Having A Good Testimony

A Good Testimony

Book of 3 John Verse 1-14

The most important thing we can have after our salvation is, having the testimony of Jesus Christ!

The next most important thing is, that we and all Christians work together in the name of Jesus Christ!

We do this by being obedient to our Lord and Savior!

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
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.

If we cannot be the legs and arms to do these things Jesus asked us to do, then we have to be the pocketbook and the prayer warriors.

We all have a job in this salvation plan of God!

We will do this thing by allowing the Holy Spirit to have complete control of our being!

We will see in this small book of the Bible that John was writing to a faithful witness of the early Church.

Remember John always writes to the Church and this time John gets personal and writes to the servants of the Lord Jesus.

This brother in Christ called Gaius is to be an example to all believers!

We do not know anything about this man Gaius, because all we need to know about this brother in Christ is, that he had a good testimony!

What do we know about this period of Church history? All the Apostles were dead, but John, and John was near 100 years old and would not be alive much longer and the followers of Satan saw this time as the greatest time to attack the Church and to wipe out the Christian Church and all her followers.

We can see that the world did not yet understand the power of God and the Church is still standing for some 1900 plus years and will stand until the Lord comes to retrieve His Church!

No doubt that this man Gaius was being watched by the Apostle John so the Holy Spirit directed John to give us these words.

*3Jn 1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

In these first words we can see that Gaius was “well beloved”. No doubt that he was loved by the Church and maybe more than one Church as it will appear that Gaius may have been an evangelist, traveling from one place to another.

John’s intent or the Holy Ghost’s intent here, is that Gaius was well beloved of our Heavenly Father.

We might ask why, but we will see that Gaius was walking in the image of Jesus Christ. This man had a good testimony!

We must understand that we cannot have a testimony until we have been tested by the commandments of God!

The Bible is a “Testimony” of the sovereign will of Jehovah, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The “Gospel” is the special witness of the testimony of the riches of God’s “Grace” in Christ Jesus to the Church and to all people.

What is to be the testimony of each Christian?

Psa 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Psa 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Psa 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Psa 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
Psa 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Psa 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
Psa 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
Psa 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
Psa 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psa 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

This must be the basis for our Testimony

In fact this entire 119nth Psalm should be the testimony of each Christian!

When this is our own “testimony” we will prosper here on earth and our soul will prosper throughout eternity!

*3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

To have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, through the Holy Spirit, is to know how wonderful our future will be.

At the same time, knowing about our precious future gives us the ability to make the right choices in this life.

The most important choice was that choice to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Gaius was such a man who loved the Lord. Gaius had accepted the call of the Lord. Gaius was the beloved of the Lord, in fact the well beloved of the Lord and we will be to when we have a good testimony!

What did Jesus say to us all?

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

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.

It seems that Gaius was struggling with his health at this time and John did as we all should do he was being an encourager and also a prayer warrior for his brother in Christ.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of how much our soul will prosper throughout eternity even while in this life we are suffering just like all others suffer with different ailments that are common to all humans.

Gods care and God’s guidance would always be a part of his life!
God’s love would never diminish!
The reality of his salvation would always be with him!

As prayer warriors we should all pray that our brothers and sisters in Christ to prosper as well in this life and they will in their eternal life.

We should pray for their good health, for the longer we serve the Lord the more opportunities there will be for us to earn rewards.

We should not just pray for those we know but for every child of God to live long and prosperous lives, while still standing firm on the promises of God and the truth of God.

True peace in this life can come only by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

We can only prosper in Heaven if we serve the Lord Jesus Christ in this life.

This is the truth of God!

*3Jn 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.

What is the truth? When we have a strong testimony for the Lord it will show!

Gaius walked in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and it was noticeable.

Gaius walked in the truth of all the Word of God and it was noticeable.

John had spent much time in his books teaching us about false teachers, but Gaius was a teacher of the truth and it was noticeable.

Those that heard him preach, knew they were receiving the truth!

Gaius took his stand on the truth of God even in places where false teaching was happening.

Today when we hear false teachers and false Christians stand up and try to teach us what “thus sayeth the Lord”, we must not sit idle and do nothing.

Gaius took his stand for the truth and other Christians saw him take a stand for the truth.

We already know that much false teaching was taking place as the world was trying to destroy the early church as all the Apostles had been murdered but the Apostle John.

Gaius stood on the truth of God as taught by the Apostles. Some called it the Apostles Doctrine, which was of course the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, according to the truth of all the Word of God!

So where do we begin in the truth?

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.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Without the truth of our Savior, we will never have a relationship with God the Father!

As far as the Apostle John was concerned there is no greater truth anywhere!

