Illustration results for 1 thessalonians 4
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In an episode of the TV show Friends Chandler and Joey turn on their television to discover that for some reason, their cable company is allowing them to receive free porn. For the rest of the episode, these guys are glued to the set. They never leave the house. They never leave their chairs. The TV never gets turned off. They couldn’t get enough of the stuff.
Pornography is dangerous because it always leaves you wanting more. Lust never delivers what it promises.
Great ambition is the passion of a great character. He who is endowed with it may perform very good or very bad actions; all depends upon the principles which direct him.
A man named Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychologist, discovered this great truth in the midst of a Jewish concentration camp during WW II. While seeking to survive the horror of this imprisonment Frankl began observing his fellow prisoners in the hope of discovering what coping mechanism would help him endure this horrendous existence. What Frankl discovered was this...
Those individuals who could not accept what was happening to them, who could not make their present suffering fit with their faith, who could not find it’s meaning in their world view... they despaired, lost hope, and eventually gave up and died. But those individuals that could find a meaning from their faith, were then able to find hope for a future beyond their present suffering, and so could accept what they were enduring as a part of their existence, and they survived.
“Making The Best of The ‘Best’!” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 Key verse(s) 15:“According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.”
“I did my best, really!” With tear-streaked face and bit lip, the little boy looked up at his stern-faced father. In his hand he held the remnants of what was supposed to have been a box kite. But, what was supposed to have been a neatly balanced craft of tightly bonded paper, taught string and crisp balsa wood angles was anything but. The little boy thought he could do it. The directions seemed easy enough. All you needed was a scissors and some glue. But, what he now held in his arms didn’t look anything like the picture on the crumpled bit of cellophane laying on the floor beneath his feet. Some of the paper had ripped and nothing was tight. The glue hadn’t dried properly and he had more of it stuck to his finger than to the kite. It was obvious even to the little boy that what he held would probably never fly.
That little boy was me decades ago. My dad had taken me to the Five & Dime downtown and allowed me to buy a real kite, a box kite. While all the other kids had simple kites with a tail, I was determined to have a box kite. I know that he had misgivings about it. My dad was a bit of a kite connoisseur. But, in the end, he had given in. He even chipped in 50¢ to seal the deal. But now I had not only wasted my 25¢, I had wasted my dad’s half dollar. I felt ashamed as I handed the wounded kite to my dad. Luckily for me dads can fix almost anything and it wasn’t long before he and I were standing in Geason’s field behind our house with a shabby but marginally flight-worthy box kite tugging albeit limply from my hand-held line. It wasn’t the kite that was important any more and my dad knew that. That was my “best” on the end of that line and that was all that counted.
Sometimes, when someone has done their best but the best isn’t good enough, it’s best to put ourselves into their problem and, even if we have to “take part of ourselves” to cover their “best” efforts, it’s the right thing to do.
During quail season in Georgia, an Atlanta journalist met an old farmer hunting with an ancient pointer at his side. Twice the dog ran rheumatically ahead and pointed. Twice his master fired into the open air. When the journalist saw no birds rise, he asked the farmer for an explanation. “Shucks,” grinned the old man, “I knew there weren’t no birds in that grass. Spot’s nose ain’t what it used to be but him and me have had some wonderful times together. He’s still doing the best he can -- and it’d be mighty mean of me to call him a liar at this stage of the game...
THEY'VE ALL BEEN WRONG
Looking back at how Christians have viewed Christ’s second coming in the past, we find many people obsessed with figuring out all the details and making predictions.
Here is a quote: "The last days are upon us. Weigh carefully the times. Look for him who is above all time, eternal and invisible" That statement was not made by a modern prophecy expert. That statement did not come religious TV. It was made by a Christian named Ignatius, who lived in 110 AD, just a few decades after 1 John was written.
Here is another quote: "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power" That statement wasn’t made by a radio prophecy teacher. It was written by a Christian leader named Martin living in 375 AD.
In the year 236 AD a church leader named Hippolytus predicted that Christ was sure to return by 500 AD.
The years between 999 and 1030 AD were characterized by excessive speculation about Christ’s second coming among Christians, so much so that it led to social chaos as farmers didn’t plant crops for the next year, buildings weren’t repaired, and the details of daily life were neglected because they thought Christ would return in their lifetime.
In the 1500’s the Protestant reformer Martin Luther said, "We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse. This world will not last any longer… than another hundred years."
