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Theme: The coming of Christ is an inspiring and stimulating hope.
In this final chapter of 1 Thessalonians we see how the Christian should live, as we wait for the Return of Christ. I believe that the Second Coming of Christ shall be in two stages: #1. The Rapture, BEFORE the Great Tribulation (1 Thes.4:13-18), which is for the church; and #2. The Second Coming, AFTER the Great Tribulation (Rev.19:11-21; Zec.14:1-5), which is for Israel.
NO one knows the specific time of Christ's Coming in the Rapture. Christ did NOT reveal this to His apostles. The Coming of Christ in the Rapture will be a surprise to men (Mat.24:42-44; 25:13; Mk.13:33-37; Lk.21:36). He shall come as a thief in the night (1 Thes.5:2; 2 Pet.3:10), that is why we must be watching! SO . . . what does it mean to be watching? It means to be careful how you live your life, because you do NOT know WHEN Jesus will show up (Mat.25:1-13). You do NOT want to hear Him say to you: Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (KJV) . . . We must live a life of obedience, or the door will be closed for us when the Rapture takes place. Disobedience: (Jn.3:36; 1 Jn.5:10-13; Rom.6:23; 1 Cor.10:5-11; Heb.10:26-31; Eph.2:2; 5:6; Tit.3:3).
Just as the hour of death is the same to each person, so too Judgment Day will be to mankind in general, so the same remarks answer for both. The Coming of Christ at the Rapture will be terrible to the ungodly, the wicked, the unbelieving. WHY? NONE of them will be taken at this time. They will have to go through the Great Tribulation. Mat. 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (KJV) . . . Any suffering BEFORE the Tribulation period, could NOT compare to what shall take place in this time. The wrath of God shall be horrendous at the sin of the world (Rev.6:17; 11:18; 15:7; 16:12-14,19; Isa.13:6-22; Joel 2;31; Zep.1:14-18). I believe that TRUE believers shall be exempt of this horrible time, because the Rapture shall remove them from the Earth (1 Thes.1:10; Rev.3:10; 1 Thes.4:16-17; 5:9).
In the Great Tribulation, there will be absolutely NO way to escape the terror or the punishment of that time . . . that is why we must be watchful as to how we live. The Rapture will be such a joyous day to the righteous. All TRUE believers in Christ shall be taken to Heaven at that time, where we shall ever be with the Lord (1 Thes.4:17).
How many people are speaking peace and safety (verse 3) . . . while over their heads total destruction hovers? BEWARE!!! Let us try to awaken ourselves and each other, and guard against our evil spiritual enemies. If our attitude does not lead to right action, something is very wrong. The Coming of Christ should be an inspiring hope which leads to action.
Call to Be Alert and Watching for Christ's Coming (1 Thes.5:1-10)
The TRUE believer in Christ must be awake, alert and watching for Christ's Coming in the clouds (1 Thes.4:17), because TRUE believers will not enter into that awful Great Tribulation, which is labeled the Day of the Lord. That Day of the Lord begins with night because that is God's way of marking time. He begins that way in Genesis where it says that the evening and the morning were the first day. God begins in night but moves to light. So the Great Tribulation leads into the glorious millennial reign of Christ when the Sun of Righteousness (Mal.4:2), will arise with healing in His wings.
The day of the Lord usually catalogs events that take place at the end of history (Isa.7:18-25), and is closely associated with the phrase that day. These terms always identify a span of time during which God personally intervenes in history, directly or indirectly, to accomplish some specific aspect His plan.
Most people associate the day of the Lord with a period of time or a special day that will occur when God’s will and purpose for His world and for mankind will be fulfilled. This day is NOT just one single day, but a time period, when Christ will reign throughout the world before He cleanses Heaven and Earth in preparation for the eternal state of all mankind. There are those who believe the day of the Lord is the swift event when Christ returns to Earth to redeem His faithful believers and send unbelievers to eternal damnation.
The day of the Lord is found in the Old Testament (Isa.2:12; 13:6,9; Eze.13:5; 30:3; Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:14; Amos 5:18,20; Obad.1:15; Zep.1:7,14; Zec.14;1; Mal.4:5). It is also found in the New Testament (Acts 2:20; 2 Thes.2:2; 2 Pet.3:10), and referred to in (Rev.6:17; 16:14).
