Looking For the Return of Christ

Looking For the Coming of Jesus

Book of 2 Peter 3:1-18

There are some doctrines of the Bible that are disputed by Bible scholars, but the return of Jesus Christ is not one of them.

The return of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 300 times in the Scriptures.

There are even whole chapters devoted to the Second Coming of our Lord.

Jesus Christ Himself that He would return, and He will return the exact same way He left this world!

Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
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.
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.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

You see this is what the Second Coming is all about, restoring again the kingdom of Israel.

The Church will already be in Heaven before this takes place!

So how does Peter describe these things?

*2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2Pe 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The return of Jesus Christ will be an actual physical event that takes place after the Holy Spirit has taken the Church to Heaven.

Remember the Holy Ghost could not come until Jesus returned to Heaven!

Joh_16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

This thing works in reverse, the Lord will not return until the Comforter takes the Church home!

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.

Before the Lord touches down upon this earth, He will meet His church in the clouds!

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

We of the Church can say that this will be the greatest day we have to look forward to, of course besides the day we invited the Lord into our hearts!

Peter says we need to remember these things!

We are called to be rememberers!

The Second Coming of Christ to this earth, is all about the Jews!

Isa 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
Isa 62:7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

There are a lot of great things going on in Israel, but Jerusalem is not yet become the praise of this earth!

We must stir up our minds to the truth of God.

As I have gotten older it seems that my memory suffers in day to day things and this bothers me more than I ever realized.

We must stir up our minds to remember those things that are just too important to forget!

Our minds are so complicated that doctors have not yet been able to understand the workings of them.

The power of memory maybe the most amazing part of our mental equipment!

Our memory uses the power of recollection to recall things as far back as when we were toddlers and these things are precious.

Most everyone of us can recall that day we got saved and if not the exact day then the month. Something we will never forget.

Well there is something else that we need to implant in our memories.

The Lord Jesus is coming back first to get His Church and then to make a Second Appearance upon this earth!

We must be mindful of all the prophecies of the Old Testament because they are the voice of God!

When we see those words “thus saith the Lord” then our minds need to perk up and the doors of memory need to remain open because to read the prophets is to see the words of truth!

A man once asked, “what is truth”? Truth is the things that conform to reality. Things that have already been and things that will be.

The absolute truths are in the Words of God!

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

We cannot grow in the grace of God, if we do not grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and then keep these things in active memory!

Why are these things so important?

Because we are in the last days!

Scoffers are all those who mock the truth of God!

These are people who speak the loudest. They are so full of malice and pride, they have reached a point where they will not be silenced, and they will not even listen to anything described as the truth!

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;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God knows those who will never turn from their wicked ways, but we do not!

We must understand the Christ Jesus demands our total dedication, the total commitment of our mind, and our life to His teachings.

We are to have no room in our minds to listen to scoffers or anyone else who denies the truth of our being!

Scoffers walk like they want to and do what they want to and will attempt to deny you your way of life.

They want the right to things they have not earned.
They want to right to live in any way they choose.
They want the right to dictate all these things to the world.

They say, “where is the promise of His coming”?

It has been about 1975 years since Jesus first walked upon this earth but without being date setters, it has not yet been 2000 years.

We will not know the day nor the time, but we should know that we are in the last days!

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
Mat 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

This is what the Holy Spirit is teaching us. It does not matter how much time goes by, we must keep our minds wrapped around the truth of the Bible.

We are certainly in the last days because the scoffers are making their voice heard all around this world!

They are willingly ignorant of prophesies that have already been fulfilled, and the promises of God that have been completed!

*2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

For instance all this talk about climate change. We as Christians do not doubt that the climate is changing. We do disagree that man has a great influence on those changes.

Every day we see where cities and islands will soon be underwater when there are lands and cities and pyramids and roads and many great things that are under water now, that happened when there were no great power plants and no automobiles everywhere.

It is God who is in control of our climate and one of the best proofs is the fact that God flooded this whole earth in the days of Noah.

The proof exists yet all those clamoring about climate change ignore these truths because it does not fit into their agenda.

We should ask ourselves, just what do they want the world to do? Just what power over the climate can we use to stop what they say is in our future?

I have not seen much honest things that we can do as human beings to stop anything that is in the hands of God!