*3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

It is probable that John had led Gaius to the Lord.

Gaius had been taught the truth and Gaius had remained in the truth and had actually grown in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Today I do not doubt that many know the truth of God, but it is obvious that the Church has become silent!

Those who take the Word of God and twist it into a lie are many, and yet the Church remains silent.

There are not many like Gaius today to stand for the truth and other Christians notice his stand.

What does God say?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

When are we going to stand with Gaius?

*3Jn 1:5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
3Jn 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
3Jn 1:7 Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.

1) We must be loyal to the all the truth of God. We cannot pick and choose which parts of God’s Word we will use, and we will not use!

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.

2) We must be loyal to our duty of serving the Lord.

It is our duty to obey our Lord and our King!

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

3) We must be loyal to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
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.

4) We must do all these things remembering the love God had shown to us!

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We must serve God better today than we did yesterday and this must be our goal every morning as we awaken to a new day!

We go out every day doing the best we can, not for our own praise, but for the praise of God!
We must ask ourselves daily are the things we do worthy of us or are they acceptable to God!
We must ask ourselves are we seeking our own glory or are we seeking the glory of God!

Gaius helped believers but he also helped total strangers.

Gaius was an evangelist at a time when evangelists were not welcomed in most churches.

It’s not hard to see that Gaius preached the truth and just as today the truth is not preached in many churches and Gaius would not be welcomed.

In fact Jesus Christ would not be welcomed in the Church of today!

We are never to fear the truth of God in fact, we had better fear those who twist the Word of God into a false message that can rob us of the salvation plan of God!

What do we know of our Lord? We know that He would never stay in one place, but He would travel from place to place.

We all have a place in the work God has given us to do!

Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
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:

When we know our calling, then we need to be busy in our calling!

The Church is to serve in the name of Jesus Christ.
These Evangelists are to serve in the name of Jesus.
These Missionaries are to serve in the name of Jesus.
Gaius served in the name of Jesus Christ the only Savior!

We must all remember it is not about money. If the Church would just obey the truth of God money would never be an obstacle!

We are to contribute ourselves! This what we do when we give our tithe and offerings!

We must all know that we are to be fellow helpers of the truth!

This man Gaius is an example for us in all these things and the Holy Spirit gave this example for to the Apostle John.

Gaius was a living example of a true Christian!

As Gaius traveled from church to church, it was the church that should have provided his support.

Monies given by non-Christians usually come with a cost, or a request to go against the Word of God!

This is the biggest reason the church has moved away from the truth.

The Church has been swayed by money given that allows that giver to have his or her way in the Church.

This not the way Church is to operate!

What does God say?

Luk_16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

If the truth of the Gospel offends some in the church, then so be it. We must not veer from the truth of God!

*3Jn 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.

We become fellow helpers of the truth, when we yield ourselves to the influence of the truth!

Gaius was doing all he could to help traveling missionaries and evangelists and as he traveled himself, this was his message!

When we do not have that little extra that could help some missionary then we certainly need to offer some prayer time for that ministry remembering, we need to live the “Gospel” so that our prayers reach into Heaven.

If we are partakers of the “Grace” of God, then certainly we need to share that “Grace” with all others!

The truth is a precious treasure that we must not try to keep to ourselves! The truth is to be shared!

The truth of Jehovah God is all the truth we need, and this truth will never change!

The Gospel is taught of God to be shared:

Joh_6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

The Love of God is taught of God to be shared:

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.

John now changes gears and tells us someone in the Church who is not a good example to follow.

*3Jn 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
3Jn 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

One of the greatest problems in our churches today is, church leaders who divide the church.

These are those who change the Word of God into a lie.

If we all practiced the truth of God, the Church would never be divided!

These are those who twist the Word of God into something that becomes false.

A divisive leader will gather those around him who follow him, and reek havoc, on those, who try to remain in the truth of God.

We see today that many denominations have allowed divisive leaders to come out on top!

Diotrephes refused to recognize the Apostle John as the Elder of the Church, and thought of himself as the true leader of the Church.

He refused to honor the truth of God! So much so, that even in his old age the Apostle John would travel to the location of this man to set him straight.

We do not see much of this anymore.

The Church has become so timid, that the Church refuses to take a stand on the truth!

Diotrephes was standing in the way of Church growth and God’s truth, and he was allowing his pride to rule his actions, rather than the Word of God.

He wanted to be recognized as greater than the Apostles.
He wanted the people to come to him for answers.
He wanted the people to seek his opinion.
He wanted all church ministries to be approved by him.
He wanted to sit in the judgment seat.
He wanted to have say so in all matters of the Church.
He wanted the right to approve or disapprove all things of the Church.