The New Testament calls it a day of “wrath,” a day of “visitation,” and the “great day of God Almighty.” The ultimate or final fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the day of the Lord will come to the end of history when God, with amazing power, will punish evil and fulfill all His promises.
Paul Urges to Always Be Ready for the Coming of Christ to Judgment;
Which Will Be with Suddenness and Surprise (1 Thes.5:1-11)
1 Thes. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. (KJV)
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you . . . but when shall these things be? Some may ask, just as the disciples asked Christ (Mat.24:3; Acts 1:6), where he tells them: Acts 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. (KJV)
The apostle, as in his preaching, so too in his writing, had respect to what was most needful and profitable for the people, just as when the disciples asked Jesus: Are there few that be saved? Christ answered them in that which was most needful to them to know. Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (KJV)
So . . . instead of acquainting them with the times and seasons, he says they need to be in a state of watchfulness, that they might not be surprised, as in the following verses; and that they should improve the knowledge which they had already . . . which was that Christ's Coming in the Rapture would be sudden.
1 Thes. 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (KJV)
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night . . . by times and seasons mentioned before, he meant the time of the Lord's Coming, which he here calls the day of the Lord. And although they did NOT know the specific time, they DID know that it would be sudden and unexpected, coming as a thief in the night (Mat.24:43). They need only be concerned about the suddenness of it; for His Coming will be most welcome, NOT as a thief, to all that believe. It is called the day of the Lord here and (1 Cor.3:13; Phil.1:6,10), and that day (2 Tim.1:18). This is NOT to be taken for a natural day (24 hours), but a certain period of time. Any important manifestation of God, either in works of mercy or judgment, is called His day in Scripture (Isa.2:12; Jer.46:10). Because Christ Jesus will be more highly manifested now than ever before, therefore His Coming is called His day; and that it would be sudden, they should walk circumspectly, or cautiously and watchfully(Eph.5:15).
1 Thes. 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. (KJV)
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 . . . by these words Paul proves that the day of the Lord will not be expected, by the security that will be then found in the world. The day of the Lord is a period of time which starts with the Great Tribulation and goes through the millennial reign of Christ here upon the Earth. There are many passages of Scripture which speak of this. Isaiah chapters 12 and 13, show how God moves down in judgment on society and government, on the military and commerce and art and pomp and pride and religion. Isaiah 13:9-10 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. (KJV)
Also in the prophecy of Joel we are told: Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. (KJV)
Joel goes on in chapter 2 to describe it. Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (KJV)
That is the picture given to us in the Old Testament. The Day of the Lord is a period which begins with the Great Tribulation and goes through the millennial reign of Christ. That is a theme in the Old Testament.
The event described in chapter 4 . . . the Coming of Christ to take the church out of the world in the Rapture, is not even mentioned in the Old Testament. I believe it is there by type, meaning the experiences of Enoch (Gen.5:18-24), and Elijah (2 Ki.2:11), both of whom were taken up alive (raptured) to be with the Lord.
But it is not taught in the Old Testament that the Lord Jesus is going to take a company of people out of this Earth to be with Himself, but then, the church was NOT taught there either. The church was a mystery in the Old Testament (Eph.5:32). See mystery of church:
The Rapture is a glorious and wonderful Truth which was first revealed in the Upper Room when the Lord Jesus said: John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 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. (KJV) . . . I think that is the first time this awesome Truth is revealed in the Bible. Later, Paul taught it in 1 Thessalonians 4.
But, here in the fifth chapter, Paul is speaking of something which was well known in the Old Testament . . . the day of the Lord! When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them . . . it is going to be a big surprise to the world. They are not going to expect it. I believe that the "big lie" (2 Thes.2:11) is the promise of peace and safety. The Lord Jesus warned of that. Mark 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: (KJV) . . . The world expects to enter a great period of peace, the Millennium, BUT they will find themselves plunged head first into the Great Tribulation, which will include the greatest war the world has ever seen. The Rapture will come suddenly, like a thief in the night, and then disaster!
1 Thes. 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (KJV)
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief . . . the reference here is to the way a thief or robber achieves his purpose, coming in the night when men are asleep. The Rapture of the church really does two things: #1. It ends this day of grace in which we are today, by calling out a people for His name and bringing many home to glory. This is what God is doing in our day. The Rapture not only ends that, but #2. it begins the Day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation will get under way, immediately after the church leaves the Earth. The Rapture ends the day of grace and begin the day of the Lord. It closes one day (period of time) and opens another.
