Friday, August 19, 2011

1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 - Are You Ready for the Day of the Lord?

Hello Project Ezra! This week’s reading is portions of 1 Thessalonians chapters 5 and 6, and deals with the return of Jesus Christ. It warns that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, while people are saying “peace and security.” This is a perfect description of many people you will meet on the streets when you are out sharing the gospel on the street, and is a huge part of why we should read the Bible publicly. Many people, both professing believers and those who deny Christ outright, have been lulled into a false sense of security. They either think they are good enough to get to heaven through their own actions, or believe they will have plenty of time to get right with God at the end, if a God exists.

The Bible, or course, says something very different. It says that day will come like a thief in the night. And even if God were to choose not to return for another 1000 years, that says nothing about how long He will let us live. Any of us could die any day. We need to preach that, and reinforce the fact with those we talk to one-on-one. Some may call that a fear tactic, but it is the truth, regardless, and we need to share that fact because we care about people, and their eternal destiny.

Don’t forget to spend serious time in prayer before you go to the streets to read, preach, or witness. It can be very easy to try to accomplish things in our own power, when we need to be leaning on and trusting in the Holy Spirit for everything we do. Pray that you will be given the right words, and that you will be given a true, Godly compassion for the lost. Remember, the only difference between them and us is the grace of God.

I pray this outline is a blessing.


This passage is a reminder that there will be a Day of Judgment, a day when every one of us will stand before God and give an account for every thing we have done, every word we have said, every sinful thought, and every missed opportunity.

I don’t know when that day will come for you. I don’t know when that day will come for me. But please take a moment to consider whether you are ready to meet it when it does come.

God’s word says one day Jesus Christ, the Lord, will descend with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and the sound of the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then those who are left will be caught up in the air, so we will always be with the Lord.

But Paul also speaks of those who will not be with the Lord. In this reading, where the Apostle Paul is speaking to Timothy, he tells him not to grieve like those who have no hope over those who have fallen asleep, referring to those who had died.

So, do you have hope? And if so, what are you hoping in?

We are told that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, and that while people are saying “peace and security” destruction will come on them suddenly, like labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape.

You, like most people, may prefer not to think about such things. But remember, every one of us will be dead longer than we will be alive, so now is the time to make sure you are prepared.

The word of God says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If you are like most people, you realize that you are not perfect, and that you too have fallen short of God’s glory.

What you may not realize is how seriously God takes sin. He hates sin so much that He will not allow it into His presence.
The Bible says His eyes are too pure to see evil and He can not look on wrong

It says He is a righteous judge, who tests the heart and the mind, and who feels indignation every day.

It says He Will by no means clear the guilty. There will be punishment for those who have broken His law.

Many people take sin lightly, and imagine a god who takes sin lightly. If you have ever said or thought that you will be accepted on Judgment Day because you tried your best, or because God knows your heart, then you have far too low a view of God’s holiness and have not looked closely at your own sinful, wicked heart.

Image someone were able to record every thought you had for a week, and then invited all your friends and family over and played it for them. Would you be proud of what they saw?

They would see every hateful thought, every time your anger overcame you and you wished to do violence to someone, even over things that have little or no significance.

They would see your dishonesty, every time you have lied, or even stretched the truth, for your own benefit and at the expense of those around you, even those closest to you.

They would see your covetousness, and your greed. They would see you longing after things others own, even though God has taken good care of you.

And they would see your lust, thoughts so dirty and depraved you would not dare share them even with your closest friend, for fear that they would be so disgusted that they would never want to speak to you again.

They would also see every time you saw a need in others, or saw what you knew was the right thing to do, and ignored it purely for your own benefit.

And, of course, they would see the record of every physical breaking of God’s law, and every one of us many sins, every day.

If we look at ourselves in truth, and listen to our conscience, which is God’s law written on our hearts, we will see our guilt before Him. God is just and will punish all sin completely, so if we die depending on our own goodness to save us, we will end up in hell. Every one of us, myself included, deserves hell.

But there is good news! The word gospel means good news, and we only share the bad news of sin, judgment and hell so that you will see just how good that good news is.

We deserved punishment, and someone bore that punishment for us. The Bible says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

2000 years ago Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to earth for our sake.

He lived an absolutely perfect life in thought, word and deed. He did not sin even once.

Then he willingly went to a Roman cross and was crucified, not by accident and not against His will. He willingly went to the cross to bear our sin.

On the cross Jesus suffered in ways we can’t imagine. He who knew no sin was made sin on our behalf. He was crushed under the weight of the father’s wrath and anger, so our sins could be atoned for.

Then three days later, as He had prophesied that He would, He rose again from the dead. He appeared to His disciples and then ascended into heaven, where He sits as God’s right hand.

I pray that today, you will get right with God, so that Christ’ sacrifice on the cross will be the payment for your sin. Otherwise, you will have to make that payment yourself in hell.

So do what the Bible says today. Repent, or turn from your sin, and put your trust in Christ alone to save you.

Only Jesus Christ was truly God in the flesh. Only He lived the perfect life and died as the perfect sacrifice. Only He bore God’s wrath to pay for sin, and then rose again. So only though Him can you be saved.

Don’t wait. None of us is promised a tomorrow, and over 150,000 people die every day.

Repent and trust in Christ while He has graciously given you time.

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