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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Preaching Outline First Thessalonians Chapter Ten

We learned in the last message, dealing with chapter five, verses 12 and 13, that the pastor and the people work together to carry out God’s will for His church. They serve together under the direction of God through His Word to accomplish His purpose. If you are not sure what His purpose is, we will look again to His command as written by Matthew in chapter 28, verses 18 through 20.

Each of the Gospels as well as the Book of Acts declares this command from God. This message is repeated throughout the New Testament –

1 Timothy 2:3-5 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

This is the truth the church is to take to the world generation after generation until Jesus comes back. The Apostles are dead, the Prophets are dead, the Evangelist and Pastors of previous ages are dead, but the church is still alive and well! God could have extended the lives of the Apostles, kept them alive until He returned. This would have been an amazing sign to the world! Can you imagine Peter, James, John, Matthew and the others, how wise these men would be; how strong these men would be, how revered these men would be – they would be worshipped by the world, yet God declared –

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

This is us! We are the ones being described by Paul 2,000 years ago . And Jesus knows that we are
these that are being described and He promised a wonderful thing –

John 17:18-20 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

The Lord declared that He would build His church and through His church reach out to the world with the wonderful saving grace – the gospel. He will be in His church and He will direct His church! He is the Head of the church and He will receive the glory He deserves.

We need to know this and we need to submit to His will and work together for His glory. This is the truth that the missionaries are teaching the believers in Thessalonica as we learned in 5:13 “…be at peace among yourselves.”

We are all in this together. The pastor leads us in laboring with him in the ministry of the Lord.

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:

These verses inform us of our responsibilities to the Lord and to one another. Notice again how 5:14 begins – “Now we exhort you. brethren…” This is to us, all of us!

In verse 14 we are instructed to care for the good of those in need. We are to –

A. Command the unruly. They are to be submissive to the Lord as they are instructed in His Word. We must do God’s work God’s way!

B. Comfort the feebleminded. This word means those that are fearful and easily discouraged. Remember how John Mark seemed to be excited to minister with Barnabas and Paul, but quit when faced with opposition. Barnabas was a comforter and helped John Mark return to the work, reconciling with Paul and becoming strong in the ministry of God’s Word.

C. Carry the weak when they are about to fall. “…support…” We must know them and be able to recognize the signs of weakness, stepping in quickly to help them .

D. Casting yourself upon the Lord daily. “…be patient toward all men.”
We know ourselves and realize that we can become impatient and even angry when men refuse to be commanded, comforted, or carried.

We must practice the same that we preach.
We must memorize the same verses that we teach them,
We must seek the same grace,
We must know the same strength.
We must listen and act upon our own counsel.

As we enter the year 2018 will you commit to be willing to –

Command the unruly
Comfort the feebleminded
Carry the weak?

Then first, we must cast ourselves upon the Lord each day for we cannot help others until the Lord has helped us!

The Lord burdened my heart tremendously through the Prophet Daniel. We know about the life of Daniel and we know that he was a righteous man living in a sinful world. He could have rebuked the nations – all of them – telling them that they were the problem, not him. He could have said that he did not want to have anything to do with them, stay away from him, not tell him their problems, it was not his problem! Daniel did not do that though.

Daniel 9:4-6 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Daniel 9:17-19 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Will we commit to pray this year for the will of the Lord to be done? Will you commit to pray?

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Preaching Outline of First Thessalonians Message Nine

Message Nine

II. The Commitment to one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

This morning we will look at Paul’s admonition in respect of the leadership of the church. A church has two offices: That of the pastor and of the deacon. The pastor is called of God and the deacon is called by the church. Paul is speaking particularly of the office of pastor and we will focus on this office today.
We must address first the common misunderstanding among Christians as to the office. A common definition is seen in denominations – an international governing body developed by man creating a hierarchy based on Biblical terms. This plan is opposed to a Scripturally planned autonomous community of believers with God called and placed leadership. The terms used are the same, but the functions are polar opposites. The government developed by man consist of offices of authority designated bishop, elder, and pastor, one having authority over the other.

The government developed by God consist of one office with three functions: bishop, elder, and pastor.
This plan is noted in Luke’s writings in Acts 20:17,28.

It is important for us to understand that no leader of a church has any authority over a leader of another church, no matter what he may be called, bishop, elder, or pastor! No church has authority over another church! Churches may fellowship together as they choose and they may assist one another as they choose, but they are never required to submit to the rule of another church! The church in Jerusalem, when asked their opinion, as noted in Acts 15, to settle an issue caused by their members, responded with, not a command to them, but a recommendation letter to churches to help them in the ministry of the gospel in communities where Jews and Gentiles were being saved and coming together in church.