1 Thes. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (KJV)
Ye are all the children of light . . . in other words, you do not belong to that dispensation which is coming in the future. You belong to the dispensation of grace in which we are today. So, What are dispensations? Different people have different ideas as to how many dispensations there are. A dispensation is an administration, or dispensing, of God's Will over a certain period of time to a certain group of people. Seven is the most common.
1. Innocence (Genesis 1-3) . . . Adam and Eve before they sinned
2. Conscience (Genesis 3-8) . . . First sin to the flood
3. Civil Government (Genesis 9-11) . . . After the flood, government
4. Promise (Genesis 12 – Ex 19) . . . Abraham to Moses, the Law is given
5. Law (Exodus 20; Acts 2:4) . . . Moses to the cross
6. Grace (Acts 2:4; Rev.20:4-6) . . . Cross to the millennial kingdom
7. Kingdom: The Theocratic Reign of The Messiah . . . This is the last of the dispensations and begins with Christ’s Return to Earth to establish His Kingdom as King of kings and Lord of lords. This time period is also referred as the millennial period or thousand-year reign of Christ. The millennium is that period of time during which Christ will reign upon the earth, a time of universal peace, prosperity, long life and prevailing righteousness. During this period divine grace is revealed in fulfillment of the New Covenant relationship with God. Satan and demons will be inactive during most of the time and justice will be swift for any rebellion against the King. The Bible says the Christ will rule with an iron rod with justice and righteousness (Ps.2:9; Rev.2:27; 12:15; 19:15). The Kingdom will also be a period of failure (Isa.65:20-22; Zec.14:16-19), and there will be rebellion at its close (Rev.20:7-9). This is the final dispensation of testing. At the conclusion there will be a final judgment where ALL evil shall be destroyed. However, this is not the end of the ages. There is one more age where we go into eternity with Christ on the throne reigning over a new heaven and a new earth.
The Bible only describes the beginning and end of the Millennial Kingdom Age, but because of the disgraceful and shocking difference in the two, we can pretty well guess that after a certain period of time in the peaceful and just Kingdom, things will start going downhill fast. The Lord’s administration will be just but inflexible. He shall rule them with a rod of iron and His punishment for disobedience will be harsh and swift. We must remember that the Age of Grace ends at the Rapture. There shall come a time when the people of Earth will rebel. I really do think that Psalm 2 tells the story quite well.
If you are not familiar with these different governing periods which are made in the Scripture, you will be very confused. When the Day of the Lord comes, we are going to be with the Lord. We are not in darkness. That day will NOT overtake TRUE believers as a thief in the night. He does not come as a thief to take His church. The church (TRUE believers) is looking and hoping and watching for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour.
Now Paul gives the warning to the believers . . .
1 Thes. 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (KJV)
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober . . . the Rapture of the church, that blessed hope (Tit.2:13), COULD take place at any time. It is imminent . . . it is NOT just some pipe dream! Because of this, we should not be sleeping Christians. What Paul is saying is that in view of the FACT that the Lord Jesus is going to take His church out of the world before that horrendous Tribulation period, we must not sleep, as do others; but be watching in an alert and clearheaded way, in obedience to God.
The word sober has several meanings. It can mean to stay sober in the sense of not using alcohol; but there are also other kinds of drunkenness besides that caused by alcohol or drugs. Many people get drunk on power or money, or on the pleasures of this world. I think football and soccer makes millions drunk! The child of God is to STAY sober and to watch. WHY? Because of this tremendous event which shall take place in the future . . . very near future I think. I believe we are very close to the time of the Return of the Lord. I do NOT know the day or the hour, but we do have some road-signs! What are they? See the end of this chapter for End Time Signs to watch for. We do NOT know the day Jesus will come, but we are given some clues that will precede this amazing event.
1 Thes. 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. (KJV)
For they that sleep, sleep in the night . . . night is the time to sleep; the day is the time for action. Night and sleep are made for each other, and so too are the day and work (Jn.9:4). Negligence in doing right, laziness and corrupt morals, usually always accompany ignorance.
