First Thessalonians Message 18 – Conclusion
1 Thessalonians 5:24-26 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
We recently were visiting with friends and the conversation turned to renovating houses. We started talking about tools, recommending brands to each other. We were soon reminiscing about Craftsman tools sold by a store called Sears. When you bought a tool, say a hammer, from Sears it came with a lifetime guarantee. If the hammer ever broke, ever, you would just return it to a Sears store and they would replace it immediately, no questions asked. They had a confidence in their products and stood behind them. It is interesting how their guarantee built a bond of trust between the customer and the company. A guarantee means a lot.
Here we find that Paul concluded this letter to the Thessalonians with a guarantee. All that he has written is backed up one hundred per cent by the promise of God – He is faithful!
A few years later Paul wrote –
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
And at the end of his life he confirmed this truth to be true –
2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” This morning we have the opportunity to look at the faithfulness of God.
We will review the letter and learn why the people would rejoice that the Lord is faithful – We read that –
I. God changes us. I Thessalonians 1:3,6,7
We learned that He prepares us to work out our salvation for His glory –
Ephesians 2:8-10 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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
– and those around us are aware of that change. Our prayer is that they will want to trust God as their Saviour, but, sad to say, often, they reject God and us, becoming angry with us.
1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
We can thank the Lord that, while those that we were with before may reject us, we have a new family that loves us and are encouraged by our testimony in the Lord!
The change was seen by their personal devotion to God. 1:9
“…turned to God from Idols to serve the living and true God.”
God is faithful and worthy of our devotion! We then read that –
II. They did not change their message 2:2
Look again at the message preached – the Gospel –
A. The message that was preached to the Macedonians.
Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
After being forced out of Thessalonica and Berea, Paul arrived in Athens. Look at –
B. The message that was preached to the Athenians.
Acts 17:31-32 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
And having little influence in Athens we see –
C. The message that was preached to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
He will not change the message!
He is the same, unchanging glorious God who is holy from eternity past to eternity future. Praise God He is faithful to His Word.
We also see that the exhortation from God is that He commands us to live –
III. Pure Lives. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
We noted that the missionaries had come from a society with morals founded on the Law of God –
Exodus 20:13-17 (KJV) Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
This is not to say that they did not sin. If they had no sin, God would not have given the Law to guide them. They did sin, but they had a moral value instilled in them to instruct them to live a pure life and knowing they would be judged by God when they broke the law. In the lives of the Macedonian’s there was no such guide and no requirement to morality. All of these things were part of life and part of their religious practice. The missionary’s learned they must preach salvation and also separation from the sin of the world.
This command includes all believers – men, women, married and single. “…every one of you…” 4:4
We are commanded to live holy lives and to teach others to live holy lives –
1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
We can only be holy if He is holy. He will never change! He will never disappoint us. He is faithful to Himself – to His own holiness.
We also saw that –
IV. He reminded them of the judgment to come – the wrath of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
“…peace and safety…” They knew of the lies the religious leaders in Jeremiah’s day told Kings of Judah that they would not be destroyed by sword or famine, yet the Lord said “…the prophets prophesy lies in my name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them…”. They believed the lies and were destroyed by the Babylonians.
As the unbelieving Israel and Judah of old did not escape the judgment of God, neither will unbelievers be safe now when God’s judgment comes. The only way to be safe is to be saved!
A. He reassured them of their position in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
B. He revealed the reason for comfort. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
1. The Dead –
2 Corinthians 5:8-9 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
2. The Living –
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
– The wonderful comfort found in the Lord’s return.
The Lord has given instruction and promises, encouragement and comfort, in His Word, in this letter to the Thessalonians, as well as to us.
We conclude with this thought. Remember the hammer with the lifetime guarantee? It is not really your lifetime it is guaranteed for, it is for the lifetime of the Sears store. If they go out of business, the guarantee is no longer good. The guarantee that Paul is speaking of works the same way – God’s promise is good as long as He lives – is that a blessed thought! He is never going out of business!
We began these messages with the thought that God not only did a work through these missionaries, He did a work in the missionaries. By serving Him in preaching and teaching, they learned and grew stronger in Him. We can see from the letters written by Paul in the years following the ministry here to the Thessalonians that he continued to grow in faith and trust knowing that –
All that He has promised, He will do – forever!