Notice how easily he attempted to move Jesus outside the Church, knocking to get back in.

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
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:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
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.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Though their names have changed, there are many such men as Diotrephes in the church today!

Mat 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
Mat 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Mat 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

What is the means to rebuke such men?

*3Jn 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Diotrephes had criticized the epistles of the Apostle John, but the Church is to follow all the Epistles of the New Testament without questioning the authority of the Apostles and the other writers because it is the Holy Spirit who has preserved these words for the entire Church.

The one thing we are to be sure of is, if it goes against the Word of God it is definitely evil, and the Church must not follow anyone who teaches against the written Word of God.

We are to support traveling missionaries and evangelists who preach and teach the truth. Those who reject Jesus must be rejected by the Church!

A divisive leader is never to be followed, in fact they need to be rebuked and if they will repent then they can stay, but if not, they need to be cast out of the Church.

Luk 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

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

There was another godly leader who John knew stood for the truth and the Church needed to know that some of the traveling men were true men of God!

*3Jn 1:12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

The name Demetrius, was a well known name in Rome, with many generals using that name, so this Demetrius could very well have been a Roman converted to Christianity and would certainly have been treated as an enemy to any Judaizers but Gaius should receive him as a brother in Christ and a true man of God.

Diotrephes would certainly have rejected this man!

The Apostle John knew this man Demetrius very well.

Just like Gaius, Demetrius had a strong testimony among all believers inside the Church and outside the Church.
Just like Gaius, Demetrius had a strong testimony among all the Church leaders.
Just like Gaius, Demetrius had a strong testimony of what a true Christian should be.

Why were these things true? Because Demetrius walked in the truth of God and he was not afraid to take a stand for the Lord.

Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

Rom 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

It would take more than just this letter to straighten out this church that was being divided by Diotrephes so the Apostle wrote the last words to us that he would ever write as he was to journey in the name of the Lord to save one more church from false doctrine.

*3Jn 1:13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
3Jn 1:14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

In the last days of John, he encouraged us to know just how important it is to have a good testimony.

Today there are even more Diotrephes in our churches who refuse to allow anyone one to come in and preach the truth.

We don’t have the Apostle John to travel from church to church to rebuke those who teach a false doctrine.

Divisions in the Church will drive away the Spirit of God.

Division in the Church will open the door to envy in the Church.

Division in the Church will open the door to malice in the Church.

So, there is nothing sweeter than Christian fellowship.

We should get to know each other enough that we know each other by name.

In the world we as Christians may not have many friends, but in the church, we can have many true friends!

John could have written many more things on this day, but he chose to travel to this place and gather together with his Christian family and speak of love and not division.

Speak of the truth of God and not some false gospel.

The one thing we as Christians need today, is to have a good testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ all our remaining days!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Living With the Truth

A Life Lived in the Truth

Book of 2 John

We already know that “truth” is things that are facts! Things that have been and things that will be and only Jehovah can teach us about those things because He is the truth!

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.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

We also know that the entire Bible is written to the believer and the New Testament teaches us of the early church and the commandments of our Savior.

I say these things so we can move on and not worry if there is some special lady that John was writing to, because in every case we know that John wrote to the Church.

So let’s just get our subjects listed and we can move on.

By the time the Apostle John wrote this epistle, all the other Apostles had been murdered and he was the only remaining Apostle.

All the Apostles but John were murdered because they would not reject our Savior, the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the Apostle John who is the “Elder” in this passage.

The “Elect Lady” would then be the “Bride of Christ”.

“Her Children” would be the individual Churches all around the world.

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.

These are of the true Church, because they only abide in the complete truth of the Scriptures.

Those who deviate from the truth or use some twisted, perverted version of the truth, cannot be part of the “Bride of Christ”!

It is only the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ that can make us free from the bondage of sin of this world!

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.

As we go through this passage let’s keep in mind the subject matter and the persons John is speaking to.

*2Jn 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;
2Jn 1:2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

We already know that this “Elder” is the Apostle John who may have been nearing the age of 100 years old by this time. We already know that Jesus had given us an indication that John would outlive all the Apostles.

Joh 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Joh 21:20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
Joh 21:21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Joh 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

The Lord has not yet returned, but John did out live all the original Apostles and He was the last Apostle as there can be no more.

We know that to be a true Apostle one had to see Jesus after His resurrection!

That word “elect” means to be chosen!

Not just any chosen, but those chosen by God Himself and those who have elected to serve with the 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:
2Th 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Th 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

We can see the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Peter both used some of the same language, when referring to the Church of the Living God.

We also know that no one can come to the Lord unless, they are called by the Holy Spirit.

