True Christianity (1 Thessalonians #27)

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:27

Read THIS epistle because this epistle has application for every Christian from 2000 years ago until now.  1 Thessalonians records:

Conversion of the heathen

  • How ye turned from idols to serve the living and true God… (1:9)
  • Thessalonians weren’t cave dwellers.  These are people with a culture, with schools, with enlightenment according to the world.
  • Convert is turn something into something else.  In this case, turn idol worshippers into worshippers of the living and true God.
  • Convert an old bank into the county tax office like here in town.
    • But if you went to get your car registration renewed there, the sign outside has been changed to County Tax Office.
    • But you went in and there were bank tellers inside, bank equipment, you ask if you can get your car registration done and they said no.  Well, are you the tax office? Yes. Then I need to get my registration done. We can’t do that. The reason is the sign may have changed, but there hasn’t been any conversion.  They’re not functioning in the way they are advertising.
    • You go to the Tax Office and you find remnants of an old bank like those drive through lanes.  Some of you are like that with your relationship with the Lord if there is one.
      • What you used to be is very clear to everyone who looks at you.
      • Or you simply are what you always were just with a temporary sign on front.
      • And the remnants of what you used to be take too much effort and cost too much to remove.
  • Conversion is changing your mind by adding understanding
    • People say I don’t understand the Bible, so I don’t read the Bible.  Well, that’s the reason to read the Bible, so you’ll understand it.
    • Job 32:8 …the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. & 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God…
    • When I was a lot younger I’d get something that required some assembly from Wal Mart.  After trying to figure it out myself and making a mess I would, in frustration, get the instructions to see why this thing had become a mess.  It wasn’t missing parts. It wasn’t that I lacked the ability to put it together or even the tools. The only thing missing was understanding.
  • Conversion is cleaning up a dirty life
    • John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
    • Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word of God.
    • Holy scriptures.  If you’re not reading them it’s because you are dirty, more so you want to remain dirty.
    • No desire for the Bible, no appetite for it, it’s because you enjoy being dirty.

Communication of the gospel

  • The gospel is God’s message.  So that means I can’t just do with it what I want to.  And I can’t just present it the way I want to. It’s His gospel and I have to please Him with my presentation of it.
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
  • What it wasn’t: For our exhortation was not…. (2:3)
  • What it was: But we were… (2:7)

Comfort for Christians

  • It’s become more and more real as time goes on that there is no substitute for a Christian’s comfort.  There is no hope to offer lost people who have lost unsaved loved ones. And there is no hope to offer lost people who have lost saved loved ones because they don’t know what to think about the life of a soul after the death of a body.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 …I would not have you ignorant…wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ

  • We talk about salvation and the gospel and a God who loves sinners.  But if you don’t understand the consequences of ignoring God your entire life, none of the other things will mean much to you.
  • Judgment is NOT separation from God.  For most people, separation from God is a part of life and they are fine with that.  So threatening them with separation from God is not a threat, it sounds like a great deal.  But judgment is not separation from God. It is fiery judgment, eternal pain. Jesus Christ returns to take vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel.
  • John 12:44-50 – God’s words are your judge
  • Luke 16:19-31 – what you do with the words of God will determine what God will do with you
  • For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them…and they shall not escape. (5:3)

Charge to keep

  • Now we exhort you… (5:14)
  • Then follows a list of instruction for every single Christian to apply to their life.