For sure we need to do a better job in taking care of our environment and in my opinion, it should start with cleaning up the trash that is everywhere!

God destroyed all humans and land animals in the time of Noah for the same things that are going on right now in our world!

Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
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.

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the exact same things that are going on in America today!

Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
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.

These are all signs of the Second Coming of the Lord, and we need to wrap our minds around the truth and reject these things going on in our world!

God is still in control of our world and maybe all these changes we see are just God preparing to send His Son one more time back to this planet!

*2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

We need to wrap our minds around the fact that it is the Lord who sits at the right hand of God, the hand of power, and he has reserved the things necessary to burn this planet into non-existence.

Yes this earth will be restored as in the days of Adam because God made certain promises to the Jews and He will keep those promises but in the end there will be a totally new Earth and a totally New Heaven because those old places were places of sin and sin will not be allowed in God’s new Creations.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Now we can accept the truth of God or we can reject the Word of God, but we cannot in any way change the plan of God.

God will rid this earth of ungodly men!

Ungodly meaning, wicked men who reject the truth of God!

Thank God for His patience because He really wants everyone to accept His truths and be saved from His coming wrath.

*2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The truth is God does not depend on some clock to tell Him it is time to do something.

In fact God’s plan is in place and nothing and no one can alter the time frame the Lord chooses to abide by!

We must consider that the Lord has allowed a time frame that everyone who will receive Him will get that opportunity.

The Lord knows those who will never receive Him.

What did God say to Abraham before the destruction of Sodom?

Gen 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Gen 18:26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Gen 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
Gen 18:28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
Gen 18:29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
Gen 18:30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
Gen 18:31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
Gen 18:32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
Gen 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

We can be sure when the Lord returns to this earth, the church will have been taken to Heaven and all those left behind have rejected the truth of God!

This day may not be too far into the future.

Praise the Lord for His patience!

We need to ignore the mockers and realize the truth of what God says!

*2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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.

Jesus made a promise that He will return in His person and He will keep that promise!

It does not matter how much time has passed God will do what God said He will do!

Time means nothing to God He dwells in eternity!

We must not be discouraged because of the time that has passed.

God does not want anyone to perish. God wants everyone to get the opportunity to meet our Savior!

The truth is, God is slow to give into the punishment He has also promised.

God’s love will not allow Him to feel good about judgment, but judgment is a necessary thing or God would not be God.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Noah when they come before Him at the White Throne Judgment.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Sodom when they face Him at the White Throne Judgment.

Judgment must come because this is also a promise that cannot be broken.

God does not want any of His created beings cut off from Him, but this will be something they have chosen.

When you choose judgment rather than salvation, then it is judgment that you will receive.

God has promised to allow us to choose!

God wants us all to walk away from sin and walk in righteousness!

So the Lord will return.

The Lord will stop in the clouds and call out His Church:

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

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.
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?

It is only after this event will the Lord return to plant His feet on Gethsemane.

He has already announced His return so He will return unannounced just as that thief who comes to rob you comes without your knowledge!

The evil world that remains after the Church is in Heaven, will continue to go about its evil and immoral business until all of a sudden, they will realize the what God said was true and destruction and mayhem will be going on all around them!

1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
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. 1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

You see it is because we know all these things, that we need to be busy reaching out to our family and friends and the lost!

*2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

It is a fact that these words have more meaning today than they ever have. The world is hunting an excuse to all the catastrophes that are going on but are rejecting the true answer.

The lost world still believes that the stability of our world can be solved with science and technology yet there are no answers to what is going on now called climate change, except to blame man for bad practices.

There have been bad practices pushed by the lusts of wealth and that same lusts for wealth is the driving force behind what is called climate change.

In the end the guilty nations will be expected to pay for the damage they are accused of. My question is to whom will they pay? Surely not the UN.

The truth is our world is changing around us just like it always has, and we need to take notice because the Lord could return in the next moment.

What will those who are alive see then and who will they blame it on?

The heavens will be on fire!
The heavens will be dissolved!
All the elements that we see every day will melt in the extreme heat!

Who would want to be here to witness these things before their eternal death?

They will leave this inferno to go to and even hotter place called Hell, to even leave that place to go to an even hotter place called the Burning Lake of Fire.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Why do those who see the beginnings of these things think they can stop what God has said is going to happen.

