Summary: A major responsibility of the church is to be THOUGHFUL about relationships
We have been talking about the Rapture of the Church and What we are to do while watching. 1. The Rapture is sure and we are to stay awake and watch for it.
2 Honoring the Leadership .
God created the family. God used the same idea when creating His church ... it is to be a family. Nothing can bring more pleasure or more pain than being in a family. If a family is based on God’s design it is one of the most satisfying experiences in life.
Just as a natural family needs its members to be mindful of building their relationships and keeping them healthy, so too those who are members of the family of God need to be mindful of building and developing their relationships with one another.
A major responsibility of the church while it is watching for the coming of Jesus Christ is to be mindful of relationships, to seek the growth and development of one another in the family of God.
I. FAMILY (NIV) 1Th 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
A. Correction 1 Thess. 5:14a (NIV) 1Th 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle,
One of the beneficial things about being in a family is that you are tested to live right; your family sees what you are really like!
In the best of families this process happens all the time.
Especially as we are growing up!
My dad was a very spiritual man and I saw how he lived and prayed and paid tithes. He was working in a lumber yard back when the trucks were hand loaded.
One afternoon he come home and sat down to eat and bowed his head to pray and said “Good evening this is Sabine Valley Lumber Yard”. He was very embarrassed and told me and my mom never to tell anyone what he did.
You can hide flaws in a public but they will show up in the home!
"Training" takes place in the home more than anywhere else!
Some people think that a loving church never experiences conflicts!
This is so wrong!
The healthiest churches are the ones where a "real" family atmosphere exists, where our relationships are much more than just surface!
Healthy churches are full of conflicts; they are healthy because those people within those churches learn to work through their conflicts, where they are committed to each other in love!
We are to really see each other as "BROTHERS & SISTERS" in Christ!
Painful correction sometimes is necessary to keep us growing and awake spiritually, this is one of the roles of being the church or family of God; that we correct one another in love when we are wrong!
As we are watching for the return of Jesus we should be ever mindful to correct our brothers and sisters who might be falling asleep spiritually!
It is interesting to note that the term used in this verse, “IDLE” in Greek literally means, “one who breaks ranks as in the military.”
As such it does not mean to correct those who have differences of opinions from our own, or do things differently; it means those who quite literally break ranks with everybody else; they get out of line in a serious way!
Paul’s use of this military word gives the idea of how destructive it would be for the whole army if soldiers broke rank. It would be serious enough to cause harm to the church or themselves!
B. Comfort 1 Thess. 5:14b (NIV) encourage the timid
Our entire ministry to one another should not be correction.
It would produce a spirit of pride in us if all we did was look around for who we could correct!
There are enough "spiritual critics" around on a full time basis already; we don’t need the "GIFT OF CRITICISM" in the church! (Besides, it doesn’t exist!)
Fortunately, Paul continues the list, and the next item mentioned is "ENCOURAGE THE TIMID!"
The Greek word translated here "TIMID" literally means, "The faint-hearted."
It meant those who lacked courage, either from a natural reality such as their personality, they are just the type of person who is afraid more … or
It might also mean those who had become faint-hearted or worn down from frequent trials!
We could use more men like Barnabus in the Bible, his name "BARNABUS" literally means, "SON OF ENCOURAGEMENT" ... something for which he was well known in the Book of Acts!
This is also true in a family ... when a member of the family has had a rough time everyone rallies around them to encourage them!
Even brothers and sisters who might not always get along too well have been known to be there for each other in the midst of a struggle!