Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Sixteen

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We often hear God characterized by those who are not really familiar with Him as a God of Judgement.

When they do recognize Him as having a personality, they speak of Him only as a harsh, hard hearted Being. They come to their conclusions through a misunderstanding of the evidence at hand: The World condition and the Word of God.

A. The World condition – revelation through experience.

The world is wrecked by sin and ruled by evil. In every age and in every place injustice and wickedness prevails. Natural phenomenon such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, and fires kill millions yearly. Photographs of innocent children decimated by disease and starvation are flashed before a horrified public, yet with little help forthcoming. As one disease is erased, another takes its place – worse than the one before. And the cry goes forth “Is this what God has created”?

Not only are the conclusions drawn from personal experience, they also look to

B. The Word of God – revelation through erroneous interpretation.

Joshua 10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

They accuse God of evil acts in ordering and abiding the destruction of the men, women, and children, the evil and the good, the innocent with the guilty, the informed and the ignorant.

The accusers use warped imaginings to form their arguments on foundations of ignorance and wrong perceptions.

Instead of reading the Word as God intended it to be read “…rightly dividing the Word of God…”, text are removed from context and used as proof text to prove the theories of man.

God rightly portrays them as the “blind leading the blind”. Choosing to reject God and as Pilate did, they wash their hands of the whole situation. When pressed for a decision they will, as the Stoics did when faced with the truth from the preaching of Paul, excuse themselves by saying “We will hear thee again of this matter”. They claim to be innocent when they come face to face with God, not realizing that the Lord has already informed them that they are “without excuse”.

The heartbreaking truth of the matter is that they do not understand that God is not what they consider Him to be at all for He is certainly “…the very God of peace…”

This morning we will try to learn why God, who knows Himself perfectly, defines Himself as the God of peace.

I. The Potential of His Peace.

The God of peace is recognized through the relationship that He has as Creator with His creation. In His infinite wisdom and power He created by the power of His Word all things. In six days God created all that exists and at final inspection declared that “it was very good.”

A. The purpose of His creation is stated by the Apostle John –
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

B. The proposition to His creation is that they would delight in one another by choice.

Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

C. The pride of His creation.

Adam and Eve chose to obey their own selfish desire instead of God and introduced sin into the world –

1. The condition of man

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

2. The condition of creation –

Genesis 4:17-19 “…cursed is the ground for thy sake … Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee … in the sweat of they face shalt thou eat bread…”

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Man cries out as described by Jeremiah “peace, peace, but there is no peace…” and man in his frustration blames God for this condition which in fact was brought on himself.
Romans 3:10-18 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.

II. The Presence of His Peace.

A. He overcomes fear. Mark 4:38-40

Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

B. He overcomes grief.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

C. He overcomes ignorance.

In 2013 a lady was trekking the length of the Appalachian Trail in the Eastern part of the USA. The trail is about 3,400 km and she had walked about half of the trail, about 1,600 km. She was trekking this portion alone. She needed to relieve herself and walked off the trail to find a private area. She somehow lost her direction and spent 26 days in the forest, finally dying alone. Her body was found 2 years later, only 30 minutes away from a cabin. She was lost not knowing how to be found, and yet she still died. She had no guide to help her, no one to show her the way. The world is lost and dying – confused and afraid. Jesus has come to give peace through Himself. He is “the Way, the truth, and the life”

1. He replaces confusion by His Word – “He will guide you into all truth…”
2. He rewards faith with confidence. –

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

And He has promised to His children – “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee…”

III. The Provision of His Peace.

A. We were the enemies of God. Colossians 1:21 “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works…”

B. We had no hope, no power to help ourselves –

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, … having no hope, and without God in the world:

C. We were loved by God who gave Himself for us that we might have life everlasting in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Ephesians 2:14-17 For he is our peace…

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

IV. The Promise of His Peace.

Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

“…The very God of peace…” Is He your peace today? Have you trusted Him for salvation?

