1 Thessalonians 4 contains several key instructions for how we are to live and then Paul closes with a glimpse of the things to come. He begins by telling the brethren in Thessalonica to keep on doing what they are doing. And then he throws these words on – twice in fact in this chapter alone – “do so more and more”. Living God’s way should never just stay where it is. We should continue to do so more and more. We should never become complacent that we have it right or have made it. Our goal is always out there ahead of us and we need to continue to strive for it more and more.
The first area Paul focuses on is that we must “abstain from sexual immorality”. He makes it pretty simple when he says “you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor…..not in the passion of lust…..that no one transgress and wrong his brother”. We need to get the area of our sexuality under control. This is a never ending battle for all of us – God created us as sexual beings – but He also put some very strict guidelines around how we are to live in that regard. And the key is that “God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness”. Sexuality is not given to keep us from being pure and holy. It must be dealt with God’s intended way – not the way the world has totally messed it up.
Paul goes on to give a list of ways for us to “love one another….do this more and more”. We are to truly love as God has loved us. He lists some things to demonstrate what that looks like:
- “Aspire to live quietly
- Mind your own affairs
- Work with your hands
- Live properly before outsiders
- Be dependent on no one
- Encourage one another”
We are to live and love as God has loved us. That means putting others in the middle of our lives. It means loving them with true love like Jesus demonstrated for us on the Cross. It is the opportunity to make a difference.
The chapter ends with a picture of what will come based on the truth that “Jesus died and rose again”. Sometimes we tend to lose sight of that big message and truth – we don’t keep it front and center of our minds. But Jesus did go to the Cross. He was crucified and on the third day He arose and conquered death and will do the same in our lives as Christ Followers as well. Here is what God writes through Paul. “God will bring with Him (Jesus) those who have fallen asleep”. Those who were dead and believers will be the first to join God – “the dead in Christ will rise first”. Those who are “left until the coming of the Lord” will be joined with Him as He “will descend from heaven….caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”. Jesus is coming again to gather His own to Himself. Do you believe it? Today may be the day. Are you ready? Have you made Jesus your Savior and accepted His gift of grace? Don’t miss the meeting with the Lord that will take us to eternity in heaven. There is no second chance on this one. Get right with Him today!