Living As Christians in The World Today (1)

Living As Christians In A World Gone Mad

To show Christians how we are to live in the world as the coming of our Lord Jesus draws near.

INTRODUCTION TO SERIES:
It appears that some of the people in the Church were being told or just believing the return of Jesus was so near, and that if they really believed that they should quit their jobs, sell their homes and lands.

These two letters teach completely the opposite. As a matter of fact the Bible teaches opposite of that. Jesus’s coming is certain and definitely near. We are to keep on yielding our lives to Him, and going about the daily Christian life as though He might not come for a million years.

First Thessalonians mentions the second coming of Jesus as the end or near the end of each chapter. Chapter four gives us an indepth look at the “Catching away” of the Saints which is commonly referred to as the “Rapture”.

In Thessalonica there was much heathen, pagan worship. The Church was greatly persecuted because they were living their faith. They would probably be called radical by even many professing Christians of our day.

We live in a society that is quite similar to theirs. People do not mind what god you worship, as long as you keep it to yourself. “Keep it [your faith] in the Church building.” Do not take it to your job. Do not take it on vacation. Do not take it to your friends, because if you do you will be tagged as a trouble maker, a rabble rouser, and you will be shunned by your peers.

That is why this series in the Thessalonian Letter; “Living As Christians In A World Gone Mad”.

Part 1 – Change By The Power of God
To commend the Church for their faith, and hope that is in the heart: and to challenge them to live exemplary lives to show forth the change that God has wrought in their lives.

INTRODUCTION:
The study actually begins in Acts 17:1-10 which tells of Paul’s short ministry in Thessalonica. It was only about three weeks in duration, but in three weeks there was an established Church – a body of Believers worshiping, praying, studying the Scriptures, and breaking bread together. The Believers fearing for Paul’s and Silas’s life sent them away (Acts 17:10).

Paul is a man of God greatly concerned about this young Church. He sends Timothy to them and Timothy sends word back to Paul of their growth and stedfastness of faith. Paul is thrilled, and fully knows that it is the work of God’s Spirit. He sends them a letter to assure them of His prayers, to encourage them, and to exhort them to continue strong in the Word and faith, no matter what.

“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:1 (KJV)

Looking at Verse 1 –
Paul begins the letter in pretty much his normal way; only he adds Silvanus [Silas] and Timothy. These are men the people at Thessalonica were familiar with. He also acknowledges that they are a Church in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what counts. It really does not matter if a board of men, or a government recognizes a Church; as long as it is in God and the Lord Jesus, it is a Church.

Paul sends them a familiar greeting “Grace and peace”. True grace and peace can only come through God and His Son Jesus.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father…” 1:2-3

Verses 2 – 3 —
There is thanksgiving in Paul’s heart for this Church, and their faithfulness. He also assures them of his prayer for them.

Their faith that works; the love they show to others ministering to others and to one another; their patience in God – knowing He always knows best in every situation; these were all known by Paul as their spiritual leader, and He remembered them.

BE READY JESUS IS COMING SOON.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; that He died on a cross for your sins, was buried and rose again from the dead; and He is alive forever more.

Advertisements

LAST DAYS: No Man Knows

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. 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, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 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. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” Matthew 24:36-44 (KJV)

There are some who try and date the Second Coming of our Lord. It has always been ended with embarrassment, and loss of credibility. Why is it that we cannot believe what Jesus has taught us; “No man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only,”. He gives us a clue as to the conditions of the times, but still without a date.

Some have looked at this verse and indicated that since Jesus didn’t know the day or hour this was surely evidence that He was not divine. Jesus was divine, but limited His knowledge as a man, to only what the Father would have Him know. It would seem to me, that now that He is seated on the Father’s right hand, and all things have been “Placed under His feet”, that Jesus would definitely know the day and hour of His coming.

Jesus gives us some signs to look for before that great and notable day of the Lord comes. There is the sign of Noah. Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD, and God called him to build a huge boat, with its inhabitants being the animals of the earth, and eight human beings – Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives. The days of Noah were evil. Everyone was going about life without much thought and little to no thought of God. They were wealthy, comfortable, and there seems to have been no war; all is well! At least on the surface. Then Noah comes along, hears the Word of the LORD, obeys, and begins building this large floating boat, and ark for deliverance. Not only is Noah preaching to the people around him, but the building of the ark itself is a message to the people. Let’s hear what the writer of Hebrews says of this;

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7 (KJV)

The culture of Noah’s day was probably very similar to our own. Jesus describes it as, “…before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage…”. To see this and read it just seems like the casual, everyday thing. People were going about their daily task, play, work, as though everything were fine. Jesus is most likely getting us to see that cultural laws had become common place. Cultural law basically being if it is alright for the culture your in then it is right. We could look at this way – if exchanging marriage partners is culturally okay, then it is okay to practice for all; if homosexuality and same sex marriage is acceptable then, it should be acceptable for all; if giving the unborn babies up on the altar of abortion is the going and approved thing, then by all means don’t over burden yourself; if prostitution is just another way of making a living, and can be unionized, then don’t criticize those who must earn their keep by slaving themselves out for pleasure oriented people; you see the phrase of the cultural elite is “You got to go along, to get along”.

As long as you don’t “rock the boat” or “make waves” you are an okay sort of person. However, if you speak out about these culturally acceptable vices, and call them “evil”; the culturally elite will turn that around on you and call you the “evil”. Remember Isaiah the prophets words, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 (KJV). There has been a changing of words and semantics plays a large part in our understanding. It used to be that the word “Gay” meant “Happy, merry, cheerful”. Now the word “Gay” is used culturally to define a deviant lifestyle which is growing more and more acceptable by our world, and culture.

That is probably the like of Noah’s day. The cultural thing is to be accepting of all fads, frauds, and failures; with one exception, and that exception being those who will have the courage and boldness to say what is right and wrong. That day when Jesus comes back to earth to set up His kingdom will be a dramatic day. Most of those who hold power positions will be put down. Every nation who exalts itself against the God of heaven will fall. Every individual who exalts themselves against the Lord Jesus will crumble and bow in His presence. There will be no humility here from these; they will be pleading for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them.

On that day it seems there will be a separation which takes place in that moment; at least in that very day. Two working side by side – one will be left to live on in the kingdom of Jesus because of their faith in Him, and the other will perish. Matthew’s gospel mentions two men in the field, and two women at the mill, and would probably cover every situation of the workers in that time to come. It leaves us to understand that no gender, or workplace, is without the separation. One believes and is left to live on in the Kingdom or our Lord, while the unbelieving perish, and await the final judgment.

Jesus gives us these words to cause us to be “watchful” and vigilant concerning the matter of His Second Coming. Though this Sermon on Mount Olive is probably a message solely for the Jewish people it should have a profound impact on the Body of Christ – the Church. Though there are many preachers who use these words of two being together and one taken as referring to the rapture of the Church, the rapture of the Church does not seem to be mentioned in the sermon; at least in this part of it. We are uncertain of when the LORD may return, but we can know that since these signs are having to do with the Second Coming of Christ and not the Rapture, then the Rapture of the Church is closer. Therefore, we are to be ever vigilant, and diligent to do the works that will glorify our Lord.