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The Just and Upright Man is Laughed to Scorn

Job 12:4 “… the just upright man is laughed to scorn.”
In the 1931 film produced in Hollywood, The Public Enemy, James Cagney smashed a half of a grapefruit into the face of Mae Clark. Hollywood has directed Cary Grant to grab Katherine Hepburn’s face and push her onto the floor. They have written in John Wayne beating Maureen O’Hara in numerous films to which she responds with appreciative obedience.
Preachers responded across the land decrying the violent productions presented to the public at large. “The just upright man is laughed to scorn”.
In 1962/63 the practice of prayer and Bible reading were removed from public school. It is claimed that some students were offended and the separation of state and religion must be protected. Commandments for life such as “Honour thy father and thy mother…, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, though shalt not bear false witness…” were no longer considered important or relevant to the people of America. The public had become too sophisticated for such out of date teachings.
Preachers responded with warnings of the dangers presented by these actions. “The just upright man is laughed to scorn”.

The following are excerpted from online Pediatrics
November 2009, VOLUME 124 / ISSUE 5

Exposure to violence in media, including television, movies, music, and video games, represents a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.
Interpersonal violence, for victims and perpetrators, is now a more prevalent health risk than infectious disease, cancer, or congenital disorders for children, adolescents, and young adults. Homicide, suicide, and trauma are leading causes of mortality in the pediatric population.
Preachers responded with the message of God – Ps 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:
Yet, “the just and upright man is laughed to scorn”.
Please let me encourage the “just and upright man” – do not be weary in well doing!
2 Timothy 4:2 (KJV) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Fifteen

First Thessalonians 5:22

In the previous message we noted Paul’s threefold exhortation to the church –

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

A. Respect the Word. “…despise not prophesyings.”
B. Review the Word. “Prove all things..”
And our decision should be to –
C. Receive the Word as the guide to life. “…hold fast that which is good.”

Respecting, reviewing, and receiving the Word of God prepares us for the following command –

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

The manifestation of sin in the world is defined by that which the Lord hates as described in Proverbs 16:16-19

…A proud look,
…a lying tongue,
…hands that shed innocent blood,
…An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
…feet that be swift in running to mischief,
…A false witness that speaketh lies,
…he that soweth discord among brethren.

With God’s help through His Word we are commanded to –

I. Recognize Evil. We are to recognize evil in every manner it reveals itself to us! “all appearance”… This is not always an easy thing to do because evil often –

A. Appears in the form of a just cause. “…A proud look…”

Genesis 3:4-5 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

B. Appears in the form of a just need.

“…A lying tongue…”

Matthew 4:2-3 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

If I am to survive, I have no choice – God understands! Evil often –

C. Appears in the form of a just warning.
The twelve men, a leader from each tribe, were sent into the land to discover information about the land and the people. Ten of these men brought an evil report and caused Israel to be judged by God because of rebellion against Him.

Numbers 13:32-33 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

A land that would develop men of great physical stature and power would not “eat them up”!
Here we see …an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations… and …he that soweth discord among the brethren…”

And sometimes it –

D. Appears in the form of a just rebuke. “…a false witness that speaketh lies.

Do you remember the account of Zacchaeus. He was a wicked man that had cheated the people of his city.
Luke 19:6-9 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

When Zacchaeus received Jesus, he became a new creature in Christ. He was no longer the man that he had been, “a man that is a sinner…”. He was a man that “had been a sinner” but now he was gloriously saved – a son of Abraham. It is a terrible thing to bring an accusation against a person based on what they used to be! It is a false witness – clearly condemned in the Ten Commandments.

Evil also often –

E. Appears in the form of just relationship with the world – a peace and conformity

1. Warned by God through His Word –

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

2. Warned by God through example. Jacob did not accept his responsibility to lead his family according to God’s will.

Genesis 33:17-34:1; 34:30; 35:1-5

Jacob, because of his casual attitude in leading his family, was responsible for the defilement of his daughter, the disgraceful actions of his sons, and the destruction of Shechem.

Some will argue that encouraging a “dress in your best” attitude equates to Pharisaism, Matthew 23:25. Others consider casual dress to result from a casual heart. Jacob discovered the truth – that we live from the inside out, from the heart outward.

Genesis 35:1-5 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

Jacob instructed his family to separate themselves from the things of the world and separate themselves unto the Lord. They were on their way to worship the Lord and they prepared their hearts and their dress accordingly.

Believers should ask themselves “does my manner of dressing communicate my belief that coming together for worship and service is important”?

These are but a few of the forms and shapes, appearances of evil, that we meet each day and we must be able to know the difference between truth and error.

Seeing the danger before us, how are we to be prepared to –

II. Resist Evil. How –

James 4:7-8 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

He makes us able –

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Keep the Word of God in your heart in be guided by Him

He has given us what we need –

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

He knows us –

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

He teaches us –

Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season… this means that we are to keep hearing the Word of God, know and doing His will – …keep on, when no one seems to listen, when no one is looking, keep on, when things are bad, or going well, keep on…

Do not ever sell the blessings of God for a bowl of soup as Esau did. He traded love for lust and when he wanted it back, even shedding tears for its return, he had given it up, lost it and lived with the consequences.

Seek God’s will for your life and do it – begin today, now.

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Fourteen

First Thessalonians Message Fourteen

1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Christians have a unique relationship with the Holy Spirit and we are commanded to be very careful how we interact with Him. In this letter, we have been given instructions about quenching the spirit, but we have also been warned in God’s Word, the Bible, about lying to Him and grieving Him. We will begin this morning by learning –

I. The Difference – lying, grieving, quenching

A. We know what it is to lie and we need little instruction about this except to remember that we are not to lie to anyone –

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

Why? Because when we lie we identify ourselves, not with God, but with Satan –

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

B. We know that we are commanded not to “grieve the spirit” –

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

In order to obey this command, we must know what is meant by “grieving the Spirit”.
We must understand –

1. The Purpose of God – The Lord saved us from our bondage in sin –

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

And He placed us into His service –

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

He saved us and we serve Him that the world may know –

2. The Praise of God unto His glory

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

How are we to glorify Him? He has not left this for us to figure out. We note –

3. The Plan – God has prepared men to preach His Word –

Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

That we may be perfected, changed from what we were to what we should be in Him –

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

4. The Problem – The believer can rebel against the will of God –

Ephesians 4:21-24 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

When believer’s choose to live according to the old life in the bondage of sin, they live a life in sin grieving (hurts) the Holy Spirit of God whose desire is to glorify God in us.

Knowing what grieving the Holy Spirit is, we need to know what the command to not “quench” the spirit means. Let’s look at the –

II. Definition.

Following a course of action in agreement (not rebelling against) with the Holy Spirit, but failing to submit completely to accomplish His intended purpose.

A. The suppression of the will of God.

1. Through opposition. Jeremiah

The faithful servant of God was almost overcome by the opposition in the ministry of the Word of God. Day to day, week to week, month to month it continued until he thought he could not continue. He tried to forget the fire of God in his heart.

Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.

2. Through expectation. Elijah

This faithful prophet had called forth a fire on Mt. Carmel that brought fear to the hearts of all of Israel, and yet when his expectations were not realized and the people did not repent in sackcloth and ashes, he forgot the faithfulness of God and tried to drown the fire in tears of self-pity in the wilderness.

The lord is longsuffering, patient and merciful in reviving these men, encouraging them to continue in the ministry of His Word.

To Jeremiah – “…But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”

To Elijah – “…1Ki 19:15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus:…”

We thank the Lord that many are recovered (ourselves included) and serve in the zeal of the Lord, but we must note –

B. The success of the will of man in quenching the spirit.

The Lord warns us here that it is possible to quench the Spirit. Paul was careful in his own life of holding back the power of God.

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

You see, physically God is omnipotent and we have no power against Him, but spiritually He has given us a choice. He has made us able to hold Him back! What an amazing statement, yet it is true. Another thing is true also – we will receive the consequences of our actions.

We will be judged by what we choose to do. The believer cannot lose his salvation but he certainly can lose his service and the rewards which come from serving.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

This brings us to the exhortation from Paul to enable and encourage us to reject quenching the Spirit.

III. The Duty

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

A. Respect the Word. “…despise not prophesyings.”

B. Review the Word. “Prove all things..”

And our decision should be to –

C. Receive the Word as the guide to life. “…hold fast that which is good.”

It is amazing as we preach through this letter to see how much Paul learned through the ministry to the church in Thessalonica. Think about the references that have been noted to the letters written to the churches as these missionaries continued their ministry. The Lord used this ministry to instruct them in His truth, doctrine to be established for the church. What has the Lord taught us today, what has He taught you that He will use in your lives in serving Him?

Have you put off the old man and walk in the newness of life? A new heart pursuing holiness. Have you decided to serve Him faithfully unto the end? Are you reading the Word of God, reflecting upon it, and receiving it as the authoritative guide to your lives?

