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Summary: This is a sermon that is meant to make the listener think about their biblical responsibility to actively look for Christ to come.

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“Practicing the Blessed Hope”

1 Thessalonians 4

Introduction

A. What is the value of hope?

1. Hope cannot be imprisoned by maximum security.

2. Hope cannot be invalidated by propaganda.

3. Hope is only invigorated by persecution.

4. The value of hope has been measured in the eyes of martyrs, in the writings of reformers and in the practice of everyday believers!

B. In this text the Apostle Paul gives instruction to the Thessalonians as to how they can demonstrate the value of hope to a world lost in hopelessness.

C. This is a practice session on the exercise of hope!

D. The Apostle Paul gives three key components to the exercise; those who live a hopeful life will live a holy life and a helpful life.

I. Live a Holy Life (vs. 1-10)

A. Be Sanctified

1. It means to be set apart for an exclusive purpose.

2. It means to be different and uncommon.

3. It means to be motivated by pleasing God and to not be satisfied with anything less.

B. Be Sexually pure.

1. Avoid sexual immorality.

2. Control your own body.

3. This instruction cannot be rejected.

4. Christianity is not designed to reflect culture it is designed to reflect Christ.

II. Live a Helpful Life (vs. 11-12)

A. Mind your own business.

1 Live a quiet life.

a. This does not mean that you should isolate yourself.

b. It just means don’t overdo the advertising.

B. Win the respect of outsiders.

1. Actions speak louder than words.

2. Respect is earned through consistency.

III. Live a Hopeful Life. (vs. 13-18)

A. Be informed

1. Faith comes by hearing God’s word.(Ro. 10:17)

2. Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

3. The substance of what we hope for is in God’s word.

4. We will not gain hope for the future through our knowledge of the stock market, or the job market or the supermarket!

5. As we fill our minds and hearts with God’s word we will be helpful wherever we market!

6. The Church at Thessalonica lived in the midst of a hopeless society that was on a path to destruction and the church in America is no different.

7. The Church at Thessalonica was given a charge to be informed about God’s truth so that they wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the philosophies of their culture.

8. Our church has the same mandate.

B. Be an encourager.

1. Knowledge of Christ’s coming leads to comfort for the believer.

2. Knowledge of Christ’s coming is a source of encouragement and joy.

3. No matter how much bad news you hear about the “end of the world scenarios” remember that God is in control!

Conclusion

A. On a scale from one to ten how is your hope?

1. If you have accepted Christ in your life and…

2. If you are living transparently and faithfully before him….Give yourself a ten!

3. If you are living a religious lie or a double standard you don’t need to give yourself anything!

B. Live a Hopeful life through your devotion to a holy and helpful life!


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