Archive for December 11th, 2017

1 Thessalonians 4

1 Thessalonians 4 has Paul talking about how we are to live.  Twice in this chapter, he uses the phrase “do so more and more”.  We can never do too much of the things that please God, or obey Him too much.  So what does that look like.  “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust  like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things”.  In a nutshell – God’s plan for us is to sanctify us.

Paul goes on to say “God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness”.  As a Christ Follower, God wants us to be sanctified – which means to be set apart – and to become holy.  He describes some of what that looks like in the verses above but goes on to say “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands….so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one”.  Here’s the key to really focusing on this: we have to live for an audience of One.  We spend far too much time worrying about what other people think of the things we think and say and do.  The truth is that we should only truly care about what God thinks – no one else truly matters.

How we live matters.  We’re all going to stand before God someday and give account.  The standard for eternal life in heaven is not ours, but God’s alone.  He wants us sanctified and holy – pure and free from sin – and that is a problem for every one of us.  We will fail the entry exam.  We are sinners and left to stand before Him alone will be rejected from entering.  Our one and only hope is the gift of grace He has offered us through Jesus Christ.  But we have to accept that gift and make it our own – we must have a personal relationship with the Savior.

Paul wraps up the chapter describing what is ahead for those who know Jesus.  “We declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord”.  When Christ returns, it will be a glorious day.  He’s coming back with fanfare and complete control and will bring those who know Him with Himself into eternity in Heaven.  That’s a day we should all be looking forward to as Christ Followers.  The secret is to be sure we have that relationship with Him so we can experience that glorious day!

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