It is those who are called that have chosen to believe the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, that then become the elect of God!

Mat_22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

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

You see, as the “elect of God”. we have chosen to accept all the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ without wavering.

We live by the truth of Christ Jesus.
We are saved by the truth of Christ Jesus.
We will walk by the truth of Christ Jesus.
We will die by the truth of Christ Jesus because it takes all these things to “live eternal” with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Only the truth of God can survive throughout eternity!

Psa 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

It is by the truth of God that comes the “Grace of God”!

*2Jn 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

What does the “Body of Christ” do? We are to live in truth and love, with all other believers!

Jesus Christ died and rose again for “One Church”!

It is different men of the Church who divided the Church that Christ died for, into all these denominations because so many reject the complete truth of God.

There is only one God, His name is Jehovah!

There is only one “Word of God” given to us by only One Holy Spirit!

God has said Himself that His will not ever change!

God’s Word is settled in Heaved and it needs to be settled on earth, and all the Church need to stand on the truth of God and stop some of the wickedness that is going on in our world today!

Grace means the undeserved favor of God, but so many in the Church have placed themselves above the “Grace” of God, and think that they are already worthy to be called of God, when none of us are.

Mercy means feelings of pity, compassion, affection and kindness.

Many of these things in the modern church are now used as an excuse to allow the world inside the Church.

We truly are to meet the needs of those we see who have a need, but we are never to forget that salvation must come first, and the commandments of God are not suggestions but true commandments. Commandments that will never change!

God provides the means of our salvation because of His mercy!

That “mercy” comes in the form of God’s “Grace”!

Jesus took upon Himself all the sin of the world!

God will pour out His “Mercy” and His “Grace” only upon those who accept the truth of His Son.

You cannot be a part of God’s “Mercy” by changing the Words that God has said!

You cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit, if you reject any part of the Word of God that was given to us by the Holy Spirit!

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.

Peace means we all, the children of God, are securely bound together by assurance, confidence, and in the love and care of God.

God has shared His knowledge with us, and it is not for us to change!

Why would we want to do something so foolish as the change God’s Word that is true and believe men who are full of lies?

The truth cannot be changed!

Our peace comes in knowing that our God will never change, and He will certainly keep every promise to us He has made!

Jesus is the Son of the Father so therefore He is God! Why do so many question this truth?

Jesus Christ possesses all the character of God because He is God!

Grace is all the richness of the heart and mind of God!

God’s “Grace” is the reason behind our life!

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

No one can “earn” the favor of God as so many try to do!

We will never “be worthy” enough to receive the gifts of God!

“Grace” brings to us all the good and perfect gifts of God!

There is no evil in God’s Grace, because there is no wickedness in God at all!

There is only one way to walk and be a part of God’s Church!

*2Jn 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

You see, it is a commandment to walk in the truth of God, which will never change.

You cannot see the roots of plants, but you know they are doing their job by looking at that plant.

It is the same with the Christian. We can see the true Christian by seeing how they are obedient to the Word of God!

Remember to be more like Jesus, is our goal and Jesus kept all the Word of God.

God said His commandments are not grievous, so He gives us the ten commandments to start with, and then we are to grow in all the Word of God.

We are commanded to walk as Jesus walked and this is to be our daily walk!

If the church has the truth and teaches the truth, then her children will know the truth and walk in the truth!

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Luk 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

The very first commandment of the Church is to walk in love!

*2Jn 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
2Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

That word “beseech” means, “it is urgent”, “it is necessary” that we all of the Church “love one another”.

There are no rewards for this love because it is a commandment!

How does this love come about? We walk after commandments!

To love is not a new commandment! It goes all the way back to the laws of Moses and the very first one is to love our Heavenly Father and the next one is to love each other with that same love of God.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We cannot walk with God, unless we walk first in these two commandments!

We are not walking with God, unless we walk in these two commandments!

Where is the proof that the Church follows all the Word of God?

It is by the way each child of God walks outside the Church in the commandments of God!

It is by the way the children of God walk when no one is watching them!

You see, our love for the Lord is seen in our obedience to His commandments.

Our love for each other is seen, in our actions toward all the Church.

Our love for our enemies is also seen in our walk with the Lord!

*2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

A deceiver is anyone who would lead you away from the truth of God!

This includes any portion of the Word of God.

Mat_5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Luk_16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

They will make wander away from your walk with God.

They lead you astray from the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

They are charlatans!

They are imposters!

Some have always been near the Church, but there are far more today than there have been in the past. At least here in America, which was at one time the key to foreign missions, but now as many missionaries come to America as there are that leave America to go to foreign nations.

In fact America has fallen so far into sin, that there is a great need for missionaries to stay home rather than go to foreign lands.