When the church in Thessalonica was established, Paul taught them of God’s plan for leadership and appointed leaders from among them. In this letter, he is exhorting them to respect the leaders and in doing so, reminded the church of –

A. The Responsibilities of the membership. 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13

1. The pastor to the people. 1 Thessalonians 5:12

a. Paul set forth the offices by describing the ministry of each –

1). The Pastor. 1 Thessalonians 5:12a “…them which labour among you…”
2). The Bishop. 1 Thessalonians 5:12b “…and are over you…”
3). The Elder. 1 Thessalonians 5:12c “…and admonish you…”

A. T. Robertson stated that the word ‘admonish’ is an “Old verb from nouthetês and this from nous (mind) and tithêmi, to put. Putting sense into the heads of people.”
God set forth the manner of counselling a pastor is to give to the people. He is to tell them “Thus saith the Lord” and expect them to submit to the truth of the Word of God. We find here the great gulf fixed between the popular psychology of today and the practical unchanging psychology of God. God expects us as individuals to take responsibility for our actions. While we may provide reasons, there are no excuses – we make our own decisions and will stand before the Lord to give account of them.

b. Peter declared the ministry of the pastor –

1). The Elder. He is to have wisdom and understanding of the will of God –

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed

2). The Pastor He is to have practical knowledge of the Word of God and present it to the people. He is to know them and nourish them.

1 Peter 5:2 … Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

3). The Bishop. He is to oversee them and lead them to accomplish the purpose of God for the church.

1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

Having instructed the people in the ministry of the pastor to the people, Paul turned to the responsibilities of –

2. The people to the pastor. 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13

a. To know them. 5:12

Members are told that they should know their pastor. They should be familiar with him and the work that he does in the ministry of the Lord. Paul states that members should appreciate all that the pastor is and does – to “know him” or them. I am afraid that the professional aspect of the pastorate has created a gulf between the pastorate and the people, developing what is considered to be spiritual leadership – the pastor, and the laity – the church member. We must remember that we are all in this together, not separated by an artificial spiritual wall! Remember that every believer is a priest, a spiritual representative of the Lord on earth.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

It is not him and us, we are all in this together. The pastor leads us in laboring with him in the ministry of the Lord.

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:

And Paul declares that the brethren are to –

b. To esteem them. 5:13a Which means we are –

1). To pray for them
2). To participate with them.
3). To provide for them.

We are –

c. To be united behind them. 5:13b “…and be at peace among yourselves.”

It is sad to say, but many churches are hindered in their ministry unto the Lord because they are divided about the leadership. This is due to comparisons made with past leaders or preference shown among the congregation when more than one pastor is serving in the church. Paul confronted the church in Corinth over this issue –

1 Corinthians 3:2-6 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

We have a responsibility given to us by God. Have you accepted this responsibility and are you doing what is necessary to fulfill it?

Will we hear these wonderful words from the Lord as we stand before Him –

2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

To hear the words of Jesus “Well done, thou good and faithful servant..”

Are you saved? Are you His child, born into His family?
Are you standing in the place of righteousness today – all is right between you and the Lord?

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Preaching Outline for First Thessalonians Message Eight

Chapter Five

I.  The Comfort of the Lord’s Coming.  1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

As we look at the first eleven verses of this chapter, we need to remember that the Thessalonian church members were mostly Gentiles – Luke wrote that those first believers were both Jews and “…of the devout Greeks not a few…”. Paul also wrote of how they had “…turned to God from idols…”. These Gentiles, though, had been faithful in the synagogue of the Jews and would have learned from the Scriptures that the judgment of God was coming – which is what Paul was referring to when he wrote that they “…know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

God had revealed this truth through the prophets throughout the ages –

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

Zephaniah 1:14-15 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

Zephaniah 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

They knew that the wrath of God was coming upon unbelievers, but the grace of God through the establishment of His church was unknown to them, something they were “…ignorant of…”. The Holy Spirit led Paul to enlighten them, and everyone else, of God’s plan for believers of this age. The Apostle Peter referred to the Lord’s leadership of Paul as he reminded the saints to be prepared for the coming of the Lord in –

2 Peter 3:7 (KJV) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

2 Peter 3:14-16 (KJV) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

These things were hard to understand, nevertheless, they are true! As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul revealed God’s plan for His saints in this age of grace, this revelation being a comfort to the brethren. Can you imagine how much comfort Paul and the others received when they learned of this promise from God? They were just as the others until this time, knowing only of the judgment of God coming upon the world. Being comforted himself –

He continued to instruct them and build them up in the Lord –

A. He reminded them of the judgment of that which they knew – the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

“…peace and safety…” They knew of the lies the religious told King Ahab about going into battle, that he would win the victory – but instead of listening to the counsel of the prophet of God, he listened to the popular sayings and ended up being killed in the battle.

