Monday, November 28, 2011

The Morning After: Authentic Encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

Today starts a week of vacation. I spent all morning cleaning carpets in our new house and now am taking a few minutes at our local coffee shop. We do not have internet at the house yet, or I would have posted this earlier today. That's okay. It should be installed later today or tomorrow, as long as I can find our modem in some box that we have. I really hope so, since I don't want to spend another hundred dollars.

Anyways, as to yesterday, I continued my series in the book of 1 Thessalonians that I gave called "Authentic Ministry." I am trying to show through the church of Thessalonica that they didn't play games in their church. They were serious about ministry with each other. And yesterday, we looked at one of those passages in the Bible that can be very complicated to understand. 

My main idea is that we can find encouragement in looking, longing, and anticipating the coming of Jesus. Ultimately the encouragement is found in the fact that when Jesus returns, He will come in judgment of people. Yet the Christian will NOT face the wrath of God. Verse 9 is the key to the entire section: The Christian has been destined by God to not face His wrath. But His wrath is poured out, just not on the person. It was poured out on Jesus, who died for us so that we might live with Him (vs. 10). Had Jesus not died for us, we too would be subject to God's wrath, just like the rest of humanity. But the greatest encouragement is that Jesus died in the place of all those who will ever believe. What an amazingly encouraging thought.

While the Christian will not face the wrath of God, he should still look forward to Jesus returning. In fact, he should live his life in light of the return of Jesus. The Christian should face things in this life differently than the Non-Christian. If you want to know how I work that out in the sermon, check it out HERE.

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