Living in light of His return

Christ Coming for His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:56
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We are family

We are all part of a family, that’s born of God. Yep, like it or love it, we are brothers and sisters when we are in Christ together. Paul addresses the church as a family, as brethren and gives some instructions about being family in the last passage of this letter.
Living in the light of His return as a family
Living in the light of His return we need to know our heritage (1Pt1:22-25; 2Pt1:3-4)
By the work on the cross, by God’s scheme of redemption we have come to the Lord in obedience and have purified our souls with a sincere love of the brethren.
We are born again to be imperishable through the enduring word of God as it says in (1Pt1:22-25)
And we have been given all things for life and godliness through true knowledge of Him according to (2Pt1:3-4)
Living in the light of His return we need each other as family so we may grow and give glory to God.
As a church, a local body of believers we are living as a family, and there are times we, like any other family are not perfect, but there is structure and some essentials for family life if we want to be a happy and thriving family (body of believers).
Today we are looking at living in light of His return as a family
A family that has leadership (1The5:12-13)
A family that is partnered together (1The5:13-16)
A family that worships together (1The5:17-28)
Before getting there just a couple of little reminders about Paul and Paul’s heart for the family in Thessalonica.
He loves them like a Mother, Father and brother (1The2:7-11)
A nursing mother, A correcting father, A working, laboring brother
He loves them and commends them (1The1:3)
Work of faith, labor of love, steadfastness of hope
He reminds them so they would not be uninformed of the certainty of Christ return (1The4:13ff )
Certainty of return, manner of return, hope of return
This leads us now to our passage today.

Family: Leadership

Without leadership in the family it falls apart. God set order in the natural family and in the spiritual, eternal family too. Paul gives some simple instructions regarding dealing with family leadership.
1 Thessalonians 5:12–13 NASB95
12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
(God’s Family Plan picture)
According to the Phychological Society in survey done some time ago, shows were, at the time, 60,000 guidance counselors, 7,000 school psychologists in the public education system here in the Unity states. Students use these people as substitute parents. It does not take a village to raise a child, it takes parents.
I read a story about a youngman who met with his parents and guidance counselor at new school and the counselor told the youngman that if he needed anything or had a problem to come see him and the youngman spoke up and said if he needed anything or had a problem he would go to his dad.
God established the family and the church family, both need leaders. God ordained leaders as set down in His word for physical family and spiritual family. So may we keep a few things in mind.
Look at it this way.
We are all one in Christ (Gal3:28)
Jew, Greek, slave, freeman, male or female, we are all the same
Christ is the head of the church (Col1:17-18)
He is before all things, in all things, holds all things together for He is the head of the body, the church
Christ gave gifts to the church for the church (Eph4:11-12)
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers
Gifts given with a purpose so we would grow to fullness of Christ (Eph4:13-15)
For equipping the saints for their work of service
For the unity of the body to grow to the fullness of Christ
Gifts given so we would all be one (Eph4:16)
we are a body, fitted together and held together by what each of us bring!
So, what do we as a body of believers have for responsibilities toward our spiritual leaders?
Paul as an apostle and the authority that he has could have ordered, commanded them to obey, but when you look at the wording it is not as a command but as a father pleading, imploring the family.
Now in looking at this passage may we keep in mind that Paul is writing to the church in the first century, in the apostolic age and what they were to do, but still we can learn much.
Family responsibilities regarding leadership
Appreciate them for their work (1The5:12)
Esteem them for their dedication (1The5:13)
Live in peace with each other and with them (1The5:13)
Spiritual leadership is a great responsibility and a difficult task and it is not easy for men to serve as Elder, Deacon, Minister, Evangelist. Oftentimes there are many sacrifices by the men to fulfill the duties. Where burdens are many encouragements are few. Be sure to pray for the leaders of the spiritual family just as you would for your earthly family. We can do this by how we love them, respect them, treat them and obey them (as long as it is from the Word)
May we remember that we are all partnered together as family

