1 Thessalonians 4:1-3… “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (KJV).
We are moving towards the close of this age, or to the close of a “prophetic purpose.” We hear little about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. A new prophetic purpose comes with the coming of Christ. Both Daniel and John prophecy that the devil deliberately purposes to wear out the saints (Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:7). The purpose of pastors in the last days is to impart strength to the saints in order to help them go through evil times. God wants His people to be survivors. Paul wrote his epistles to the Thessalonians with the heart of a pastor. Although the early church went through severe persecution, the Thessalonian epistles are also prophetic of the last days prior to the coming of Christ. Paul lays out principles of truth in the area of conduct and practice for us to follow. If we abide by the word He taught, we will have a good guide for the final days.
A RIGHT WALK–A NECESSITY PRIOR TO THE COMING OF CHRIST
1 Thessalonians 4:1-3… “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandmenta we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (KJV). Paul then follows up with a list of checkpoints for those who wait for the coming of Christ and who are under pressures of the last days. I have listed 20 checkpoints from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 and 5:11-22 that I hope will help to strengthen believers in the end times.
1. 1 Thessalonians 4:3… Maintain sexual purity (abstain from fornication). Remember the days of Christ’s coming are as the days of Noah, and sexual impurities abounded. Sexual scandals abound in the church as well as in the world.
2. 1 Thessalonians 4:4… Maintain self-control. Paul speaks of keeping your whole self in sanctification and honor; in other words, “Get a good grip on yourself.” A story is told of a student who had to use crutches to get around. He won many honors for his grades and his happy countenance. One day his friend asked, “What caused your deformity?” The Indian student said, “Polio.” The friend questioned further, “With such a misfortune, how could you face the world?” “Oh,” said the student with a smile on his face, “the disease never touched my heart.” That’s what Paul is talking about. Don’t let any disease or pressure touch your spirit. That is your area of control.
3. 1 Thessalonians 4:6… Maintain respect for the rights and properties of others. The idea is, “Don’t cheat other believers in any matters.”
4. 1 Thessalonians 4:9… Maintain love for one another. The Lord teaches this and much more when you see the day approaching.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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