Deceivers are everywhere!

They have found a home in our politicians.
They have found a home in our colleges and universities.
They have found a home in our schools.
They are doing their very best to get inside our homes!

The fact is, any of us can be a deceiver if we do not take the time to study the Scriptures ourselves.

There are more deceivers inside the church than there are outside the church!

They reject the “Gospel”.

They reject the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

They reject that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ).

They reject major portions of the Scriptures, and choose only certain ones they will use to prove their point therefore deceiving the Church.

We cannot reject any part of the “Gospel” and still be saved!

We cannot reject that Jesus is the Messiah, come down from Heaven and be saved!

We cannot reject that the Lord Jesus followed all the Word of God and was never disobedient, He is a sinless Savior!

We cannot reject that the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross to die for all our sins!

If we deny any part of the truth of Jesus, then we have denied that there is a God.

We absolutely cannot allow any deceiver to poison the truth of Heaven!

We must be on guard for deceivers who are waiting on the opportunity to be alone with a group of babes in Christ and to get an opportunity to get behind some pulpit, to slander the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our Holy God!

Eze 33:4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
Eze 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

We have been warned!

*2Jn 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

We must be prepared to warn the church if we see any deceiver, but we must also prepare ourselves so we will know a deceiver when we see them or better, hear them.

When we meet Jesus in the air at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” we will not have to worry about our salvation because we have been “Justified” and “Pardoned” and neither of these two things will ever change!

Another truth is, that this is the time when we will receive or not receive rewards we have earned.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, “and that he is a rewarder” of them that diligently seek him.

I use this Scripture a lot about “faith”, but another truth is that God is a Rewarder!

God does not give rewards and then take them away! This is not the purpose of the “Judgment Seat of Christ”!

This is when the Lord will let us know the rewards we could have had, had we not done things against His Word!

God has all these rewards that He wants to give to us, and it is really in our own hands as to how many rewards we can receive!

*2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

What is this “Doctrine of Christ”?

There are the teachings about Christ that we are to believe!
There are the teachings of Christ that we are to follow!

Our standard in life must be the Lord Jesus Christ! We must look at our Savior and see how we measure up!

Those who go beyond the teaching of Jesus Christ, are adding to the Word of God.

Those who fall short in their teachings of Christ, are subtracting from the Word of God and both of these are false teachers!

The “Doctrine of Jesus Christ” then is all the truth revealed to us by Jesus Himself and that was passed down to those twelve Apostles when we add the Apostle Paul and that was taught to the early Church and this same Doctrine is still in full force today.

It is not to be added to and it is not to be subtracted from!

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

The basis of the Church is now, has always been, and will remain, until His return, the “Doctrine of Jesus Christ”!

It is by Jesus Christ that is the foundation of the Church!

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.

It is by Jesus Christ that gives the Church direction as He is the Head of the Church.

Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

It is by Jesus Christ that nourishment is given to the Church.

Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

It is by Jesus Christ who cleanses the Church.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

It is by Jesus Christ that physical and spiritual gifts come into the believers of the Church.

Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

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:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

When you kick Jesus out of the Church, then you have no Church!

Because it is Jesus who intercedes for the Church!

Jesus will never intercede for a deceiver!

Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Jesus is the Advocate for each believer.
Jesus is preparing a home for each believer.
Jesus is producing fruit in the life of each believer.

The Church cannot operate without the Church teaching all the “Doctrine of Jesus Christ”!

*2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Again we see that the Apostle John does not beat around the bush, but comes straight to the point. Anyone who does not teach the full “Doctrine of Christ” then they should be sent out the doors of the Church, because they do not belong in the Church.

Of course they should be offered a chance to repent after someone points out the truth to them!

Anyone who comes into the Church that preaches some other doctrine than the “Doctrine of Jesus Christ”, then they to need to be shown the door and once again offering to them the truth and a chance to repent, but not many will because they came in with Satan’s purpose.

If we cannot remain loyal to Christ, how can we say we are Christian!

We must not receive a false teacher!

How many of us have hade that visit from a Jehovah Witness and after we have been nice and rejected their teaching, wish them a good day.

We are wrong for this, we need only send them on their way, wishing them a bad day!

False teachers are not to be allowed in our Church!
False teachers are not to be allowed in our homes!

We are never to listen what false teachers are teaching, because in the end their intention is to cause confusion!

We must disciple our own babes in Christ so they to, will follow the “Doctrine of Jesus Christ”, the truth of the Church!

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.

If we have come out from them, why would we ever want to hear what they have to say?

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
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.

There is no other “Doctrine” for the Church that the “Doctrine of Jesus Christ”!

