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Sunday Services

9:45 am Sunday School
10:45 am Sunday Worship

Echo Evangelique

(590AM WEZE Boston)
Saturday 9:00-10:00PM
88.9 FM SCA
Thursday 8:00-9:00PM

 

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TV Channel 23
Sunday 7:00-8:00AM

Bible Study

FRIDAY NIGHT
7:30pm Bible Study
SATURDAY MORNING
8:30am Bible Study
Sunday School
9:45am  10:30am

Living in Light of Christ’s Return

Part II

Text: 1 Thess. 5:1-11

Key Concepts:

  • One who dies in Christ, will resurrect in Christ.
  • The saved is spiritually and morally distinct from the unsaved.
  • Children of light must walk as children of light.
  • How deep is your love for God? How certain your hope? How genuine is your faith?

 

One who dies in Christ, will resurrect in Christ

Paul reveals two phases of the return of Christ. During the first, Christians, the dead then those yet alive, will be transformed instantaneously then meet Jesus in the air to be taken home with Him. This is the Rapture of the Church (1 Thess. 4:13-18). In the second phase, he talks about the actual return of Christ on earth (1 Thess. 5:1-11). Between the two phases we find the Day of the Lord, which is the wrath of God or the period of seven years of judgment (Dan. 9:24-27, Isa. 13:6-11). This wrath will fall upon both Jews and gentiles who rejected Christ. During this period, Israel is given the opportunity to repent as a nation (Zac. 12:10, Rom. 11, Rev. 7). The day of the Lord is a day filled with God’s rage against sin, evil, wickedness and unbelief. On that day, sinners will be destroyed, not believers. It will cause cosmic catastrophes. It will come upon the world unannounced.

The saved are spiritually and morally distinct from the unsaved

To introduce the day of wrath, Paul showed a contrast between, those who believe, the sons of light/day and those who do not, the sons of darkness/night. He clearly makes a distinction between those who are appointed to wrath because of unbelief and those who are elected for salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Do you know which group you belong to? If you think you are saved because you come to church, because you give tithes or were born into a Christian family; you may have a false sense of security. The distinction that Paul is making is not simply a categorical one between believers and unbelievers. The real difference is in the moral and spiritual sense. It is not enough to simply label yourself. There is a spiritual distinction that goes along with the categorical differences. In fact, the different categories cannot stand without the moral and spiritual distinctions. Being saved, a son of light appointed to salvation, means that there is a moral and spiritual distinction between you and the unsaved. Those who are no longer in darkness must walk as beings of the light (Eph. 5:8). The characters and behaviors of believers must be consistent with our identity in Christ. Our lifestyles and actions must reveal that we belong to God.

Children of light must walk as children of light

Paul urged the children of light to be wakeful, watchful, and sober (1 Thess. 5:1-11). Indeed, we cannot be indifferent or insensitive to life around us, as if we were already dead. Instead the children of light are diligent, attentive, sensitive, and careful about their lives and spiritual growth and that of those around them. They seek to learn from God by the use of different circumstances and events in life. They are discerning, and wise regarding the enemy. Whereas those who sleep do not care about, nor do they question, anything. Rather, they grieve and quench the Holy Spirit of God. They are insensitive to the Spirit whom they can no longer hear. They are complacent, stagnant, and stale. The carnality in their lives means nothing to them. Does this describe you? Have the sermons you’ve heard lately changed you in any way? Have you experienced any change at all recently? Or are you too spiritually lazy to care? Those who are watchful safeguard their personality, temperament, thinking, and feelings. Sometimes God allows certain circumstances to change and teach us, but it is terribly sad for one to come out as arrogant or even bitter, as before, which is a waste of the God-given trials. What have you been learning spiritually form the pandemic? Are you seeking God more? Are you learning to depend on and trust Him more? God also allows certain trials to wake you up. Hopefully after this pandemic, the church will wake up and realize we need to make a difference. Too many are dying without Christ.

What does it mean to be sober? It means to have self-control, not subject to the power of anything. Under the influence, you are a danger to self and others, you lack in judgment and discernment and you have no balance. It is true in a spiritual sense as well. Paul demonstrated that the believer’s sobriety means to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. Are you controlled by your pride, or personality? Paul tells us to maintain our sobriety by “putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” (1 Thess. 5: 8). He asserts the necessity of this armor (breastplate and helmet) because we are in a spiritual war against an enemy who constantly threatens our soul, mind, and heart (Eph. 6). We need to remain “…sober-minded and watchful, [for, our] adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). We need to protect our vital organs from the enemy’s attack, our hearts, minds, beliefs and will. indeed, without the virtuous triad, faith, hope, love, we are vulnerable to the adversary’s assaults.

How deep is your love for God? How certain your hope? How genuine is your faith?

How do you protect your faith? By feeding your mind with the Word of God. Without the ability to discern the Word of God, the world’s arrows will infiltrate your mind. You must know why you believe what you believe. To maintain spiritual equilibrium, you must grow in the faith through the studying and application of the Word of God. We also need to love God more than the world, to keep us from its lusts (1 Jn 2:15-17). How do you overcome the love of the world? You can only do so with love for God, for His holiness, glory, and honor. The more you love God, the less you love the world. The more you love God, the more you’ll love others. In fact, in loving others, we demonstrate our love for God. What difference does it make to have hope? As we have witnessed during this pandemic, hope is crucial to our daily lives. Those with hope handle life differently from those who are without. Those who are hopeless react with fear, doubt, despair, panic. Our blessed hope is in God knowing that the way He manages His affairs is always best. Hope helps us to remain strong when in trials. Hope helps us to navigate the world effectively even when everything is in turmoil. Without hope, we are anxious and depressed about tomorrow. How certain is your hope?

In conclusion…     

We are responsible to wear the armor God has provided, in order to protect ourselves by abiding in His Word, by being faithful, being watchful, sober, discerning, vigilant, and by being under the control of the Holy Spirit. This is the duty of the children of light. Check your heart, your life and examine yourself. Wake up and check your armor. Our hope is certain for we rest on the promises of almighty God of our salvation. We have comfort even in midst of trials, comfort we can share with others when they are weak and discouraged. Christ is coming. The rapture can happen at any time. Our prayer is, even so come Lord Jesus!

More Info
575 American Legion Hwy
Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-3107
Fax: 617-323-3165
Come Worship with us Live
Every Sunday at 10:45am