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Summary: the first coming of Jesus with the gospel and the second coming of Jesus in glory are foundational beliefs if you are truly going to live a godly life.

Living with a View to the Future

The Foundations of a Godly life

Acts 17:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

Believing in the first coming of Jesus Christ with the gospel is foundational to a godly life.

Believing in the second coming of Jesus Christ in Glory is foundational to a godly life

The godly life built on this foundation leads to a

faith that works

love that labors

hope that endures

Introduction

Slide

Two men were standing by the side of a highway holding up a sign that read, “The end is near! Turn around now before it’s too late!” As cars came by, they would lift the sign high and point to the words.

The first car that came down the road slowed down and yelled at the men to “Leave us alone you religious nuts!” The car then sped up and took off down the highway. From around the curve, the two men heard screeching tires and a big splash. One man looked at his buddy and said, “Do you think we should just make a sign that says, ‘The Bridge is Out?’”

“Keeping Your Faith Alive” by Brian Bill accessed 9/9/09 at http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=56217&ContributorID=4381

Whenever we here the phrase the end is near, many of us often think of a religious nut on the street corner preaching to those who have no interest in listening. People have been saying the end is near for hundreds of years and the end still has not come so it is easy to not really think about Jesus returning or really have the reality of that affecting our lives.

The truth is, is that the end could be very near, or it still could be number of years away. The fact is that no one knows the day or the hour. Jesus tells us that only Father in heaven knows the day and the hour (Matthew 24:36). We are told that the end will come like a thief (2 Peter 3:10). But for Christians, Jesus tells us that we should be found ready for his coming.

Matthew 24:44-47

44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

We need to be ready always for Jesus’ return because I can tell you this, while we don’t know the day or the hour, we are closer today than we were yesterday and His coming could be at any moment.

With that in mind, we are beginning a new series called “Living with a View to the Future.”

Slide

We are going to be going through the first letter to the Thessalonians and see

how they lived their lives with a view to the future and

how Paul further instructed their young faith to have a correct view of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ which would propel them toward greater living in the present.

Background and establishment of Thessalonian church

But before we jump right into 1 Thessalonians, I think it is important that we understand a little bit of the background of the church and this letter.

Paul started the church in Thessalonica during his second missionary journey that we can read about in the book of Acts (Acts 15:36 – 20:38). We read about his time in Thessalonica in Acts 17:1-9.

Slide

I want to ask you to turn there. We are going to read about the forming of that church and what Paul was teaching them to gain an understanding of what was going on during his time in Thessalonica.

Acts 17:1-9

1 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.

5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus." 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

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