The Lord is going to return to this earth!

What does that “Born Again child of God expect in his or her future?

*2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Why will the Church miss out on these things? Because God promised we would not see His wrath!

1Th_5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th_1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

It is only those who reject the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” who will witness the wrath of God!

This is also a promise! Do not let those false teachers deceive you!

Eph_5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

There will be and entirely New Heaven and an entirely New Earth and the most precious city will be an entirely New Jerusalem!

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

These are the reasons we are foolish not to believe the absolute truth of God!

*2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Who are the beloved of God? All those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God!

1Jn_2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

We must diligently prepare for the coming of the Lord by being busy in the work the Lord has given us to do and this work will not prosper until we live a life of righteousness ourselves!

We are to be at peace with the promises of God!
We are to be without spot, which means we need to live cleans lives according to the Word of God.
We are to be blameless, which means we are to innocent of any wrongdoing, according to the Word of God! Also obeying the laws of man that do not conflict with the Word of God!

Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
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.

We may suffer in this world because we have given our life to the Lord, but that suffering has an ending when the promises of God reach perfection!

*2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

You see those that see the wrath of God and face Him at the White Throne of Judgment, will have reach that point because of their own actions.

The Lord came to save but it requires our faith in Him and the work He has done for our salvation!

Peter the Apostle to the Jews and Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles had the same exact message!

Heb_10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

And our faith must show in the things the Lord has ask us all to do!

Jas_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

These are all things that we should know if we have left the “milk” of the Word and are feasting on the “meat” of the Word of God!

*2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Again who are the beloved?

We see another warning of the false teachers that are filling the pulpits of today because we have no excuse not to know the truth of all these things today!

What is another part of our job until the Lord takes us home? We are to offer to all others the same “GRACE” the Lord has given to us and then we are all to grow in that grace!

We are to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior! We do this in personal Bible Study with the Holy Spirit and then truthful Preaching and truthful Sunday Schools and in any other way we can gain the knowledge of the truth, remembering we are to ask God Himself when we need that little bit more of understanding!

Amen!

Let’s pray!

We Can Be Certain Of The Return Of Jesus Christ

The Certainty Of Christ’s Return To Earth

Book of Luke 21

Although many believe in different details, the doctrine of the return of Jesus Christ is something all Christians have in common.

The return of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 300 times in the Scriptures of the New Testament.

Entire chapters in Matthew and Mark and Luke teach us of the return of Jesus Christ.

The biggest part of First and Second Thessalonians and the Book of Revelation are all about the return of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ taught that His return would be literal and according to the Scriptures.

Jesus Christ taught that His return would be a physical event and not some spirit happening.

In fact the Book of Acts says Jesus would return in the very same way that He departed.

Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Those that look for Jesus to return in any other way are wrong.

Jesus’ return will first be felt by all those He has promised to take to His Father’s home, as we will meet Him in the clouds before He sets foot on Gethsemane.

All those who have been strangers and pilgrims on this earth will finally return to Heaven the place of our true citizenship with our new glorified bodies.

If we did not believe these things we could not have true peace on this earth.

Those that believe in less than this do not believe the Scriptures!

We cannot know the exact time of the Lord’s return but when He comes He will be quick to get here.

Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

These things should encourage us all to be busy about the work of the Lord.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

The passage we look at today is now known as the Olivet Discourse.

This passage deals with the destruction of Jerusalem. the return of Christ, and the end of the world.

Let’s begin:

*****Luk 21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
Luk 21:6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

As Jesus spends His last days before He faces the cross, He never stopped teaching His disciples. If these were so important then, they surely remain important now to us that know Him.

The most important job for these disciples lay ahead after Christ had given His life and after He had risen and then after He had ascended back to Heaven.

After what some would describe as a shaky start, the 12 Apostles when we include the Apostle Paul, turned this world upside down, began the Church of Jesus Christ, and this world has not been the same since.

What is the purpose of the Holy Ghost filled Church?

In the words of Jesus:

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

We can see how far the church has drifted away from this, because the church is no longer filled with Holy Ghost power.

The Apostles of Jesus Christ faced some terrible times and many in the church still do today!

Jesus Christ gave these men a glimpse into the future.

