Summary: We need to focus on His return, do God’s will, keep our hearts blameless and by all means build each other up and not tear each other down.
Thesis of series: We live in a society that seldom reflects Jesus. As Christians, we are called to be His reflection, to do His will and to keep our hearts blameless.
Sermon: Focus on His Image
Thesis of sermon: We need to focus on His return, do God’s will, keep our hearts blameless and by all means build each other up and not tear each other down.
I Thess. 5:1-28:
1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.
13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16Be joyful always;
18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;
20do not treat prophecies with contempt.
21Test everything. Hold on to the good.
22Avoid every kind of evil.
23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
25Brothers, pray for us.
26Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
T. S. - Thought on how this chapter applies to us today: When we focus our lives on what is taught in chapter 5 we are creating a healthy church, a healthy body of Christ that is living in anticipation of Jesus Return.
1. Focus on the fact that Jesus is coming back (1 Thess. 5:1-11).
a. Illustration of Galveston and hurricane: APPROACHING STORM:
i. "Isaac’s Storm" is a very interesting book about the hurricane that wiped out Galveston in 1900. One of the main plot lines of the book is about how everyone was convinced that a hurricane could never strike Galveston, even as one approached. The author vividly describes how as the streets began to flood people went about their business as if nothing was wrong. Children played in the water, men gathered for breakfast at the local diner, and no one fled from the storm that was about to strike. Some didn’t worry because Issac Cline, the national weather service officer in Galveston, assured them it would not be a severe storm. Others simply believed that Galveston was invincible. Some thought that since they had never seen a hurricane strike Galveston one never would. So for a number of reasons, people assured themselves nothing bad would happen. And as a result over 6,000 people died one September day in 1900. Today we can see storm clouds forming on the horizon. There is a moral and spiritual decline that continues to erode our national life. The warning signs are there for us to see--the signs that Jesus is coming soon. They beckon us to return to the Lord and seek refuge in Him. How will history look back on what we did as the storm approached? SOURCE: Steve Hanchet. Citation: "Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History," by Erik Larson and Isaac Monroe Cline. Vintage Books; ISBN: 0375708278; (July 11, 2000).