Christopher Columbus said he was sure the world would end by 1656. The year 1666 saw an explosion in end time speculation, so much so that one pastor wrote in his journal that every time a storm hit, people would go to church to await Christ’s second coming.
In the 1800s a Christian named William Miller said, "I am fully convinced that somewhere between March 21st, 1843 and March 21st, 1844 Christ will come." When Miller’s date came and went, hundreds of people walked away from the Christian faith. If their pastor was wrong about that, what else was he wrong about?
In our own generation, many modern day prophecy experts guessed that 1981 would mark the rapture of the church and the beginning of the terrible seven year tribulation period that would culminate in the battle of Armageddon. Now as we near the year 2000, dozens of prophecy experts on Christian TV, radio, and in books are making new predictions related to the year 2000.
Christian historian Richard Kyle cautions us, "Through two thousand years of Western history millions of…sincere, devout, and knowledgeable people have seen the end as [about to happen in their own lifetimes]…But they have all been wrong."
SOURCE: Timothy Peck. Citations: Richard Kyle, "The Last Days Are Here Again," pages 27, 55, 87. Abanes, "End Time Visions," pages 337-338.
Sermon Central Staff
THE MASTER IS THERE; THAT'S ENOUGH
A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, "Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side."
Very quietly, the doctor said, "I don't know."
"You don't know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?"
As the doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining.
When he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped onto him with an eager show of gladness.
Turning to the patient, the doctor said, "Did you notice my dog? He's never been in this room before. He didn't know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing. I know my Master is there, and that is enough."
Is that enough for you?
(From a sermon by Kenneth Sauer, "Concerning Those Who have Died," 2/5/2010)
Sermon Central Staff
WHAT DO AMERICANS LOVE MORE THAN MONEY?
Most Americans love money, but we love something even more: security. According to a 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of U.S. adults prefer a job that offers better security over one that offers higher pay but less stability (33 percent). This is true not only when times are bad. It’s also true when times are good. A General Social Survey in 1989 – a year of economic expansion – produced similar results.
(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Angels and Promises, 2/23/2011)
CHRISTIANS DIE BETTER
On May 28, 1914 a ship called the Express of Ireland hit another ship and began to sink quickly. As the ship began to sink in the cold Atlantic Ocean it was discovered that there were not enough life belts on board for all the passengers. On that ship were 130 Salvation Army officers-—109 were drowned and not one body that was picked up had on a life belt. The few survivors told how the Salvation Army Christians took off their own belts and strapped them even upon strong men, saying, "I can die better than...
HOPE IS A SOURCE OF LIFE
Hope prays for God’s "will to be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10) and then seeks to be God’s agent of change!
One writer says: "Biblical and Christian hope does not mean living in the clouds, dreaming of a better life. It is not merely a projection of what we would like to be or do. It leads us to discover seeds of a new world already present today, because of the identity of our God, because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This hope is, in addition, a source of energy to live differently, not according to the values of a society based on the thirst for possession and competition. … As we embark on this Life, we are lead to create signs of a different future here and now, in the midst of the difficulties of the world, seeds of renewal that will bear fruit when the time comes. … From the very beginning, Christian hope kindled a fire on the earth."
(SOURCE: Brother Alois, Taize.com)
Sermon Central Staff
THE HAPPINESS OF HEAVEN
In 1871 Fr. J. Boudreau wrote a short story entitled "The Happiness of Heaven." It's a story about a kindhearted king who is hunting in the forest when he discovers a blind, poor orphan boy living there. The king takes the blind orphan to his palace and adopts him as his own son. The king gives to his blind son the finest education and training money can buy. The blind son loves his father dearly and is grateful for everything he has done for him.
When the son turns twenty, a surgeon performs an experimental surgery on his eyes, and for the first time in his life he is able to see. This royal prince, who was once a starving orphan, realizes how he has been blessed with fine food, fragrant gardens, and lovely music. But when he gains his sight, he doesn't care to look at the wealth of his kingdom or the wonders of the palace. Instead he only wants to gaze upon the face of his father--the king who saved him, adopted him, and loved him.
We'll do the same thing in heaven. We were all poor, blind, wretched orphans, and the King of Kings has adopted us into his family. When we arrive in heaven and our faith finally turns to sight, we aren't going to be looking for a pearly gate, or streets of gold, we'll only have eyes to look upon the One who has redeemed us! My favorite promise is found in Revelation 22:3-4, "The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads." The greatest thing about heaven is that we shall see the Lord!
(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Heaven, 8/30/2011)