And they that be drunken, are drunken in the night . . . the night is devoted by them to partying and over indulgence. It is in agreement with the usual custom in all lands and times, that the night is the usual time for riot and revelry. To be drunk in the day-time was considered a great disgrace (Acts 2:15; Isa.5:11). The purpose of Paul here is to urge Christians to be sober and self-controlled; and the meaning is, that it is just as disgraceful for them to indulge in habits of carousing, as for a man to be drunk in the day-time. The actions of Christians should always be that they may be performed as in open day, and in the view of all the world. While others may seek the cover of the night to perform their deeds . . . the Christian should do NOTHING which would not be done under the full brightness of day.
1 Thes. 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. (KJV)
But let us who are of the day, be sober . . . meaning TRUE Christians are those who are mild natured and self-controlled, as men usually are in the day-time.
Putting on the breast-plate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation . . . this is a favorite comparison of the apostle Paul. Eph. 6:14-17 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (KJV)
1 Thes. 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (KJV)
For God hath not appointed us to wrath . . . that should be clear even to amillennialists (those who do not believe in the 1000 year period), but for some reason they do not get it! God has NOT appointed us to the day of wrath, the Great Tribulation. That period of time will be one of the worst times of suffering this world has ever known (Mat.24:21). It is a time of God’s JUDGMENT on the Israel and world . . . and the church is NOT going through it because Christ bore our judgment. Will ANY of us be good enough to be saved? NO! Absolutely NOT! But when God looks down on TRUE believers, He does NOT see us and our continuing in vile, disgusting sin! He sees the precious Blood of His Son (1 Pet.1:18-19). When we sin, we can beg His forgiveness (1 Jn.1:8-10). God the Father will NEVER turn His Back on Jesus’ precious Blood! We are justified (declared not guilty in the courts of Heaven) by that Blood (Rom.5:1). THAT Blood is what makes us good enough! Thank You Jesus!
But to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ . . . God has NOT destined us for wrath, for the Great Tribulation. We are destined for salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thes. 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (KJV)
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him . . . whether we die first or whether we live until His Coming, we shall live together with Him in Heaven one day. I really do think that most of the church has already gone through the doorway of physical death already, meaning that I think Jesus COULD come at any time. That event shall begin with Stephen and the apostles being called by Jesus, then all the millions of martyrs, all those who have fallen asleep in Jesus down through the years, and finally followed by those who are still alive at His coming! What a time this will be! Thank God, we shall be there by the grace of God! What wonderful Truths these are! What a comfort and joy and peace this is to us as believers!
Paul gives several commandments for Christians. These are the commandments for believers . . . not just 10 of them but 22 of them! Until the time we are believe God (1 Jn.5:10), and accept His Son as our Saviour and Lord (Jn.3:16), we are in fact, God’s enemy! Unbelievers, the devil’s children (1 Jn.3:10), are not asked to do what God’s children are asked to do. But . . . AFTER we open our heart’s door to Jesus (Rev.3:20), the Father will ask you: "What will you do with My Son who died for you?" After we have accepted Jesus as our Saviour and Lord . . . and Master, then God wants us to live our lives in obedience to Him. Children of God are not under the Ten Commandments. Jesus gave us the Commandments that we are to live by:
Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV) . . . Do you see what this says? ALL the Old Testament Laws (over 600 of them), and all the prophets, the entire Old Testament . . . boil down to one 4 letter word . . . LOVE!
If we carefully consider the 22 commandments Paul gives to the Thessalonians here, you will see that they too, pretty much boil down to that same word . . . LOVE!
TRUE believers are to live on a much higher plane than the rest of the world, as we see by the commandments in this Letter. These commandments are practical . . . right down to the nitty-gritty! It is a wonderful thing to keep looking for the Coming of Christ, but it is also VERY important that we keep walking in obedience to Jesus! John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. (KJV)
There are some ‘professing’ Christians who never obey His commandments. We are given twenty-two of them here. Paul gives them like military orders, brief and concise. We have just been told to be sober and to put on God’s amour of warfare (verse 8). Now the orders are given, and they all seem to be related to each other, and will all go back to love. IF we love God and each other, we will do these things.
1 Thes. 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (KJV)
Wherefore comfort yourselves . . . (1 Thes.4:18)
And edify one another. . . strive to build up each other, strive to launch each other in the faith by these Truths (Rom.14:19).
Even as also ye do . . . in other words, continue on with what you are doing. Let nothing interfere to disturb the harmony and comfort which you have received from the high and holy doctrines of the Gospel.
