Tag: Walking with the Lord

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!