The Apostle Paul thanked God for the church at Thessalonica. Persecution and trials came early for them, but these young Christians were sincere in seeking God. Their faith and their love toward each other grew! That is the kind of fellowship you want to be in; where you have faith and love abounding toward one another. It’s interesting how persecution and trials can bring the church closer together in the Spirit. – A person really can’t serve and experience fellowship with Jesus Christ unless you have real commitment. There cannot be anything that is more important for a Christian. So, it cannot be “Well, if it isn’t raining I’ll be in church, or if I’m not busy I’ll go to church.” True commitment to Jesus always comes when persecution and trials hit our lives. Real depth of relationship with Jesus, and great faith comes in the middle of hard times. And with that relationship, there comes tremendous faith and great love for fellow Christians.
Someone asked: “What kind of body will we have in the resurrection?” The answer is that our present bodies are temporary and disposable. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”. There are “celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies.” Bodies designed for earth and bodies designed for heaven. The bodies we walk around in today are not designed for heaven. They are terrestrial bodies. When Christians die, our natural bodies return to dust, but we are raised in a spiritual body prepared for life in the heavens. The REAL me is Spirit. My physical body is the expression of who I am, but it isn’t the REAL me. In fact, every cell of my physical body is constantly being destroyed and replaced, every 7 years. My Spirit is what makes me who I am, When God gives me my new body, my Spirit will be at home in a body that perfectly represents who I am, and it will last forever. That is the Resurrected Body. 1 Cor. 15
Christ’ return willbe a surprise to the wicked. It will take them unaware. Just at that moment when they least expect it Christ will come. And just as a thief takes away, so will Christ take away their fleshly lives, and destroy all of their earthly hopes at His coming. (1 Thess. 5 – Rev.6:16,17 – – The Holy Spirit writes: “They shall not escape.” – They shall not escape by their own power or force or wisdom. They shall not escape even by annihilation – which they might even desire – but which shall not come to them. JesusChrist willreturn. We expect the dissolution of this present world. We cannot know the hour, but since we know that Jesus will return for His Bride, the Church,we look with joy and anticipation to His return.
The words “caught up” are translated “rapturo” in the Latin Bible (1 Thess.4). This is where we get our English word rapture. We who are alive at this time will be raptured by the force of God’s Spirit at the trumpet call of God. We will be caught up together to a meeting in the air with our Lord Jesus and the Christians who have died before us. This is not the Second Coming of Christ. This is the Rapture, when Christ comes for His Bride, before His Second Coming (John 14). The Marriage Supper is a time we will be with the Lord in heaven. At the Second Coming He returns to earth, and we will come back with Him to rule for a thousand years (Rev.19) and we will forever be with Him. Paul told us to comfort one another with these words. Set your heart & mind on eternity where we will live forever with Jesus.
Paulprayedthat the Thessalonian Church would be watching and waiting when Jesus returned to earth with all of His saints. Paul was constantly concerned about that. God wants all Christians, in every period of church history, to live each day expecting Jesus to come again for us. (1 Thess. 3) I believe the purpose of that message was first, to give us a sense of urgency to get the gospel out to as many people as possible. In addition, Paul wanted to give us a sense of priority, because when Christ comes, we are going to leave everything behind. Our priority should be the eternal things of the Spirit. And because Jesus could return at any time, we are motivated to walk in holiness. The hope of Jesus’ imminent return is a purifying hope.
In Every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne until he puts himself on the cross. If he refuses the cross, he remains on the throne. Maybe this is what is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among many believers today. (1 Thessalonians 2) – People want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no giving up our throne, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of self, and we wear our tinfoil crown with all the pride of Caesar, but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.” A.W Tozer 1897 – 1963
Lord Jesus Christ is not His first, middle, and last name. Unfortunately many Christians think “Lord” is Jesus’ name. But His name is “Jesus.” His title is “Lord.” When you say “Lord” you are talking about a relationship. He is Master, you are servant. The name Jesus is the Greek for the Hebrew name “Joshua” or “Yeshua” which means “Yahweh is Salvation.” (I Thess. 1) But Jesus was also the promised Messiah. The word “Messiah” means “Anointed one.” Messiah in the Greek is “Christos” from which we get our word “Christ”. Recall how the anointing oil was poured over Aaron’s head (Lev.8). That oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was anointed by God the Father to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev.19).”
Christians should be so captivated by the wonder of our great God, and Savior that we want to know Him more. We know prayer is the best way of coming into the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But if our everyday life is filled with the barrenness of busyness, and there is no serious determination to pray, we will lose the wonder of being conformed to the image of Christ, and knowing our God more personally. (Colossians 4) Prayer is possible. God is accessible. And the Holy Spirit of God will provide every one of us the wisdom, power, and encouragement to help us draw closer to our wonderful Lord every day. The Spirit of God will take our understanding of prayer to new heights, and He will help us have a deeper life of prayer. All we have to do is ask.
We study the Word of God so that we become richer in our understanding & the knowledge of God. And His Word becomes more at home in our lives. How can you tell if His Word is dwelling in you richly? You will be “teaching & admonishing one another in psalms & hymns & spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord!” (Colossians 3) Rich and various kinds of worship is a sign that the Word of God is dwelling richly in our hearts. It is also a great way to plant His Word in our heart and mind as we sing songs that teach us the Word of God, and help us meditate on His truth. Let it happen in your life every day.
The Gospel without Holy Spirit power makes no fundamental changes in one’s life. Water may change from liquid to vapor, from vapor to ice, back to liquid again, and still be fundamentally the same. The Gospel without the Holy Spirit puts people through religious, outward changes that will leave a person fundamentally the same. So the actions of a Godless person and a person who has heard the gospel, but without power is the same; pride lies at the heart of both lives. The big difference is the religious man has learned to disguise his sins. And he may actually be in more trouble spiritually, because God hates hypocrisy. And a person who has received the Gospel without the power of the Holy Spirit can never bring forth the fruit of the Spirit, and be knit together in God’s Love. – Listen Beloved; We do not gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles. Yet false teachers deceive many Christians to accept the Gospel without power. (Colossians 2)