Then John closes out this small book of the Bible.

*2Jn 1:12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
2Jn 1:13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

This is a very short letter written to the early Church. We know that each letter was passed to every Church until they all had read what John had to say and remember the Holy Spirit inspired all the Word of God.

All who want to know the truth today, can now have a copy of the completed Word of God.

John had made the point that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the truth of the Church and therefore a body of people where the Gospel is not preached are not part of the true Church, no matter what they call themselves.

Any preacher who will not take a stand on the truth of God, is not then a man of God!

2Co 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
2Co 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

I can say I am Christian and if I do then I’m saying I have given my heart to the Lord Jesus Christ because I know the truth!

I can truly say lead me Lord and I will follow!

Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

There is no other path for these things to remain true!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Walking in the Wisdom of God

Increasing in Knowledge by Walking in Wisdom

Book of Colossians Chapter 4

Wisdom is the proper use of knowledge according to the Webster dictionary.

It can also be said that Wisdom is the opposite of “philosophy”.

The absolute truth of wisdom is that wisdom is one of the names of Jesus Christ the Messiah!

1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, “Christ the power of God, and “the wisdom” of God”.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, “who of God is made unto us wisdom”, and “righteousness”, and “sanctification”, and “redemption”:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

In other words, who are those who are wise? Those who have chosen Jesus Christ!

If we are walking in the truth of the Lord, we are walking in wisdom!

If we lack any other wisdom, we need only to ask the Lord in a prayer of faith.

Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith,

We should always be growing in wisdom as we grow in the knowledge of the Lord!

Let’s begin:

*****Col 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
Col 4:4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

We must always remember, prayer can move the hand of God if it is a prayer of faith and in the will of God, but every prayer should begin with thanksgiving for what God has already done, and this only after acknowledging the Almighty God, our Heavenly Father.

We are also to keep watch and be aware of the times we are in, according to prophecy.

We are in the Church Age yes, but we must be aware of the times and the seasons!

Most important of all, we are to “continue” our walk with our Lord!

We must pray for our local church, but also for all the “Body of Christ”!

We should prayer for others, but we should also desire that others would pray for us. This is what the “Body of Christ” is all about!

We must also pray for the lost! The more we pray for the lost, we will realize they are in great danger of the wrath of God and are in need of salvation. We do not have the power to save them, but we do have the knowledge to lead them to Jesus who can save anyone at any time, and anywhere!

We should also pray for the missionaries, that God would provide their needs, provide fruit for their labor, but also that God would open new doors for the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

If the Holy Spirit is working prior to the arrival of the missionary, souls will be saved!

God will never send a missionary to a place, He has not already sent the Holy Spirit!!!!!!

We must certainly pray for our Pastors!

We should pray that they should always have liberty to preach the “Gospel”.
We should pray that our pastor has many opportunities to preach the Gospel.
We should pray that our pastor be filled with the Holy Spirit of power.
We should pray that our pastor is free to preach the whole counsel of God without rebuke.
We should pray that our pastor is on fire for God.
We should pray that God would keep them healthy!

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: “for they watch for your souls”, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

SO, it is only those who have moved on from “babes in Christ” to true disciples who can walk in the wisdom of the Lord!

*****Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Our greatest witnessing tool, is the way we live out our lives before others, not just other brothers and sisters in Christ but, also before the lost of this world.

Christianity is a daily walk!
Christianity is a life shaped and controlled by the Lord who is our true “Wisdom”!
Christianity is a life that by itself is instructive to those who are lost!

A lot of things could be said about “redeeming the time” but in a true sense, the Holy Spirit means to make the best use of our time after we know we are the redeemed of the Lord. (I know I fail in this things myself)

We are to walk wisely because the truth is, we are certainly in the army of God but, we are always walking in the enemies’ territory.

Our greatest attempt should be for us to be ambassadors for Christ. Remember ambassadors are sent from a foreign land to improve the relations beteen countries. We are only pilgrims in this world for our home is in Heaven!

We are certainly to be standfast for the Lord, and unmovable in the ways of Jesus Christ!

Our speech must always be with “grace”!

We know that “Grace” is the unmerited favor of God and this must be instilled in us so that when we speak to the lost, we are to understand that they also must see this unmerited favor of the Lord through our actions and speech toward them.

Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

We will always get better results if we do not first offend those we are seeking to lead to the Lord!

A good thought is this: “these we are witnessing to already know how to be lost, what they do not know is how to be saved”.

Our speech must be well seasoned with the same “grace” that Lord offered to each of us!

Pro_11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

We must remember that the key to be a good witness is to “walk wisely” in your own life!