They were to comfort yourselves together, which means to encourage one another in the faith.
TRUE believers should work together, edifying each other with the Word of God. The Thessalonian believers were already doing that.
Paul Points to Several Specific Duties of Christians (1 Thes. 5:12-22)
1 Thes. 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; (KJV)
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you . . . act kindly towards the messengers of Christ, the pastors and teachers who admonish, teach and instruct.
1 Thes. 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. (KJV)
And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves . . . honor and respect these people very highly in love. Christian pastors, who preach the WHOLE Truth of God’s Word, and labor in the word and doctrine, are entitled to more than respect. Paul tells us that they should be treasured, and this is to be done in heartfelt love. They should have food, clothing and lodging for themselves and their family.
In verses 12 and 13, there are three commandments that seem to belong together. Know or understand those who teach the Word of God. It means we should recognize them, and also be friends with them. When Paul wrote this, he was speaking about a local situation in Thessalonica. He had been with them less than a month. He had won them to Christ and had taught them. A church had been started from scratch. There wasn't any believers there before Paul had arrived and presented the Gospel to them (Acts 17:2-3). Because of this, all the Thessalonian believers had come to know Christ at about the same time. Among them certain ones would have been given the gift of teaching, some would have the gift of preaching and some of helping. EVERY believer receives a gift when he is saved. That gift must be used in the body of believers to build up the body of believers.
It seems that among the believers in Thessalonica, there could have been an evil attitude . . . he and I were saved at the same time. I’ve known him since he was a kid. Where does he get the idea that he could teach me? This is why Paul is telling them that certain people had been given certain gifts of leadership, and they should respect these people. They should look to these for guidance, instruction and warning.
So many people say they believe the Bible is the Word of God and that they believe that it is true . . . then WHY won't they obey it? Why won’t they listen when it is being taught? Anyone who states that he believes the Bible is the Word of God, should KNOW what it says. Because of this, those who are preaching and teaching the Truth of Word of God should have the attention of the believers, for these pastors and teachers SHOULD know what the Bible states! Those who love the Word of God should have a loving and appreciative attitude toward pastors and teachers.
You can't have everybody running the church. You can't have everyone running some kind of organization. There must be a certain one with authority.
1 Thes. 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (KJV)
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men . . . here in this verse are three commandments.
Warn them that are unruly. This would obviously follow “Be at peace among yourselves.” The unruly are those who are out of step, who like to do their own thing rather than support the work which God is doing. They are to be warned.
Comfort the feebleminded." What does Paul mean by feebleminded? I do not think Paul is referring to people with mental problems, although I do not think even some Christians are kind enough or loving enough to retarded people. My dear friend, these people need your kindness and love just as much or more than those who are not retarded. And these wonderful retarded ones seem to have a double portion of love in their hearts that they want to share with you.
I think feebleminded here means fainthearted, the people who are afraid for some crazy reason, to move out for God, and need encouragement. We need to put our arms around these fearful, weak in faith ones, and tell them that God loves them, and that you love them and that you are praying for them. It will not cost you a dime and it might change things drastically. There are times that even the most faithful Christians get discouraged and become fainthearted!
Support the weak. There are some who are weak in the faith, and these are not only the babes in Christ, but sometimes the young men and fathers (1 Jn.2:13-14). At times new converts just can’t seem to get in step because they are still little spiritual babies. IF they are not able to march with the rest . . . help them. Lift them up, and carry them if you have to!
Our faith never stays in one place or position. One day it is up . . . the next it may be down. If you see someone who may be wavering in their faith, pray for them, no matter their age!
Be patient toward all men. Do NOT lose your temper. You have met some profane, ungodly, unholy, cantankerous, complaining, crabby people . . . do NOT be like them! There are always those unbelievers around us who are just waiting to trip us up and accuse us. BEWARE!!!
1 Thes. 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. (KJV)
See that none render evil for evil unto any man . . . Paul continues these commandments;
Have no revenge in your heart, have no malicious thoughts of evil. Do not fight one with another.
But ever follow that which is good . . . even to those who are nasty and do evil to you.
