Summary: As a Christian serving and following the Lord, where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Still serving?
“LOOKING IN THREE DIRECTIONS”
The background to this church and its beginning is found in Acts 17. Paul was humanly responsible for starting this church…and he only remained there for less than a month.
But the church with its new converts took off at record speed…and quickly developed into a “Model Church” for other churches to go by.
After a period of time…Paul wrote back to these believers…and we have this letter broken down for us into 5 chapters.
Each chapter has a Theme:
1. The Reputation of the church.
2. The Review of the church.
3. The Reassurance of the church
4. The Rapture of the church.
5. The Responsibility of the church.
The Climax chapter of this book is the 4th chapter…the Rapture of the church.
*1 Thess 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Let me point out 3 things here:
1. The FACT of Christ’s return… “The Lord Himself shall return…”
2. The FEATUERS of Christ’s return… “Shout…Voice…trumpet.”
3. The FORCE of Christ’s return… “the dead in Christ shall rise…”
Just as sure as we believe that Christ came the First time…we believe that He will Return a Second time.
With this fixed firmly in their mind…Paul immediately goes into chapter 5 dealing with the Responsibilities of the church.
(There are 4 responsibilities of the church in view of the Lord’s Return)
1. BE WATCHFUL.
*1 Thess 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
“Sleep” means to be Spiritually Indifferent. In other words…don’t let the Coming of Christ catch you off guard and unprepared.
2. BE JOYFUL.
*1 Thess 5:16, “Rejoice evermore.”
Nothing gives the believer a greator sense of joy than to know that his Lord is coming back for him one day.
3. BE PRAYERFUL.
*Vrs.17, “Pray without ceasing.”
Nothing will keep a Christian closer to his Lord than time that is spent in the Lord’s Presence due to praying.
4. BE FAITHFUL.
*Vrs.21, “…hold fast…”
I see so many Christians…start and then stop. Gain ground and then lose ground. Get on fire for God than cool off.
There has to be something that causes a Christian to maintain his walk with God on a consistent basis…and I believe the one thing that will do it is…the knowledge that Jesus could return at any moment…and then you and I will find ourselves face to face with God.
• Be Watchful!
• Be Joyful!
• Be Prayerful!
• Be Faithful!
• WHY? Because Jesus is coming back one day!
NOW…let’s go back to chapter 1 and let me show you the Reputation of this church.
#1. IT WAS AN EXEMPLARY CHURCH.
*1 Thess 1:7, “So that ye were ensamples to all that believe….”
Every church has a Reputation …a Testimony…
Every church is an Example of How to do things or how Not to do things.
A church can be a Good example or it can be a Bad example.
#2. IT WAS AN ENTHUSIASTICE CHURCH.
*1 Thess 1:8, For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad;