1 Thess 4:1-18
Firstly Paul wants his readers to put into practice what they have been taught.
Are you doing that? Are you practising what you have been taught, or just talking about it endlessly or criticising those who are?
He wants them to work on their sanctification – they are already declared holy, just as we are, but he wants them, and us, to live it out; to live who we really are. The focus here is on sexual immorality. The world is full of lust and getting sex wherever and whenever and with whoever.
- Stop fornicating – having sex outside of marriage.
- Stop adultery – having sex with someone who isn’t your marriage partner.
- That will mean moving out if you are co-habiting, for the sake of the Lord. Tough, but that’s what God wants. We are called to holiness, not impurity.
Next Paul knows the Thessalonians are great at brotherly love, but he urges them to more!
Coming of the Lord
Jesus will return with a cry of command, the voice of an archangel and the sound of a trumpet. Not a secret rapture, so that ‘lazy-boy armchair’ Christians can avoid the suffering of the tribulation.
Firstly the dead in Christ (those Paul also calls ‘asleep’) will rise, then those of us still alive will rise to meet him in the air. That doesn’t sound like a secret rapture at all – there’s one return of Christ, where we go immediately to meet him and judgement for non-believers occurs. Paul tells us to be encouraged by that!
God wins, we will be with Him forever! Hallelujah