These men would face things they never realized until they were all martyrs, except John who died of old age, the only one.

When Jesus speaks of the “last days” in most cases He speaks of the “last days of the Church”, before the rapture of the saints.

Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

**By explaining these certain things to these men, they would know that God is never caught off guard.

Someone uses this phrase “Has it dawned on you that nothing has ever dawned on Christ”.

Our God is still “Omniscient”, which means He has a universal knowledge of all things that have happened, that are happening, and that will happen, and He knows all these things at the same time.

Nothing happens in this world that God does not know about.

Nothing happens in this world that God could not stop if He so chose to do so.

BUT, God does not ever do evil!

EVEN, the wrath of God is justified!

God will never go against His Written Word!

By knowing all these things, these Apostles would not be caught off guard living in this cruel world.

By having the complete Word of God, we should never be caught off guard by what is happening in our world at any time.

These disciples would realize that their strength would have to come from the Lord.

They could not do as Jesus instructed, if their hope had not been in God!

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
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.

**Now lets see how Jesus dealt with these two questions.

We must not forget there is only one thing that brings the “judgment of God” and “it is sin”.

It is the same for every person and it is the same for every nation!

It was certain that the Temple would be destroyed. We know this as fact.

It was certain that the Jews would be dispersed throughout this world. We know this as fact.

It is certain that the Church Age will come to an end when Jesus meets the Church in the clouds.

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.

It is certain that the Tribulation period will then begin and it will come to an end seven years later at the Second Coming of Christ.

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.

What will happen during that time? We get a preview of the future of our world by what happened to the Temple and to Jerusalem.

It would pay for this world to clearly understood, that the institutions and systems that govern this world, will be destroyed by the coming of the Lord.

And it should also be very clear that the institutions and the systems of religion that are opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter how splendid, nor how strong, are doomed for destruction at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The disciples really only had two concerns, WHEN, and What Will Be The Warning Signs!

*****Luk 21:7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?

All of Israel was expecting to see the glory of Israel when the Messiah came, yet Jesus, The Messiah was speaking of utter destruction.

They could hardly believe what they were hearing.

We to must listen carefully to the words of the Lord, because there is so much deception in this world.

Satan is dedicated to the downfall of Christianity and will use every method available to him.

*****Luk 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

The first sign will be false messiahs.

Jesus said that there would be many false messiahs who declared that they could save this world.

We should also consider that there will be many false Christians.

Jesus said they would come in His name. If you walk in the name of Christ then you are Christian.

There is a great danger in deception! Jesus said to take heed. To watch for these things very carefully.

There message would be that the end time is near.

We should consider that this is the message of all those predicting the “Climate Change” in our world today.

The wars in the Middle East have a lot to do with the promise of a false messiah.

There are those who claim to be Jesus, who has returned.

And of course there are those claiming to be Christian and are deceivers.

There may also be others.

The Lord Jesus said “go not after them”. Pay no attention to the things they say, because they are all deceivers.

Jesus was teaching His disciples and if you love the Lord, He is speaking to you!

Disciples can be misled by false preachers and false teachers and the lies of this world.

Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
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.

This sign is evident in many ways in our world today, just as Jesus said, “there will be many”.

*****Luk 21:9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
Luk 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

The next sign is the conflicts that go on between nations.

Everyone knows the meaning of wars and our world has never seen one day of world-wide peace since the days of Adam.

That word “commotions”, means these are uproars, riots, terrorism, insurrection, treasons, and confusions of governments.

If there is anyone who cannot say that these things have not increased already and continue to increase, then are already deceived.

There are uprisings within governments. Even in America we are more divided politically than we have ever been.

There are governments over thrown in our world almost everyday.

It is a fact that to see all these things on the news constantlym, even true believers can become disturbed.

The truth is Jesus said to not be terrified by these things.

We are to not let our hearts be troubled.

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

If we remain centered upon God, we can trust in His presence, trust in His care, and we certainly can trust in His eternal security.

If this world is destroyed, “it was not our home to begin with”!

We will be in our new home before this world is destroyed!

Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

World wide violence must come to pass, until it reaches it’s peak.

It is not God that brings these things about though He gets most of the blame.

These things come about because they come from the hearts of evil men.

It is a fact, that we would destroy our own world if God gave us the chance.