We must also understand we do not seek to understand the sinful ways of the lost, we come to show them the godly ways of the Christian.

We must also realize that evil company can be infectious!

Psa 106:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.

We do not have to needlessly expose ourselves to ridicule!

Amo 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

Remember as a Christian we are God’s “jewel” and we should always be radiant before the eyes of others!

If those who are lost do not see a difference in your life as compared to their own, they will never see a reason to seek the Lord!

And now Paul begins to close out this great epistle.

*****Col 4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Col 4:8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;

We will see as Paul closes out this epistle a great list of Christians who traveled with Paul at one time or another and who were all concerned about this church and the false teaching that had entered into this church.

This what we have to do with those who would teach a false doctrine. We must gather against them with the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul begins with Tychicus.

Some may say who is this Tychicus, but Tychicus traveled greatly with the Apostle Paul. He was a native of Asia and you can find his name in the Book of Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Timothy, Titus and the Book of Acts.

Act 20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

Tychicus was so full of Jesus Christ that he could go anywhere at any time and fill in for any pastor and be welcomed.

Tychicus actually delivered the epistles of Paul to the Ephesians, the Colossians, and Philemon.

He would go on special missions for Paul. He even went to the island of Crete and gave Titus a much-needed rest.

He was not only a beloved brother in the ministry, not only a faithful minister of the Gospel, but Paul said he was a fellow-slave to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next was Onesimus:

*****Col 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

We know Onesimus as the escaped slave of Philemon who after meeting the Apostle Paul, realized after he was saved that he needed to return to his owner and face the consequences for the things he had done, and he did.

He also became a beloved brother in Christ to Paul and many others.

Onesimus became a brother to all the brothers in the church in Philemon’s house. We should point out that there are never to be any social distinctions in the church.

A slave can sit on the same pew as the king!

We should also note that, it is very possible that there were others in this church that owned slaves and who also witnessed these things.

The poorest person is to be just as welcome and loved as the richest person.

And we should never forget how the Lord measures the tithe!

Luk 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
Luk 21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
Luk 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
Luk 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

You might say well we would have a better building program with the rich, but the truth is, we can have a better blessing program with those like this poor woman this day observed by Jesus Christ, but the church must remain open to both, so we can learn all these lessons that Christ Jesus points out to us.

I will say it again, every step Jesus took, and every word Jesus spoke are great lessons for us all to learn!

Next was Aristarchus.

*****Col 4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

Aristarchus was a Macedonian of Thessalonica.

He was one of the Christians attacked by that mob of Ephesus.

Remember these Christians were not so much attacked for preaching the Word of God as they were attacked because a union of silversmiths and metalworkers who had stirred up the city because they were losing the business of supplying idols made for the worship of the goddess Diana.

Aristarchus was a fellow prisoner of Paul while he was in Rome.

This man stood by his beliefs even if it cost him his life. He also stood side by side with all other Christians and he would never desert his brothers and sisters in Christ.

We need more such men as Aristarchus today.

Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Almost everyone remembers John Mark (Marcus) in this Scripture.

Everyone remembers how Mark got off to a bad start.

Act 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Mark was a Jew and the son of one of the many Marys that had followed Jesus.

Act 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.

This was the house that was praying for Peter and it was Peter who led Mark to the Lord for his salvation.

Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but it seems he may have been just too young to step out into this evil world.

Act 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
Act 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
Act 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

Notice it was just after this event that Mark went back to Jerusalem.

There are many things in this world that would scare a “Babe in Christ” where the mature Christian would withstand.

Act 13:13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

We should also understand if you have not been called of God to the missionary field then, it is very hard to be of much use.

The Holy Spirit had called Barnabas and Paul, but Mark needed to grow stronger in the Lord, so his faith would not fade, and he did.

Mark later joined Barnabas when He and Paul felt they could cover more ground if they split up.

Mark had rebuilt his reputation and had become very useful not only to Paul but also to the Lord in the ministry.

2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Paul wanted these Colossians to know this thing. Marcus was to be received as a child of God and a very valuable member of Paul’s team of missionaries.

Paul even had a man named Jesus, who was called Justus so there would be no confusion!

*****Col 4:11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

The name Jesus was a popular name but as a missionary it would cause confusion because the Lord Jesus had certainly raised from the dead.

Justus was another Jew from Rome who had turned to Jesus Christ.

The Jews in Rome were strict religionist so not many of them were saved.

Act 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
Act 28:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

This was the final turning point for Paul to spend his time and effort on the Gentiles and the epistles began to flow from his hand and others, all inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I believe this is also why wrote the Book of Romans, also inspired by the Holy Spirit, but a place so full of the world and of evil and immorality!

Justice had remained with Paul in Rome until the very last.