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Thirteen

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I. Prayer. “Pray without ceasing”

We are to have times of private prayer and public prayer. We also find in our lives that we have times of praising prayer, passionate prayer, prostrated prayer –

Mark 5:22-23 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

Our lives are complicated and we need help, therefore we are to pray without ceasing. We will never run out of things to pray about. We may get tired in our praying, but God will not get tired of hearing when our hearts are right with Him. We will mention just a few things this morning as examples –
We pray without ceasing for –

A. Sanctification of the saved.

We must have a pure testimony in order to have a witness that brings praise to the Lord. Paul refers to this right testimony in –

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul is praying that the purpose of God will be completed in the children of God to the glory of God!

We pray without ceasing for the –

B. Salvation of the lost

Prayer encourages us to be right in our –

1. Actions. The plan of salvation must be proclaimed to the world – the believer’s work.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2. Attitudes. The power of salvation is only in the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
We pray without ceasing for the –
C. Service unto the Lord will be clear, without confusion!

1. Peter’s witness to Cornelius. Acts 10:19,20

Peter was convinced that personally presenting the gospel with this gentile was the will of God. God changed Peter’s mind, all that he had ever believed, through prayer. “…not so Lord, for I have never…”:

2. Philip’s witness to the Ethiopian. Acts 8:26-30, 35

Left the great work in Samaria, from crowds of people to deserted wilderness, a highway where the Lord pointed to a man who needed to hear the truth of the Gospel.

3. Paul’s witness in Philippi Acts 16:6-10
4. These men were specifically led by God to men.

We pray without ceasing –

D. Seeking laborer’s to share the gospel.

Matthew 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Romans 10:13-17 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Realize that it is a spiritual work! All of this leads us to –

II. Praise. “…In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

A. The Exhortation – to give thanks in every thing.

B. The Expectation – “…this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

C. The Experience – miserable failure from the beginning!

Have you noticed that we have a natural inclination to not be thankful to God – it is our sinful disposition.
Men have failed to be thankful throughout the ages – the Lord led Paul to instruct us of the danger involved –

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Adam and Eve received more than they would ever use or need and yet were unthankful and rebelled against God.

Cain rebelled against the sacrifice of God, not being thankful, and wanted to be recognized for his work instead of God’s.

Nimrod led the people to reject the name of God and to determine to build a name for themselves which would be identified with a tower built unto the heavens.

The Israelites rejected the goodness of God’s grace and mercy as He gave them their daily provision in the wilderness.

Men have rejected the goodness of God in the gift of salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ – not being thankful but trusting in themselves!

How important it is to be thankful!! As saved, we need to show forth a genuine thankfulness to God. He is worthy of our thanks!

Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
His Presence
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

His Protection
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
His Provision
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
His Pleasure
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks – for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Twelve

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore.

Paul commanded that the child of God should rejoice evermore. The believer will rejoice throughout eternity – evermore – and we can understand this when we consider what God has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. This morning, just think about the blessings from God resulting in –

I. Our Position.

A. You were sought by the Lord.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

B. You were saved by the Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The disciples had been given great power to use in the ministry of the Word as He sent them out to preach. They returned rejoicing in the results of their use of the power. Notice the Lord’s response to them –

Luke 10:19-20 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
The time would come when this power from the Lord would no longer be used in their ministries. When the power stopped, would their rejoicing stop also?
When the Apostle Paul could heal others but not himself, his rejoicing was not in the power to heal but in the grace of God. Rejoice evermore that you were sought, that you were saved, and that –

C. You were sealed by the Lord.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Will you rejoice in your position – sought, saved, sealed, and safe eternally. Will there ever be a time that we might not rejoice in our position? Rejoice evermore in your position!

Do we understand that we not only have a position with God, but He has blessed us in that He considers us to be in the position of His children.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

We are certainly purchased possessions, but we also know that purchased possession might be sought, saved, sealed and put away for safe keeping. The Lord has not put us away on a shelf, in a cabinet or drawer, neither deposited us in a safe deposit box. If He had chosen to do this, He would save Himself a lot of trouble! The Lord has chosen to put us on display in the world. His purchased possessions, but so much more. His precious children testifying to an amazing relationship between the Creator and His creations. Through this relationship the believer testifies to the world of the glory of God. His glory and our rejoicing is revealed through –

II. Our Prayer.

We have the personal invitation from God to speak to Him often.