It is passion, lust, greed, and evil that dominates this world today.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Not only these signs but there will be great signs in nature.

*****Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Most of us don’t realize it, but there may be at least 1 million earthquakes each year with 130 or more of them strong and 20 of them being called major earthquakes.

There are about 600 deaths each year attributed to earthquakes and 67,000 people were killed in China in 2014 due to just one earthquake.

Earthquakes occur along the fault lines throughout our globe constantly.

Earthquakes are one of the most feared and destructive things, in what is referred to as natural disasters.

Jesus mentions earthquakes but He also mentions 4 more disasters that happen in the natural world.

Earthquakes will occur in many places and many at the same time during the last days.

**Famines.

It could be said that famines are sometimes sent as an effect of God’s anger against a guilty people.

Jer 42:17 So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.

Psa 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.

There will be terrible famine in the last days!

In fact the Black Horse of the Book of Revelation indicates terrible famine.

Terrible things happen in a time of famine.

Lam 4:9 They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.
Lam 4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Even God says it is better to die by the sword, than to starve to death and who can imagine eating their own children.

The last days on this earth will be a terrible thing but these days can be missed be accepting the Lord Jesus Christ before the end of the Church Age.

But that is not all that will happen in the last days.

The result of earthquakes and famine is the onslaught of disease (pestilence).

Not only do earthquakes and famine bring disease and pestilences, but so does war.

Pestilence shows no partiality!

The rich may be able to buy food to survive a famine, but they cannot buy their way out of an epidemic of disease.

Part of the results of the Pale Horse of the Book of Revelation includes pestilences.

Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

But that is not all.

**There will be great astronomical happenings.

There will be fearful sights and great signs that can be seen in the skies.

There will a darkening from all the ash of volcanos, the wind storms, the smoke from the many land fires.

Whatever darkens the Sun also will also distort the night sky and the Moon will disappear or change colors.

And we should not forget the untold number of UFO sightings and things associated with those things.

Even our own government spends untold millions of dollars in search of such things.

There will be meteorites that fall to earth at an ever increasing rate.

Astronomical happenings will be world-wide.

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.

Jesus says that these are sure signs of His return to this earth.

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

Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

It is obvious that the worst lies ahead for this world.

Because man will continue to be more evil.

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

We are still in that period that is before those days and Jesus says in this period, it is the Church that will suffer persecution.

*****Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Luk 21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

It is obvious that Jesus was answering a direct question of those chosen disciples but many of these same things pertain to each and every disciple since that day.

It is true that Christians have been persecuted since the founding of the Church. The truth is persecution will become greatly intensified before the Church Age comes to an end.

It is obvious that Jesus has separated the Church Age from the 7 year Tribulation Period that begins at the end of the Church Age.

Persecution will not only come from the less than civil society, but also from the religious system and also the governments of this world and we have already seen these things increase dramatically in just the last few years.

It had already began in the time of Paul.

Act 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

And why will such persecution take place?

*****Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Luk 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
Luk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

It is only those that know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior that will be persecuted to such an extent.

This world we live in will continue to try to stamp out all references to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why? Because Jesus Christ reminds them just how sinful they really are!

Jesus Christ is the standard of true godliness!

The Christian has Jesus as his standard.

Those that have already rejected Jesus Christ will also reject those that have accepted Jesus Christ!

Those that reject the standards of Jesus Christ and accept the standards of the world, will reject everything Christian.

God says therefore:

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.

Why? Because Jesus lived a life of purity and those that follow the Lord Jesus Christ will seek a life of moral purity, while the world lives by immoral standards.

This world lives to fulfill all the lust of their flesh!

This world is driven to be materialistic even if that takes away from others.

There is no natural affection shown to fellow human beings!

There is no message of repentance in our world today.

There is no message of denial of the flesh in our world today.

Though there be millions of people in need throughout our world, very few people are willing to give up there own things to help them.

Therefore the Lord said He would also send a famine of the Word of God.

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Why? Because persecution is a glorious witness for the Lord.

There is increasing persecution as this world tries to silence the Word of God.

Even in America the Word of God is being considered to be “hate speech”.

There is hardly a day goes by, that we do not see this prophecy of the Lord being fulfilled and we wonder if we are in the “last days”.

If you take a stand on the Word of God you will suffer persecution!

Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

**There is one marvelous thing that Christians do not have to worry about.

*****Luk 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

When the believer has to stand in defence of his or her beliefs, God will fill our hearts and our mouths with a reply.

Jesus did not promise that we would be made free.

Jesus did not even promise that we would not die, there are already many martyrs for Christ everyday.

Jesus promised we could have no fear!

Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

We live in a world where all non-believers are beginning to hate the Christian.

In fact more and more of the Church are going against the Word of God, in order to please those of the world in an attempt to survive.

These things cause strife in the Church and the Church forgets it’s purpose, which is to reach out to the lost without compromising on the Word of God.

There can be only one truth!

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

If we truly trust the Lord with our eternal soul, why then do we not trust Him with our lives!

If we allow God to be in control of our lives we will certainly have “Spiritual Security”.

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 says we must be patient in these end times!

We must not fear persecution, we must absorb it!

When we are already in the arms of Jesus, death just puts us there a moment quicker.

Life on this earth is just too short in comparison to an eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Then Jesus returns to the coming destruction of Jerusalem of 70 AD but we should not forget that this Scripture also points toward the last days.

*****Luk 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

History tells us of the terrible destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of God’s people Israel.

The key to understanding this passage is that we are to be prepared at all times for the judgment of God!

Except for peace with Egypt, Jerusalem is now today already surrounded by the enemy armies of evil.

When Jerusalem is totally surrounded near the very end it will be time to flee just as it was for the remaining Apostles in 70 AD.

*****Luk 21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Luk 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

The truth is that most Christians did flee before Titus destroyed Jerusalem.

Many of them fled to Pelia(Pella) a city in Decapolis.

Matthew wrote to forget all the comforts of home and personal belongings, because the danger was just to close and too terrible.

We should never be so attached to our personal belongings so much that we forget about the coming judgment!

We have only one place to flee to, and that is to Jesus Christ!

We must also remember that the destruction of Jerusalem was due to sin.

The future destruction of Jerusalem will also be due to sin.

Sin results in total destruction!

The only sin that cannot be forgiven is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ, and this sin requires payment and the wages of sin is still death!

It will be a terrible time.

*****Luk 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
Luk 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Those women with young children, especially those without husbands will find it very difficult to flee.

They may even move to slow to escape.

Not only will the people be in great distress but the lands will also be in great distress.

This is the truth of 70 AD and it will be the truth in the future.

In 70 AD the wrath of Rome and the wrath of God fell on Jerusalem!

We can see the growing wrath of this world toward Israel and God will still punish sin.

Over 1 million died in Jerusalem in 70 AD and there will be even more in the judgment of God.

It is a fact that during the Tribulation Period, this world will experience great tribulations especially in the last 3 and 1/2 years of that 7 year period.

The Book of Revelation is full of this truth.

What is the “time of the Gentiles”?

We should immediately see that it is God who is in control of all the times of this earth.

God is in control of written history, but God does not cause the evil that goes on in this world, He just allows people the freedom to choose.

The time of the Gentiles means “that there will come a time when the Gentiles can no longer cause harm to Jerusalem”.

There is coming a time when the Jews will no longer be persecuted because God will simply not allow it!

There is coming a time when God will rule this world from the city of Jerusalem and there is nothing this world can do to stop these things from happening!

Rom 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

It’s important that we believe these things.

And yet there will be more signs of the coming judgment of God and the greatest sign of all, the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*****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.

We have already discussed the great signs in the heavens but another thing should be considered.

Our world hovers on the brink of Nuclear War everyday.

World-wide atomic warfare could cause all this distress on this earth and completely hide the Sun for a long period of time.

These are just facts!

But even these things cannot affect the heavens.

The logical conclusion then, is that God who created all the heavenly-host will then cause these things to happen.

It is the wrath of God, that in just a moment, or just a breath, or just with His Word, He can change what goes on in His created world!

We must accept the Word of God as the literal truth!

Every part of God’s creation will be affected that day the Lord Jesus Christ appears!

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.

We can just imagine the governments of this world gathering to see if there is anything that can be done to stop the return of Our Lord.

But for the believer it will be a grand and glorious day!

*****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.

The first thing we see in the return of Christ is that it is the Son of Man who will return, “God in the flesh”.

