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Summary: How shall the child of God live until the Master returns? That is the consideration in this message.

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“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” [1]

At the initiation of each session of Parliament the government through the Crown's representative, the Governor General of Canada, delivers a throne speech in which the challenges and aspirations of the government are outlined. In a similar manner, tradition dictates that the President of the United States of America delivers the State of the Union Speech to a joint session of the Senate and the Congress in. In that speech the President proposes his agenda to the elected representatives and senators of the people.

An annual address to elected representatives in which the government recognises and responds to the challenges facing the nation is a tradition in most nations of the free world. Should there not be, then, a means by which leadership of a particular church can address the challenges facing that congregation, outlining the hopes and aspirations of that leadership for the coming year? Such a concept is not at all foreign to the churches of our Lord, and especially is that true among Baptist churches, for they are impelled by their polity to inform the congregation of challenges and the direction in which they hope to lead the church.

Impelled by my responsibility before this assembly to address the congregation, I now deliver the 2014 Throne Speech for NEW BEGINNINGS BAPTIST CHURCH. Certainly God has spoken through His Word. As an undershepherd appointed to this service and as a herald of His grace I have endeavoured throughout the brief time of our service together to faithfully deliver that message which is given to this community.

As those who believe the Word of God we are confident that God shall yet speak. To the lost, those yet outside the pale of Christ's love, no other message may be given except for a warning of coming wrath delivered with a plea that they should flee to the Son of God for refuge from divine judgement. To disobedient Christians we must likewise warn of the consequences of continued rebellion. With the author of the Hebrews letter we would caution any who are prone to disobedience, “See that you do not refuse him who is speaking.” Referring to those assembled Israelites who saw the awesome display of God's might, the author continues, “If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.” [HEBREWS 12:25]?

To the church assembled, the message must be one which seeks to address the challenges facing us as a congregation and as a Community of Faith. The message must endeavour to outline broad hopes and aspirations of Pastor and leadership as they seek to unite us in service to Christ. We want to build one another, making each believer strong in the Faith. But how may we accomplish that task? We want to exercise our gifts wisely as we serve one another in love. But how may we so serve? We long to see the lost saved and brought into the fellowship of Christ. But how shall we realise that hope? In order to address such challenges, I invite you to join me in review of Paul's words in his first letter to the Thessalonian saints.

At various times in the past, I have stated that I find an identity in several critical respects between this congregation and the Church in Thessalonica. The message has special significance to this congregation in my estimate. The first matter noted, and which is true of our day as well, is that WE LIVE IN MOMENTOUS TIMES [vv. 1 3]. It is easy to draw the conclusion that the inmates are running the asylum from even a casual review of the religious scene in North America. Spokesmen of the Faith are more frequently chosen and followed on the basis of personal charisma and rhetorical ability than chosen for fidelity to the truths of God’s Word. As a result, the weird, the aberrant and the speculative frequently predominate in popular theology instead of the steady and the substantial. Therefore, we live in a day of urgency, a day in which solid teaching of the truths of God is lacking, and in a day in which sound instruction is sorely needed.

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