A. He gave us an education. How many people have you heard say “I do not know how to pray”.

Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

B. He gave us an example.

John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

C. He gave us an entrance.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The Lord has always shared His desire to communicate with His children. Remember His words in –

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

We will be communicating with Him forever, throughout eternity. Rejoice evermore!
As His children, the Lord has promised to supply –

III. Our Provision.

The Lord has promised to provide for His own –

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

He gives us those good things that He knows we need –

Matthew 7:9-11 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Will you rejoice in His provision for you. He will provide for us forever: Rejoice evermore!

IV. Our Protection.

Now this is an interesting blessing from the Lord. He protects us, but not necessarily like we think He will. We think that He will keep us from harm. We hope that He will not let us hurt, be in pain, sick, attacked by those that hate Him and therefore, hate us. There are many times that He, according to His will, may protect us from these things but the facts are clear – we are going to be hurt, injured, sick, attacked, and for sure we are going to die. He does not always protect us from these things, but He always protects us IN them. He is with us and He gives us strength to trust Him. What is the worst thing about any of these things – FEAR. We become afraid, yet over and over He tells us that we do not need to be afraid. He cares for our emotions and He told us that He knows that –

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

He loves us and He wants us to love Him – perfectly, removing fear from our lives. From the beginning to the end of His Word, He tells His children “…be strong and of good courage..” Do not fear – What is the worst that can happen? We go to be with Him! Is that a bad things? NO!
We can rejoice that He is our Protector, always! We can Rejoice Evermore!

If all of this is not enough, if you are yet to be convinced of rejoicing in your position, your prayer, your provision, your protection – then Rejoice in This –

V. Our Prospect.

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

We have the promise of eternal life with Him. When we read of the eternal city, our dwelling place, how can we do anything except rejoice –

Revelation 21:1-4 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Two very simple words, written by Paul to the church in Thessalonica and to us, but powerful words – Rejoice evermore!

Can you rejoice today? Do you know the Lord as your Saviour?

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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Message Eleven

First Thessalonians Message Eleven

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

Paul instructed the church, each member, to love the brethren which includes –

Respecting and encouraging the pastor, 15:13a
Regarding one another in love as family, 15:13b
Reminding all to observe the word of God, fulfilling His will, 15:14

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

We are to have the testimony of single minded obedience to the Lord. This is not, as the world often accuses, a blind obedience. It is an informed obedience!

“…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Paul set forth four actions in this verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, which we are to take note of.

We are to –

A. Refrain from attacking those that attack you. “See that none render evil for evil unto any man…”

What does he mean when he writes of “evil”. The word literally means “wickedness, evil, harmful”. Throughout our lives there are people who will, on purpose, try to hurt us emotionally, physically, materially. The things that they say and do are wicked and evil. We are not to be like them! The Lord explained the difference of good and evil as recorded in –

Matthew 12:34-35 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

God will help us to bring good things out of our hearts. He has made us able to do what was impossible for us to do before being saved. We were not able to do any good thing. Even those things that we thought were good, He rejects as being evil –

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

But after being saved, the Holy Spirit has moved in and directs us in throwing out the old things –

Colossians 3:8-10 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

And the Holy Spirit enables us to move in the new things –

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

By changing us, He makes us able to –

B. Pursue after all that is good. “…but ever follow that which is good…”

How is this accomplished? By surrendering our lives to Him –

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The Lord instructed Paul to explain to us how our minds can be transformed –

Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

When we are right, we are ready for the next step –

C. Promote care among the brethren. “…both among yourselves…”

We are to set the example for one another and through this –

D. Present the work of God to all the world. “…and to all men.”

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Acts 1:8 “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”

Psalm 79:9,10 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God?

Knowing the will of God and doing the will of God – how do we accomplish His will?

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We know that what God wants from us is difficult for us. We know that our flesh is weak and we wrestle with ourselves to do good. The thing is – we can obey Him in His power.

Truly, this is a test of the work of God in our lives –

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If you have a new heart, you will not have a storehouse for evil but your heart should be filled with good.

How is your heart today? As you think about your life since the Lord saved you, do you see a definite difference in the new man from the old man?

The instructions we have received will test our love for the Lord! They make a demand upon us that often seems beyond our ability to obey. We do not want to leave a matter for the Lord to settle when we are, at the moment, able to act on our own!

Do you still want to pay back evil when someone is evil to you?

Then this morning do what He has told us to do –

Surrender you life to Him
Fill your mind with His Word

Pray for the Holy Spirit to direct you through this Word to clean out your heart, replacing the old with the new: love, joy, peace, longsuffering…

Ephesians 5:26-27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

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