1 Thessalonians 4
“Finally, then brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1
Paul is starting to wrap up his letter. He is wanting to encourage the Thessalonians to continue walking with the Lord and to keep growing and to keep walking and to do so more and more. Paul wants us to know that we will never complete our walk with God until we are actually with Him. As long as there is breath in our bodies we are to continue walking and we are to continue trying to please God “more and more”, and learning. Paul goes on with some specific instructions in the next few verses. Things that are for our sanctification. (vv 3-7) Paul warns the Thessalonians to abstain from sexual immorality. Apparently this was a big thing in their culture as it is with ours today. Paul is warning them against impurity but to live in holiness. Really this truly means any kind of sin. Sin is sin, and we are to strive not to live in the sin, but to be walking toward holiness. This is not to say we will ever arrive there either, but we truly need to be conscious of our walk toward holiness and not toward sin.
“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
We are called to holiness, to be set apart and we have the Holy Spirit living in us to help us in this regard.
“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
These Thessalonians were doing a good job of loving each other. So much so that it was being recognized by surrounding cities. Paul is again telling them, keep doing what you are doing. I love this “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs”! Ouch so many of us at times are so busy minding the affairs of others when we really should be just simply living quietly in ourselves in a way that can be recognized by others. Paul carried on that thought, live quietly, work with your hands and walk properly before outsiders. We want the outsiders to want what we have. If they see us all up in each others business what makes us think that they will want to be a part of what we have. (speaking to myself)
The last part of this chapter brings us hope when our friends and loved ones pass away.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
I’ve lost a few people that I love a whole lot in the past few years. But I do have hope to see them again because I know that those people are with Jesus. I’m not always sure if I understand the proper order of things, but according to what Paul teaches us here those who are already “asleep” will be with Him first and will gain their resurrection bodies and those who are still alive will meet the Lord along with the “dead in Christ” in the clouds.
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
This is our hope! That one day we will be with Jesus! And we can be assured of this hope because we walk with Him!
Please pray for the medical professionals today.