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Here He Comes


1 Thessalonians 1

When you have been baptized into Christ and you start your walk with Him…you are going to encounter all kinds of obstacles and hindrances that will try to knock you off course.

But before we get to that basic truth …let me give you the background to this letter.

But some of the Jews become jealous…and they gather some wicked men…and form a mob…and they “set the city in an uproar.”

Now Paul and Silas begin preaching at Berea and they are have success…when some Jews from Thessalonica come to Berea and they stir the people up again…and Paul leaves Berea…and goes to Athens.

Now, even though Paul is in Athens he can’t help but think about that little band of new Christians back in Thessalonica.

Well, Paul is so concerned that he sends Timothy back to Thessalonica to find out how those new Christians are doing.

The bad news is, the church in Thessalonica…those new Christians, were being persecuted just like Paul said they would be.

So Paul, in Corinth, gets some paper and a pen…and he writes a letter to encourage that little group of new born Christians to hang on.

 Look at the end of chapter 2 and verse 19.

For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

 1 Thes 3:12-13 and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also {do} for you; 13      so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

 1Thes 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of {the} archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

 1Thes 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Do you see what it is? The one basic truth that Paul stresses and wants these new Christians….in the midst of persecution and hardship to remember is: Jesus is coming back!

That is what Paul wanted these new born Christians to remember in the face of hardship and persecution…and I want you to notice something. Look at chapter 4: 17:

17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 Paul didn’t want the fact that Jesus is coming back to be a thing of fear for these folks.

Look at chapter 5:11: He says: Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

 In the midst of a world that seems to have gone mad…

Paul is not the only one who mentions this.

Are you ready? Let me give you 4 things that being ready involves.

Number 1:  Being ready means rejecting Satan’s attempts of seduction.

17 But we, brethren, having been bereft of you for a short while– in person, not in spirit– were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. 18 For we wanted to come to you– I, Paul, more than once– and yet Satan thwarted us.

 The Jews were the ones who forced Paul to leave these brethren…and it was the Jews that prevented him from going back…but Paul knew who was really behind it…it was Satan.

And Paul knew in his absence that Satan would try to take advantage of them and try to discourage them.

Satan was doing all he could to get these new Christians to give up their new faith and go back to the way they were before.

Satan doesn’t want you to stand firm in Christ. He wants to stop you.

 And if you are going to be ready when Jesus comes back you are going to have to reject Satan’s attempts whatever they are.

Number 2:  Being ready means reflecting the Spirit’s influence.

Look at chapter 4:1-8:  Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

People eager for Jesus to come back need to dress like it…and act like it.

Jesus is coming back…and if you really believe that…you are going to shuck all those dirty clothes…and keep your nice clothes on.

Number 3:  Being ready means expecting the Savior’s coming.

So, how do you live?

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

Listen, if you are IN Christ…your destiny is not in the hands of the undertaker.

Christians do not live in ignorance.

Look at chapter 5:4:

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvationthrough our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has made the appointment…and when God makes the appointment He keeps it.

And finally: Being ready means protecting the Lord’s body.

But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.

Listen, a groom cares how you treat his bride while he is gone.

Jesus is coming back…we need to remember that.

This morning there is a struggling single parent and it is hard…hang on…because Jesus is coming back.

And there are some here who are not ready for Him…well, you need to know this…ready or not…He is coming back.