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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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1 Thessalonians

Christians are Different in Sorrow

1 Thessalonians 4.18

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

I am sure everybody has heard expressions such as, “It’s always something,” or has heard references to “Murphy’s Law,” or the idea that anything that can go wrong, will. At the other end of this spectrum, we all know of one rather famous “preacher” who tries to tell us all how to have “Our best life now!” The honest truth is that, for most people, the first end of the possibilities applies. God has never promised His children a trial free life, and most of us can attest to that from experience. Oftentimes that experience is beyond painful.

It does seem to always be something, and if this life IS the best we have to live with, then for many that would be a truly hopeless life. Paul wrote the church at Thessalonica, and offered his words to provide comfort to struggling believers. Friends, even if your life is grand the idea that this is the best it will ever be should be a hopeless thought in and of itself. Sometimes believers suffer, and those who reject have seemingly wonderful lives. For the believer, however, this life is not the best it will be.

For the believer some things are true. If life is grand in this world, in eternity it will be grand beyond our ability to measure it. If life is not so grand, or even downright painful, then the end result eternally is exactly the same; the promise of joy beyond our ability to measure it.

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The Dead in Christ Will Be Resurrected

1 Thessalonians 4.13

1 Thessalonians 4:13-15

Things were tough in the church at Thessalonica. As was normal, they were going through the same trials and tribulations as most of the early churches. Many of the brethren had died during the course of some years, and this was taking a toll on those remaining. While they had been looking forward gladly to the return of the Lord, they were concerned now that their loved ones had missed out on the blessed event. Paul wrote this letter to reassure them on this issue.

If we look around us even today, we can see that things have not changed that much; in fact, in some ways they are more discouraging. It has now been over 2000 years and we still await the return or our Lord; doubt assails us from every direction if this blessed event will actually still happen. Disdain for and persecution of the faith comes from every direction.

Friends, God’s Word was always written to a particular audience of people; it also always contains a message for the ages that applies to people of all ages. The hope provided by Paul to these believers then applies in just as real away to us today. Do not doubt friends, and do not be discouraged; our Lord has not forgotten us and will be coming back for us. On glorious day He will lift us from the trials of this life, and restore everything to perfection.

Being Sober Minded

1 thesallonians 5_6.JPG

1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

As the saying goes, when one sees a “therefore,” we ought to be wondering what it is there for! In this case, Paul had just taught us something about our new nature in Christ and was about to tell us how that ought to cause some behavior or action to occur. Paul was really adept that that sort of teaching for sure.

Here is what we learned just before in verse 5, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” Paul in this letter was teaching some great stuff about the believers in Thessalonica being ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. He reminded them that we don’t know when that is; we likewise do not know when that is. Paul even teaches us in the first verse hear that we just don’t need to be worried about the “when” of Jesus’ return; “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.”

Paul’s point here is not to tell us when the return of Jesus is. Paul’s point here is certainly not to warn us about the dangers of drinking or drunkenness. Paul’s point here is that each of us needs to be ready for this even day in and day out as we walk our Christian lives. Our new nature should cause us to be sober, vigilant and ready all of the time. Paul even issues a challenge of sorts in verse 5, more or less asking if we really want be be like all the drunks stumbling around in the dark who don’t know any better!

Friends, it ought to be different for us, because we have been given the light. We should be sober, alert and ready daily; however, we often are not. We may not be literally drunk on alcohol, but there are many things we can become inebriated with that will cloud or judgement and cause us to be not alert, not vigilant and not ready. What bottle to we need to pour down the sink?

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