Revenge (1 Thessalonians #19)

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:15

The Thessalonians were being persecuted.  Paul’s recommendation has direct application in their lives.  Part of the victorious Christian life is letting God sort out personal injustice.

Follow after good as a partaker of God’s divine nature

  • Revenge is normal.  It’s natural to want to payback.  It’s natural to want revenge.
  • But I’ve got to check my emotions at the door.
  • Matthew 5:43-48
    • Love thy neighbor, hate thine enemy is the normal, human, carnal response.
      • You were born with payback in your blood.  People use that excuse for their sin these days.  “I was born this way.”
      • Partaking of God’s divine nature is going to protect you from you.  It will keep your mind from dwelling on wrath, revenge, hatred.  It will keep your heart free to love God and rejoice instead of being bound up with anger and malice.  It will keep you from spending hours and sleepless nights of how you’ve been wronged.
      • Have you ever misjudged a situation?  You thought they were being mean to you and acting in spite toward you when they weren’t.  But the devil got in your ear and said, “You see them.  Now you notice they didn’t acknowledge you.
    • Love your enemies
    • Do good to them that hate you
    • Bless them that curse you
      • To bless them is to speak well of them, or as well as you can.
    • Pray for them which despitefully use you

Follow after good to gain great reward

  • Luke 6:32-35
  • If you want to make sure payment is made down here, you can do that.  Just know, God will let you take things into your own hands.  And once you take it in your own hands, you’ve taken it out of God’s hands.
  • On the other side, if you want God to make a payment on your behalf, then leave it in God’s hands.

Follow after good to overcome evil

  • Romans 12:19-21
  • God uses your good behavior as a witness against evil.
  • The Bible says of Noah that he built the ark, his family was saved from God’s watery wrath and by it he condemned the world.  His faith condemned the world.

Follow after good to be like Christ

  • 1 Peter 2:19-24
  • For even hereunto were ye called (vs 21) – It is your calling if you’re saved.  Momma may call you home for dinner.  Dad may call you to the car.  When God calls people, they are called to be be good testimonies in a hostile environment.
  • It is an act of trusting God.
  • Revenge is a way you and I doubt God.  See verse 23.