Illustration results for 1 thessalonians 4
1 Thessalonians 4:13-4:18
2 Samuel 21:1-21:20
2 Samuel 21:1-21:10
1 Corinthians 15:57-15:58
TONY EVANS ON GETTING UN-STUCK
Tony Evans, a popular black preacher from down in Texas, spoke of being on an elevator in a high-rise building. He said he’d never been particularly comfortable on such elevators. There was something about riding up and down in a little box several hundred feet off the ground that has never sat well with him. He worried that something would go wrong.
One day it did. The car he was riding in got stuck in between floors way up in the higher floors. He noted that some of the people in the car became frantic. They began to beat on the door hoping to get someone’s attention. Others began to yell in the hopes that their voices would get someone on the surrounding floors to come to the aid. But nobody heard their noise or their cries.
Then Evans quietly made his way to the front of the car, opened a little door in the wall and pulled out a telephone. Immediately he was connected with someone on the outside. He didn’t need to beat on the wall to get their attention. He didn’t need to speak loudly in the phone to receive their help. He could have whispered and they would have heard him.
Evans said that - in this world, we’re going to get "stuck" in places we aren’t comfortable with. Some people begin to beat against the walls, others cry out in dismay. But the person who trusts in the power of confident prayer knows there’s someone on the other end who hears their call and comes to their aid.
Hebrews 10:19ff tells us that we now can have "boldness" (KJV) to enter into very presence of God because of the blood of Jesus. We can think this way only because Jesus has opened the way for us to approach God’s throne and earnestly ask whatever we desire according to His Will.
MISSIONARY Gregory Fisher writes: "What will he say when he shouts?" The question took me by surprise. I had already found that West African Bible College students can ask some of the most penetrating questions about minute details of Scripture. "Reverend, I Thess. 4:16 says that Christ will descend from heaven with a loud command. I would like to know what that command will be." I wanted to leave the question unanswered, to tell him that we must not go past what Scripture has revealed, but my mind wandered to an encounter I had earlier in the day with a refugee from the Liberian civil war. The man, a high school principal, told me how he was apprehended by a two-man death squad. After several hours of terror, as the men described how they would torture and kill him, he narrowly escaped. After hiding in the bush for two days, he was able to find his family and escape to a neighboring country. The escape cost him dearly: two of his children lost their lives. The stark cruelty unleashed on an unsuspecting, undeserving population had touched me deeply. I also saw flashbacks of the beggars that I pass each morning on my way to the office. Every day I see how poverty destroys dignity, robs men of the best of what it means to be human, and sometimes substitutes the worst of what it means to be an animal. I am haunted by the vacant eyes of people who have lost all hope. "Reverend, you have not given me an answer. What will he say?" The question hadn’t gone away. "Enough’" I said. "He will shout, ’Enough’ when he returns." A look of surprise opened the face of the student. "What do you mean, ’Enough’?" "Enough suffering. Enough starvation. Enough terror. Enough death. Enough indignity. Enough lives trapped in hopelessness. Enough sickness and disease. Enough time. Enough"
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.
“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...
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.
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.
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...
1 Thessalonians 4:9-4:12
1 John 1:1-1:10
2 Timothy 3:10-3:17
Church Tech: 9 out of 10 Protestant pastors have Internet access, and about half of all Protestant churches maintain a church Web site, according to a recent Ellison Research study. While 90% of ministers are online, only a third of those use a content filter on their church office computer. 88% of larger churches (200 or more in attendance) maintain a Web site, compared to 60% of mid-size churches (100 to 199) and only 28% of churches with fewer than 100. Pastors expect that the most important forms of technology in their ministry over the next 5 years will be doing research on the Internet followed by using Bible study software, building, or maintaining a Web site, using PowerPoint, and being able to show DVDs or videos. (PWB 1/7/05)
The best memory is that which forgets nothing but injuries. Write kindness in marble and write injuries in the dust.