Family: Partnered together

We are all in it together God’s family. We share a spiritual body together and we all work together and minister together to ensure we maintain good spiritual health within the family.
I should bring back one verse so get a better picture of family life being partnered together.
1 Thessalonians 5:13–14 NASB95
13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:15–16 NASB95
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always;
Live in peace with one another (1The5:13; Rom12:18)
We are to, as much as it depends on us, to live at peace and to make peace with one another, so how much does it depend on us?
Admonish unruly, encourage fainthearted, help the weak, and be patient (1The5:14)
The unruly in the translation means careless, out of line; one who knows the rules and does not chose to follow rules or standards in the family, and it chaos.
The fainthearted, or feebleminded are the ones who lack spiritual strength to endure and oftentimes give up, give in, or quit. These are the ones we need to draw close and encourage not admonish. They too are much like the
Weak ones, hold fast to them, don’t let them fall, these are the ones who are weak in the faith and havc=e not grown strong in the Lord as Paul gives examples in Rom14:1ff. They do not understand, comprehend the spiritual liberty they have. We too should be willing to be burden bearers as it says in Gal6:2.
This kind of personal, up close ministry is not easy, Paul gives a little more to help us in this kind of ministry
Be patient, as a parent has to be patient with a child, we need to be patient with one another.
Do not repay evil with evil and seek what is good for one another (1The5:15; Rom12:19-21)
Don’t think need to expand on this much, don’t take vengeance, repaying in your own hands, leave that to God, instead look for what is good for one another and do that!
Rejoice always (1The5:16)
Joy takes the burden out of service
May we remember as Nehemiah says (Neh8:10) the joy of the Lord is our strength, so have joy and rejoice always. Be a cheerful servant and a cheerful giver.
Don’t be a doubting Thomas or a gloomy Gus, rejoice in the Lord always and trust in the Lord.
Now the list of family responsibilities and partnership details may seem daunting, but we do not have to do them under our power, we do it under the power and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal5:22)
We have seen love, joy, peace and longsuffering
We cannot work ourselves into this, we have to allow the Spirit to do it in us and then through us and the yield will be a family that worships together.

Family: Worship

Worship is the most important activity we can do as a spiritual, eternal family. Our work, our ministry, flows out from our worship and our worship displays our glory to God. Look at Paul’s elements listed for family worship.
1 Thessalonians 5:17–18 NASB95
17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Prayer is important, it was important then and should be given place of importance today. Praying without ceasing is just keeping the prayer line to God open.
Giving thanks, give praise, our as we are commanded (Eph5:19) and we grow when we apply (Col3:16)
in how we speak to one another, and make melody with our heart to the Lord.
It is how we let God’s word dwell in us and come from us with thankfulness.
Colossians 3:16 NASB95
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Let God’s word dwell in us. (1The5:19-22)
1 Thessalonians 5:19–22 NASB95
19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
Let the spirit inspired word work in you. Do not despise what the Word says, and be sure to examine what is being uttered against the Word for that is good and we need to know what is good.
Remember I mentioned about who Paul was writing to and when it was written. There was still apostolic authority and signs and wonders, but just as there was real there was fake too, people claiming authority and doing signs, but they were not from God, so we can see the same things today, so be sure to be a good Berean and search the scripture for the truth.
Do not do evil or allow evil; the negative and then gives the p
Then look at who works in you when you allow the Spirit to do His job!
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 NASB95
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
The purpose of worship is that we may be conformed to the likeness of the Son and not be conformed to the world.
The God of peace will sanctify us, not partially, but entirely (1The5:23)
Positional sanctification: Our position in Christ (Heb10:10)
Practical sanctification: our life application of holiness of Christ in us (2Cor7:1)
Perfect sanctification: we are being perfected (1JN3:2)
One day we will be like Him.
He will accomplish His good works in you and through you because He is faithful (1The5:24; Php1:6)
William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury said this about worship:
“For to worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open up the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
And that lead to his closing remarks, requests:
1 Thessalonians 5:25–26 NASB95
25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
1 Thessalonians 5:27–28 NASB95
27 I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
First they ministered to each other, then step back, and step out to pray, minister to others.
Pray for the leadership, pray for one another
Greet one another
To share with all and know
The grace of the Lord
(Invitation slide: Living in light of His return-1)
So if to summarize and close out this epistle as we are living in the light of HIs return, we are to be Light, but light that is lite by the Word of God, that governs our guides our life as a family. The word is our authority, the word is our guide and as the word brought us faith and hope, it will do the same to others in which we share in with.
God’s will, God’s purpose has not changed it is still to
Save the Lost
Transform the saved
Glorify self
So, where do you stand in the light of His return? (Invitation)
(Invitation slide 2) song (exit slides)
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