Summary: The final command of Paul to the Church in expectation of the rapture, it is the command to be REAL
And now we arrive at the final command of Paul to the Church in expectation of the rapture, it is the command to be Real! Because our nature tends to slide toward unfaithfulness, as time passes.
Is it ok to be faithful once, some times, most of the time; or does God really ask that we are faithful to Him all of the time?
ILLUS: If your car starts once every three tries do you feel satisfied that it is faithful as a reliable car? Is it considered faithful service if your paper is delivered every Monday and Thursday although you signed up for every day delivery? Does your boss consider you a reliable employee if you only miss work a few times a month unannounced? If your refrigerator stops working for a day or two every now and then do you find yourself saying, "Well, it works most of the time, I’m happy with it?" If your water heater provides an icy-cold shower every now and then, is it dependable? If you miss a couple of loan payments every year does the bank say, "Ten out of twelve isn’t bad! If your wife or Husband is faithful most of the time is it ok?" – Source Unknown
How then does God view your service and loyalties to The Lord ... are you really faithful? How do you view it!?
This text teaches us that we must value faithfulness while we are in expectation of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithfulness is something that must be guarded and worked on to keep us strong in expectation of the rapture.
I. Real TO FERVOR
Where does the decline of faithfulness begin? “1 Thess. 5: 19 Quench not the Spirit.
When the fire is dying down!
Hence Paul’s warning to them about NOT putting out the Spirit’s fire!
Paul was not warning them of something that might happen, but something that was happening.
Some of the believers in this church had quit their jobs and mooching off their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Laziness of some members who were waiting for Christ’s return was at work then.
... Paul wrote to them.
2 Thess. 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work neither should he eat
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work and eat their own bread.
GOD DOES NOT LIKE LAZINESS.
Prov. 6:10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep
11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth and thy want as an armed man.
Some were complaining about the gifts of the Spirit and only wanted a ritualistic type of worship ... "Don’t be too Pentecostal in worship!"
SOME PEOPLE WANT TO ATTEND A PENTECOSTAL CHURCH AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT GET TOO RADICAL
This church had the opposite problem from the church in Corinth ...
In Corinth the ones who thought they were the more spiritual saints were those who had experienced many of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In Thessalonica those who did NOT express these gifts thought of themselves as more spiritual!
Paul warns the church of the danger of "COOLING" off the fires of the Spirit and their need to get hot again!
Re 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
ILLUS: One little boy attended a cold church one day and after returning home he prayed, "Dear God, we had a good time at church today, but I wish you had been there!" The lack of enthusiasm was understood in the child’s mind as an absence of God’s Spirit or fire! – Source Unknown
1 Thess. 5: 20 Despise not prophesyings
GET RID OF THE CRITICAL SPIRIT
A critical spirit is like a disease when it hits a Church.
It will get the focus and purpose of the church turned to the things that are not perfect and destroy the church from the inside
More churches are destroyed from the inside than was ever destroyed from the outside.
Prophesyings are not FUTURE TELLING but FORTH TELLINGS
God can use tongues and interpretations and also the preaching of the Word (unplanned) for instructions.
Paul was telling them “Keep the enthusiasm ... and get rid of the critical spirit!”
II. Real TO PROVE
5:21a Prove all things;
We are called upon to be faithful not only for enthusiasm, but also to test everything
The idea of "test" here is to "check" or “evaluate” something ... not so much in terms to criticize, but to clarify.