the Church:

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.

This day of judgment is for rewarding the Church Age believers.

These rewards are for deeds, good or bad, that we have done after we came to know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

We can know that this rewarding takes place before Jesus returns to this earth because the "Bride of Christ" has already been rewarded when returning with Christ Jesus:

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The marriage of the Lamb takes place in Heaven, the marriage supper of the Lamb makes reference to Israel and takes place to begin the Millennial Kingdom.

Rev 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed "are they which are called" unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

It is Israel who is called to attend this marriage supper. The Church is already the wife of Christ at this time!

So what other command does Christ give to the Church?

*****Mar 13:33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Not only are we to watch the fig tree but we are to pray, for we will never know the exact time the Lord returns for His bride until the day it happens.

Christ Jesus has already told us His plan for us:

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.

And Jesus has already told us how to know we will be ready for this day.

Joh 14:4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

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.

And Jesus has already told us we would miss out on His day of wrath to the world:

Rev 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

We are to live righteously and patiently:

Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

And we are to pray:

Rev 22:20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus".
Rev 22:21  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

When Jesus comes the things He does will be very quick. The Rapture of the Church will be a very quick thing!

*****Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. Mar 13:34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

What did Jesus say?

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

We are to watch the fig tree!

We are not to try to set dates of Christ’s return!

We are not to try to say to say that the Lord cannot come until certain prophecies are fulfilled because we cannot know these things!

We are not to concern ourselves with looking for the appearing of the Antichrist!

We are not to look for some great revival!

We are not even to look for some great apostasy!

We are not to look for some revival of the Roman Empire!

We are not to concern ourselves with a one world monetary system, we have our own perfect provider!

It would be pointless to occupy our time watching for signs, when we are to focus our thoughts on the things of the Lord and "watch" for His imminent coming!

Our job is to watch and be about the Master’s business!

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.

These are the things that we of the Church must do!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!