Both among yourselves, and to all men . . . there are really three viewpoints of life . . . three standards of conduct: #1.The pagan world does evil in spite of good. Get the other guy before he gets you, any way you can. #2. Then there is the standard of the so-called refined and educated world. Do good only to those who do good to you. What does Jesus say? Luke 6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. (KJV) . . . The Christian must not live this. #3. The TRUE Christian standard is to do good to those who do evil to us, which is completely opposite of the conduct of the world (unbelievers). The minute someone hits us, we immediately want to hit him back. This is what Paul is talking about. See that none render evil for evil unto any man.
Paul Points to Several Specific Duties (1 Thes.5:16-22)
1 Thes. 5:16 Rejoice evermore. (KJV)
Rejoice evermore . . . rejoice does not mean to be happy. Rejoice means joy in the Lord as Paul wrote to the Philippians: Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (KJV) . . . This is quite a commandment! It is NOT in the Ten Commandments! The TRUE child of God has NO right whatsoever to go around with a sour puss, like they have been sucking on a lemon! The child of God has NO right to be crabby and irritable. If you are a child of God, you are to rejoice evermore! WHY? Because of what we have to look forward to (Jn.14:2-3; 1 Pet.1:3-5). My friend, JOY is a fruit of the Holy Spirit! Do not quench the Spirit!
Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV) . . . IF you are unable to rejoice, open your Bible and read! If you read the Word of God with an open mind and are calling on God to put joy in your heart. He will do it.
1 Thes. 5:17 Pray without ceasing. (KJV)
Pray without ceasing . . . This has to do with an attitude of prayer. This does NOT mean to stay on your knees all the time, or to shut yourself in a closet. We need to have a prayerful attitude at all times; meaning that we acknowledge our dependence upon God, realize His Presence within us, and determine to fully obey Him. We are to maintain an uninterrupted and constant sense of prayer, and to be in such a frame of mind as to be ready to pray publicly if asked. A Christian is in a bad way when they pay attention to worldly cares, or by reading an improper book, or by eating or drinking too much, or by late hours at night with unbelievers, to be put into such a condition where he cannot involve himself in prayer with right feelings. There has been evil done to the soul IF it is not ready for fellowship with God at ALL times, and IF it would not find pleasure in approaching His holy throne. BEWARE!!!
1 Thes. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you . . . this tells us to give thanks in ALL circumstances, not just once a year, but every day, all the time. Can you do this? Can you give thanks no matter the situation? Can you give thanks no matter how bad things are or seem to be? This Passage states what the will of God for you is! There are three specific things that are the will of God for you: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything. That is the will of God for you.
1 Thes. 5:19 Quench not the Spirit. (KJV)
Quench not the Spirit . . . One of the symbols that is used for the Holy Spirit is fire. How do you quench a fire? You pour water on it and stop it from burning. To quench the Spirit means that you refuse to do the will of God; you refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life, you refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit and you refuse to obey Him! You refuse to let the Holy Spirit be your Guide to lead you in right paths. You quench the Holy Spirit when you take matters into our own hands, and do things your way!
This is the same teaching that Paul gave to the Ephesian believers: Eph. 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (KJV) . . . This is for those who do not believe in the Trinity, the eternal triune of the Three Persons of the Trinity. You cannot grieve a thing; you grieve a Person. The Holy Spirit is a Person, and He is grieved by sin in our lives. He is also quenched when we step out of the will of God.
1 Thes. 5:20 Despise not prophesyings. (KJV)
Despise not prophesyings . . . the reference here seems to be to preaching. They were not to underestimate preaching when compared with other things. It is possible that in Thessalonica, as seems to have been the case later in Corinth, that there were those who considered the power of working miracles, and/or speaking in unknown tongues, as much better gifts than that of preaching the Truths of religion in a language easily understood. Paul really tried to tell them differently. 1 Cor.14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. (KJV) . . . Tongues today is rampant! BEWARE!!!
Today's modern tongues is of the devil! http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_charismatics_are_wrong.1.htm
Do not despise the teaching of the Word of God.
1 Thes. 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (KJV)
Prove all things . . . do not be taken in, do not be a pushover. Do not be misled into supporting a project some say is godly. Do NOT contribute to things you know nothing about. Investigate, check everything out! This goes especially for pastors in the pulpits. BEWARE!!! They can lead you straight to HELL! SO many false teachers!
Hold fast that which is good . . . hold tight to that which is true and genuine. If you find a pastor who preaches the Truth of the Gospel, hang onto him! He is rare in today’s times!