This world will have no doubt who He is!

Next we see, that all those that have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ will see Him with their own eyes and they will acknowledge that He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Then we see that the Lord Jesus is coming in the clouds in all His glory.

Once again the Shekinah Glory of God will appear on this earth.

We know that true believers know this truth of the Lord.

We also know that Hell is full of believers who now know the truth.

On that day everyone who has ever lived will know the truth of God.

There will be no more mysteries for anyone to discuss and ridicule!

So as we see, the signs that Jesus has taught us to look for, we should not discard nor devalue them, we need to look up, lift our heads, because our redemption draws nearer than it has ever been before!

Nations will be perplexed, we do not have to be.

Mankind will be full of fear, enough that many hearts will just fail, we should have no fear at all.

How should we spend our time?

Telling someone about Jesus and looking for that Blessed Hope!

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.

We are going home one day soon.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

Proclaiming The Gospel Of Jesus Christ

Proclaiming Diligently

1 Thessalonians 1

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Word will convict us of our sin!

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

This is the beginning of a life of prayer!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The city of Thessalonica still exist today simply called Salonika.

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

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

Thessalonica is named after the sister of Alexander the Great.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many ask, is the coming of the Lord near?

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

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

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

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

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

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

So let’s begin:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Babblings are fruitless discussions that lead to confusion!

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

We do not have the Apostles with us today!

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

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

But we do have something much greater!

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

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

No matter how many so called prophets come.

No matter how many preachers come.

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

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

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

All other so-called religions are cults!

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

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

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

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

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

Grace is the unmerited favor of God!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Apostle Paul now introduces them to these things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith, love and hope are the foundations of Christianity!

***What is the “work of faith”?

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

Faith is the only way man can approach God!

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

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

Then there is the “gift of faith”.

We cannot be Christians without “saving faith”!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***What is the “labor of love”?

Out of “faith” rises love.

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

God is love!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***What is “patience of hope”?

Patience of hope is the endurance of hope!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus had these words:

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

Elected means God has elected each individual believer.

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

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

This is the choice we all must make!

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

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

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

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

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

What did Jesus say to the Apostles?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are truly blessed here at Gethsemane.

But this is not the assurance of the speaker!

The “Gospel” must produce assurance in the believer!

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

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

Jesus said:

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

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

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

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

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

***Glorification is the fullest expansion of salvation:

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

Knowing all these things will make followers of Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They not only witnessed in Achaia and Macedonia but to anyone who would listen no matter what part of the world they called home.

They lived in a nation of false gods and Greek folklore, but now their faith was directed toward the One True God!

They did not need for the Pastor to encourage them to go out on visitation.

They did these things on their own and allowed their Pastor to be about the business of the Lord.

These people evangelized!

2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, “do the work of an evangelist”, make full proof of thy ministry.

It was evident by the change in their lives, that these of the Church of Thessalonica were in touch with God!

It was even more evident to the Apostle Paul who had endured much, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

These people were evidence of the truth of the Word of God to the Apostle Paul and to the world around them.

*****1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols “to serve” the living and true God;
1Th 1:10 And “to wait” for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

What is the job of the Christian after salvation?

To serve the Lord Jesus Christ and to wait on His return!

To repent is a complete change of mind which leads to a complete change of ways!

All those in Thessalonica could noticeably see the change in these that were “Born Again” of God!

They had completely turned from idols to worship the True and Living God!

These people were busy about the Master’s Work, because they fully believed that the Lord Jesus Could return at any moment!

The more we believe this truth, the more we should telling others about the salvation that comes by the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Surely we love our families this much!

This wrath that is coming, is not to those that love the Lord Jesus but to those that will not accept the Lord Jesus.

Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

This wrath is still in the future but the opportunity to miss this wrath of God, will run out when the Lord returns to get His Saints, which could happen at any moment!

When we are not looking for the Lord to return at any moment, we do not believe the truth of the “Gospel” and it will show up in our lack of “Good Works”!

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

This is our message to the world we live in!

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

We know that Hell was prepared for Satan and his angels.

But we also know that Heaven is prepared for the people of God!

Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. “I go to prepare a place for you”.

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

When we do not believe the Words of Jesus, how can we say we love Him!

Questions?

Let’s Pray!