“…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 would unbelievers be safe now when God’s judgment comes. The only way to be safe is to be saved!

B. 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.

C. 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.

About four years after Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonian church explaining the plan of the Lord’s return, he corrected the Corinthian’s misunderstanding of the doctrine of the resurrection and the coming of Christ for His saints. In 1 Corinthians 15, he reasoned with them about

– the necessity of the resurrection, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…”,

– the nature of the resurrection, “…In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed…”

– The wonderful comfort found in the Lord’s return –

1 Corinthians 15:55-58 (KJV) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

We know that the wrath of God is coming, but to the praise of His glory, we know that we will not be judged in wrath, because we are saved by grace!! The Lord is removing us, taking us out of the way before this judgment comes. Because of this, we can comfort one another and edify one another and we all can be looking forward to His coming –

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Where do you stand today. Are you able to rejoice in the Lord’s return because you are His child? –

Or are you fearful of His return because you know you will be judged because you did not believe on Him?
Be saved today! Move from fear to rejoicing.

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Preaching Outline for 1 Thessalonians Message Seven

Chapter Four

The missionaries recognized that the relationship they had with the believers in Macedonia resulted in rejoicing in the mercy and grace of God. They also realized that they were to correct them when they were wrong. The reports that Timothy and Silas shared in Corinth not only revealed the faith manifested in the lives of the new believers, but also some areas of concern that needed to be addressed.

As Paul prepared to leave Timothy, departing soon to go to His Lord, he reminded him of the lessons learned early in their ministry –

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

We have learned of the missionary’s determination to Preach the Word. We learned also that they were ready at all times to do what was necessary to minister that Word to others, rejoicing when they were well received and rejoicing when they were rejected by men. We saw how they denied themselves to serve others, emphasizing the Lord’s Words –

Matthew 16:24 (KJV) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

– and as I have said many times before, that Cross is not an earthly burden but it is a Heavenly identification!

Paul began to correct the believers, to “…reprove, rebuke, and exhort…” in order to edify them – to help them continue to grow in the Lord.

We notice that through the Scriptures we know that the missionaries practiced what they preached – Believers should live –

A. Pure Lives. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

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 (KJV) 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.

Believers should fulfill their –

B. Present Responsibilities. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

The missionaries knew that loving one another as the Lord loves us involves more than just an emotional sentiment. It means putting others before self. The missionary’s showed their love by not being a burden on others, expecting people to simply serve them because they love them. Paul reminded Timothy of this years later as Timothy pastored the church in Ephesus –

1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Paul not only instructed the Thessalonians in this, but also we read this same command to the church in Philippi –

Philippians 2:2-4 (KJV) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
It is important that we know and do the will of God in our daily lives, in our relationship with Him and with those around us.

And believers should –

C. Praise the Lord for the knowledge of the Truth. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The church had been taught about the coming of the Lord, but they did not understand how it would be accomplished. It seems that some of the saved had died, leaving family and friends to worry as to whether they missed the resurrection by dying before Jesus came. This led to a general confusion among the brethren which needed to be corrected.

1. The Purpose. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15

To instruct them in the truth as revealed by God. They were ignorant (not knowing), not willingly or rebelliously, but simply had not been taught yet. This part of God’s plan was unknown until this time.

2. The Plan 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17

The Lord revealed His plan at this time in that the people would be informed –

3. The Preparation. 1 Thessalonians 4:18 “…comfort one another with these words.”

Great comfort is found in knowing the promise of God is sure –

that the words spoken at the Lord’s ascension into Heaven are true words

Acts 1:9-11 (KJV) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

That the admonition to look for His coming is true –

Titus 2:12-13 (KJV) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

All of the words Prepare us to live unto Him. They are comforting words, encouraging us with the truth of His Return.

Today, are you ready to meet the Lord? If He were to come today, which He could, what will He say to you?
Well done my faithful servant
Or depart from me, I never knew you?