1 Thes. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. (KJV)
Abstain from all appearance of evil . . . if there is ANY question in your mind if something is right or wrong, then it is wrong for you. Get away fast! Abstain from all appearance of evil. This is the answer for any questionable pastimes and amusements. Ask yourself: What would Jesus do? IF you are not sure about something . . . DO NOT DO IT!
Paul Closes with Prayer, Greetings and a Blessing (1 Thes.5:23-28)
1 Thes. 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. (KJV)
And the very God of peace . . . the same God is the Author of peace (Heb.5:9; 12;2), the Giver of peace (Jn.14:27); and who has sent, for the redemption of the world, the Prince of peace (Isa.9:6).
Sanctify you wholly . . . the word wholly means absolutely, entirely, totally, to the uttermost. It means to leave no more evil in your hearts or in your conduct. Only Jesus can sanctify us!
And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . some think that Paul refers to some spiritual doctrine, which was acknowledged among the Thessalonians. I think that he simply refers to the fact, that the creature called man is a compound being, consisting body, soul (mind), and spirit.
The God of peace is the God of the Gospel, the God who has come preaching peace in Jesus Christ, proclaiming reconciliation to those who are far off (Eph.2:2-22) and to those who are near (Jews). No one can ever be sanctified if they do not accept the message of reconciliation. It is NOT possible to become holy as God is holy (Lev.11:44-45), until we are justified by faith (Rom.5:1). Only then can we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is God's way of holiness; and this is why Paul presents his prayer for the sanctification of the Thessalonians to the God of peace. Only the God of Christian peace, the God of the Gospel, can sanctify (set us apart) us. We CANNOT be sanctified until we are at peace with God. Confess your sins with a humble and repentant heart, and accept the forgiveness and friendship of God in Christ Jesus. Only then will He will work in you (Rom.8:9).
1 Thes. 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (KJV)
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it . . . in many places in His Word God has promised to sanctify His followers, and His faithfulness binds Him to fulfill His Promises! God cannot lie (Tit.1:2). Anyone who believes God’s Word, knows He is faithful! How sanctification is secured: (2 Chron.31:18; Jn.17:17; 1 Cor.1:2,30; Eph.1:4; 5:26; 2 Thes.2:13; 2 Tim.2:21; Heb.10:10,29; 13:12; 1 Pet.1:2);
#1. By the Father (Jude 1:1; Jn.10:36)
#2. By Christ Jesus (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor.1:2,30)
#3. By the Holy Spirit (Rom.15:16; 2 Cor.6:11; 2 Thes.2:13; 1 Pet.1:2)
#4. By the Word of God (Jn.15:3; 17:19; 2 Thes.2:13; Eph.5:26; 1 Tim.4:5)
#5. By the atonement (Heb.10:10-14,29)
#6. By faith (Acts 26:18; Eph.2:8-9)
1 Thes. 5:25 Brethren, pray for us. (KJV)
Brethren, pray for us . . . even Jesus’ apostles, while performing extraordinary missions, and enjoying the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, felt the need of the prayers of the faithful. God desires that His people should pray for His pastors (Heb.13:18).
Paul was a man with desires as other men, and vulnerable to the same temptations as all men. He was engaged in a very difficult work; often called to meet with hostility, and often exposed to peril and want (2 Cor.11:23-30). Paul especially needed the prayers of the people of God. A minister, surrounded as he is by temptations, is in great danger if he does not have the prayers of his people. Without those prayers, he will accomplish little in the mission of his Master. It is very necessary for the church to pray for its pastor.
1 Thes. 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. (KJV)
Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss . . . with the customs in our culture, a warm handshake will do. Rom.16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. (KJV)
1 Thes. 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. (KJV)
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren . . . Paul wanted for all the Christians to hear this letter, so it had to be read in a public meeting. There most likely was just one copy. Paul wanted to make sure that everyone had the opportunity to hear his message because he was answering important questions and offering needed encouragement and warning. Compare (Col.4:16).
1 Thes. 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (KJV)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen . . . (Rom.16:20). As the Letter began, so it ends. The grace of Christ MUST be at the beginning and end of every work, in order to complete it, and bring it to a good ending.
Amen . . . this was probably not written by Paul. The subscriptions are, as in other cases, various and contradictory.
Twenty-two Commandments and Warnings to Believers in 1 Thessalonians 5
#1. Do not sleep; be spiritually alive (1 Thes.5:6).