It is time to note that the Jewish people are so full of religion that they struggle just as these Roman Jews had done.

Religion is not a manner of salvation!

Religion cannot make anyone acceptable to God, because only Jesus Christ can do this thing!

Mat 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The Pharisees were the most religious of all Jews!

Paul wrote of these Jews so full of religion in the Book of Romans:

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

We see much of this still around today, not only the Jews but in many others who say they are religious.

We can also see many Christian churches so full of religion they have forgotten the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul moves on to Epaphras.

*****Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Col 4:13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

So far, all the names mentioned have all been Jews who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul had this phrase he used that he always adhered to.

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.
Rom_2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

Epaphras was the pastor to this church at Colossae and he had gone to Rome to get Paul’s advice on how best to handle the false teaching that was going on in his church.

Epaphras was a faithful minister, a faithful servant, and a fellow servant of all these things to Jesus Christ.

Epaphras was so committed and so dedicated to take the Gospel to the Gentiles that Paul called him his fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus!

This pastor reminds me of our own pastor, he did everything he could, even toiling in prayer for the members of his church.

Of course, the church belongs to Jesus Christ and Epaphras knew this also.

Epaphras prayed that above all, this church would come to know the complete will of God and then do it perfectly!

This should also be a prayer for our own church! We already know the revealed will of God, so this prayer is for something special!

Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Epaphras worked hard, not only for his own church but for all the surrounding churches. (Laodicea, Hierapolis)

And everyone loved Luke.

*****Col 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

Luke was also a Gentile Christian and he was not one of the apostles as many think.

Most everyone knows that the Apostle Paul has more books of the New Testament accredited to him, the next being the Apostle John.

Luke is accredited with the Book of Acts and the Book of Luke and Luke wrote more words that the apostle Paul, though it is the message that is most important and not the number of words and Luke has a great message.

The thing we must always remember is that the Lord says all Scripture is profitable for us!

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 one’s writings are of anymore importance than the next because we need the to complete Word of God to have the greatest understanding of our Father in Heaven, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Luke was a missionary and evangelist himself and very valuable to Paul but maybe his greatest act to Paul, was that as a physician, he kept the apostle Paul going all those years.

I also personally believe that it was Luke who penned the words to the Book of Hebrews as Paul dictated them to him.

Luke was not an eye witness to the gospel events, but he did investigate these events from those who were eyewitnesses. so, we can see how accurate the Gospel’s really are when we compare them.

Then we have Demas:

Demas traveled with Paul for some period of time and was dedicated to the Lord for that period of time but what is remembered of this man is that he later turns his back on the Lord.

This is a life of tragedy because our walk with the Lord is to be daily walk.

He was a fellow laborer of Paul at one time:

Phm 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

Here in this Scripture, Paul has nothing to say of him. (and Demas, greet you)

Now he is just known as someone who quit on God.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Demas forsook the apostle Paul and Paul said the reason was that he loved this present world more than the work of the Lord.

This is the same reason, so many quit on the Lord today!

And Paul continues:

*****Col 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

We know that the church in the city Laodicea has been made famous for the Scriptures written in the Book of Revelation:

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
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 3:20 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.

What we see that this church also had a humble beginning in the home of Nymphas.

The thing we should understand is, that even this church had the opportunity to read and study the Scriptures of the apostle Paul.

*****Col 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

We must understand the books of the New Testament were all written to the Church and not to the pastor of those churches.

His job was to read and teach the Word of God given to him that had been prepared by the Holy Spirit.

1Th 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

And the church is expected to obey these words as all the Word of God!

2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

We should also understand that just because an epistle is mentioned here from Laodicea does not mean that Paul wrote an epistle that is missing because all his epistles were passed from church to church.

And Archippus:

*****Col 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

Archippus, the son of Philemon had begun his own ministry and was now teaching and preaching at this church in Colossae.

Every young preacher needs to be encouraged.

*****Col 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

When we see these things in Paul’s epistles we can know that though Paul did not actually write all the words in his epistles, he would normally take the pen in the end and write the last few words.

There were many reasons for this, but the main thing was that all these Christians knew that these were the words of the apostle Paul as given to him by the Holy Spirit.

Remember the church in Corinth had been given some bad writings that were claimed to be from Paul because Paul’s hands were mostly crippled.

Paul would not allow this to happen again!

Paul adds for the Church to remember his bonds as he had previously asked.

Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

As Christians, if we cannot be encouraged by the character of the apostle Paul then we should feel ashamed.

With all the things that happened to the apostle Paul and he remained true to the Gospel, our little petty tribulations do not mean very much.

Next week the Book of Ephesians.

Amen

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!