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Preaching Outline for 1 Thessalonians The Sixth Message

1 Thessalonians Message Six
How did their Decision effect them –

B. Their Delight. 3:6-10

The missionary’s decision to separate in order to minister and help the new believers was confirmed to be the right thing to do. The good report was and blessing and an encouragement to them as they reunited in Corinth. Luke recorded the encouragement these men bought to Paul upon their return –

Acts 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

– To do more!!

I pray today that we will be able to see ourselves reflected in the verses. If not, I trust we will acknowledge our need to the Lord and seek His forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s leadership in transforming our lives according to the testimonies presented before us.

Let’s look at –

1. The Return. 1 Thessalonians 3:6a “…Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings…”

Hearing good news is wonderful, but delivering good news has a special reward of its own. The one is anxious to hear news but the other has joyful anticipation of arriving and presenting the message which will bring forth rejoicing from those that hear it. I am sure that both Silas and Timothy were rejoicing as they traveled to Corinth to share the blessings of God upon His people.
When we consider waiting for news and bringing news, we understand that God has created us to be able to react accordingly to the situations we face.

At times we receive bad news. Consider this –

Just say we are faced with a lion approaching – hormones are released which prepare us for what is commonly called “fight or flight”. Adrenalin is pumped in, sucrose is increased, and unnecessary functions are closed down. It is like a ship that hit an object in the sea and began to sink. The compartments that are not necessary at this time are closed off, the passageways for escape are cleared and all of the crew, from captain to cook, are called to do what is necessary to save lives. Remember the actions of the crew of the ship that Jonah was on? All were called out to save the ship and all unnecessary things were thrown overboard. Staying alive became the immediate priority and everything else was of secondary importance.

God has created us to be able to rise to the occasion and overcome the danger – “Save the Ship or lower the lifeboats”!

Now let’s consider good news – Notice our common greetings:

“How are you today”, “Ni Hao Ma?”, “Apa Khabar”. Each greeting looks for a positive answer – Good News! When we hear good news it is like fireworks are going off – awesome beauty!

No really – Consider this –

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

With the technology that is available today, a discovery has been made that each time a person receives good news, the brain shoots off a sort of fireworks display through the release of the chemical dopamine. An emotional and physical pleasure is related to receiving good news. Have you considered how much good news affects you?

In a 2013 report, smartphone users open their Facebook pages an average of 14 times each day. Now, why would someone do that? Before this technology was available, people rushed to answer the telephone or looked for the post to arrive. Why? We all have the desire to hear news and we especially look for good news. The Lord has a special desire that we hear good news and also, delight in delivering good news.

Romans 10:15 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!

Proverbs 15:30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: –

You can see good news in a person’s eyes. This is the blessing of face to face communication, you can see it before you hear it!

– and a good report maketh the bones fat.

Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

Knowing these things we can understand the Delight of the missionaries in giving and
receiving –

2. The Report. 1 Thessalonians 3:6b

The report consisted of three identifying marks of the work of God –

a. Faith and love. “…faith and charity…”

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Philemon 5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

b. Fidelity. “…ye have good remembrance of us always.”

The Macedonians showed forth a loyalty and love for their teachers. As the saying goes “Gone, but not forgotten”!

c. Fellowship.

A child of God loves the Lord and His people. “…desiring greatly to see us…”. Remember how that from the beginning of creation, God desired to fellowship with His people –

Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day….”

Genesis 5:22 “And Enoch walked with God …”

Genesis 6:9 “…Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

When we have God in us, we have this same desire, to be with Him and with His people.

The good report brought forth –

3. The Response. 1 Thessalonians 3:7-10

The good news blessed the missionaries such that –

a. They were encouraged that all they had suffered in bringing the truth to the Macedonians
was worthwhile! 3:7,8 “…we were comforted…” “…For now we live…”

b. They were encouraged to praise God and pray for the saints. 3:9
c. They were encouraged to preach to them again and teach them more of the wonderful grace of
God! 3:10

Reflecting on the results of their Decision and rejoicing in their Delight, they set forth –

C. Their Desire. 3:11-13 “…That he (God) may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

The purpose of the ministry was more than seeing people saved, but to see them sanctified, set apart unto the Lord in holiness that the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ would be fulfilled in the world –

“Ye shall be witnesses unto me…”

As we asked last week, are you willing, as they were, to step away from what you consider to be your safety and security and trust the Lord to keep you safe and secure, away from your comfort zone to present the truth of the Gospel to others?

Do you recognize their delight in serving the Lord? Do you want to?

Do you have the desire to do more to establish others in the faith and demonstrate a holy life in the Lord?

Do you know the Lord as your Saviour?

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