#2. Watch, be alert, enemies are all around us (1 Thes.5:6).
#3. Be sober, not drunk (1 Thes.5:6-7).
#4. Put on God’s armor (1 Thes.5:8; Eph.6).
#5. Comfort one another (1 Thes.5:11; 4:18).
#6. Edify or build each other up (1 Thes.5:11).
#7. Know and be kind and loving to pastors (1 Thes.5:12).
#8. Esteem ministers highly in love (1 Thes.5:13).
#9. Be at peace among yourselves (1 Thes.5:13).
#10. Warn the unruly, the disorderly (1 Thes.5:14).
#11. Comfort the feebleminded, the fainthearted (1 Thes.5:14).
#12. Support the weak (1 Thes.5:14; 1 Cor.8:10).
#13. Be patient with all men (1 Thes.5;14; Eph.4:2).
#14. Render evil to no man (1 Thes.5:15).
#15. Follow that which is good (1 Thes.5:15).
#16. Rejoice always in all things (1 Thes.5:16).
#17. Pray without ceasing (1 Thes.5:17; 1 Pet.4:7).
#18. Give thanks always in all things (1 Thes.5:18).
#19. Quench not the Spirit (1 Thes.5:19).
#20. Despise not prophesyings (1 Thes.5:20).
#21. Prove all things; hold fast to the good (1 Thes.5:21).
#22. Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thes.5:22; 2 Cor.6:3; 8:20-21; Phil.4:8).
END TIME SIGNS
#1. False Bible teachers would be money hungry. They would be smooth talkers, have many followers, and slur the Christian faith (2 Pet.2:1-3) http://worldlychaos.org/w_c_cults_rich_preachers.1.htm
#2. Homosexuality would be increasingly evident at the end of the age (Rom.1:26-27; 2 Tim. 3:3)
#3. Earthquakes would be in diverse places (Mat. 24:7)
#4. Stress would be part of everyday living (2 Tim.3:1)
#5. Many wars would erupt (Mat.24:6)
#6. People would forsake the Ten Commandments as a moral code, committing adultery, stealing, lying and killing (Matt.24:12)
#7. There would be a cold religious system, in denying God's power (2 Tim.3:5)
#8. Men would substitute fables in place of Christian Truth (2 Tim. 4:4). This is so clear at Christmas when the birth of the Saviour is lost and forgotten behind the myth of Santa Claus.
#9. Deadly diseases would be prevalent (Mat.24:7). The worldwide increase in AIDS deaths is almost inestimable. Over 160,000 Americans die of cancer each year. And now the scare of Ebola is world wide.
#10. The FACT that God once flooded the Earth because of sin (the Noahic Flood) would be denied (2 Pet.3:5-6). There is a mass of fossil evidence to prove this FACT, yet it is flatly ignored by the scientific world because of its mysterious implication.
#11. The institution of marriage would be forsaken by many (1 Tim.4:3)
#12. There would be an increase in famines (Mat. 24:7)
#13. Increase in vegetarianism would increase (1 Tim. 4:3-4)
#14. There would be a cry for peace (1 Thes. 5:3)
#15. The possession of Jerusalem would be at the center of international turmoil (Zec.12:3)
#16. Knowledge would increase (Dan.12:4)
#17. There would be hypocrites within the Church (Mat.13:25-30)
#18. There would be an increase of religious cults/false teachers (Mat. 24:11,24)
#19. The future would seem fearful to many (Luke 21:26)
#20. Humanity would become materialistic (2 Tim.3:4)
#21. There would be many involved in travel (Dan.12:4)
#22. The Christian Gospel would be preached as a warning to all nations (Mat.24:14)
#23. Jesus said Christians would be hated "for His name's sake" (Mat.24:9)
#24: 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; 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. (Luke 21:25-26).
#25: Youth would become rebellious. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy (2 Tim.3:2)
#26: Men would mock the warning signs of the end of the age saying, "for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Pet.3:4). The Bible even reveals their motivation, they love lust (verse 3). They fail to understand that a day to the Lord is as a thousand years to us. God is not subject to the time that He created. He can flip through time as we flip through the pages of a book. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (KJV) . . . Maybe YOU are the one God is waiting for . . . to believe Him (1 Jn.5:10), and accept His Son to save you! (Jn.3:16)
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