Saturday, January 12, 2019

1 Thessalonians 4

Today's reading...
1 Thessalonians 4:1–18 (NLT)
1Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.
2For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.
4Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—
5not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
6Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before.
7God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.
8Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.
10Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.
11Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
12Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.
13And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
14For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.
16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves.
17Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

18So encourage each other with these words.

“More and more” should be the desire of the dedicated Christian (vv. 1, 10).

More holiness (1–8). Your body belongs to God, and His will is that you use it for holy purposes. Christ purchased your body (1 Cor. 6:18–20), the Spirit dwells in your body (v. 8), and the Father has called you to holy living (v. 7). Disobey and the penalties are great!

More love (9–10). You are taught to love by the Father (1 John 4:19), the Son (John 13:34), and the Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Love is one mark of the true believer (1 John 3:14).

More quietness (11–12). Because they expected the Lord to return any day, some believers had quit their jobs and become idlers and meddlers (2 Thess. 3:6–15). What kind of testimony would this be to the lost?

More hope (13–18). Christians sorrow because God made us to weep; but it is not the hopeless sorrow of the world. Jesus is coming again, and that means reunion and eternal rejoicing!
--With the Word

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