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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

 

TV Program

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:

Proper attitude toward one another

Text: 1 Thess. 5:14-15

Key Concepts:

  • There are various differences within the body of Christ
  • The unruly must be warned
  • The fainthearted must be comforted
  • The weak must be upheld

We are living with the expectation of the resurrection and transformation of the saints. We are living with the anticipation of the Rapture of the Church. We are living with the reassuring and comforting hope of the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are sons and daughters of light, children of the day not of the night. We are not appointed to wrath but destined to salvation in Christ. These are among some of the marvelous truths we have learned form Paul in the book of Thessalonians (chapters 4 and 5). How then shall we live in light of these truths and the return of Christ? Paul answered this question using a series of exhortations. He disclosed various duties that church members must share (1 Thess. 5:13). Paul also pointed out to different types of believers that make up the body of Christ and informed us on how to care for them, for each other.

There are various differences within the body of Christ

Church leaders and members are all accountable for their own attitudes and conduct toward one another. In order to have the right mindset, believers need to understand this basic principle. Christians must love, encourage, respect, build each other up; however, we are not all the same. There are individual differences, personality differences, various levels of emotional and spiritual maturity, different levels of need, that calls for distinct approaches and methods to accomplish the same goal. We need to be sensitive to these differences that exist among the saints.

The unruly must be warned

The “unruly” is first group of people we need to be aware, apart from the privative alpha “un” the word ‘ruly,’ or atakteo in Greek is translated to “set in order.’ So, with the prefix attached, we understand that Paul is talking about ‘someone who is living in disorder’, one who has a disorderly conduct. Orderliness is military concept and necessity. By ignoring commands given by a superior officer, a disorderly soldier puts his and the life of others in danger. The same is true for the spiritually unruly or insubordinate. They are those who do not know how to follow rules. They are naysayers who disagree for the sake of disagreeing. They are also people who use their influence to cause others to do as they do. They influence the weak by simply being present and acting as they do.  The unruly are often not teachable, for they are married to their own foolishness. They are too proud to give up their own belief. They reject God’s authority by convincing themselves that they are rebelling against men.

Two factors may contribute to this issue: Growing up in a home that lacked discipline and believing whatever they chose to. The other possibility is having parents who were too rigid, who perhaps were emotionally abusive. As a result, the unruly person has an internal sense of rebellion against any and all authority.

Paul urged us to warn the unruly. We can instruct them by leading them to the truth of the Word of God. If they persist in rebellion however, they may have to be disciplined. And if that does not work either, excommunicating them is the only way to keep them from infecting others with their disease. Hopefully, that will afford them time to reflect on their attitudes and behaviors which could lead them to submission and repentance. These people should be discipled and brought to restoration. However, sometimes, it is impossible to restore them because they are not teachable. At that point, they can be considered as “heathens” (Matt. 18:17.) But even then, we should continue to pray for them. In fact, however difficult it might be to deal with the unruly, patience is the proper response. They should be allowed time to change and provided with the necessary resources. They should be warned repeatedly, and patiently offered a process by which to grow. However, their unruliness should never be tolerated.

 

The fainthearted must be comforted

This category speaks of those who are fragile, easily broken. They are teachable. They are willing to repent but are easily discouraged. They are easily distracted by the unruly. They are so weak; they are prone to temptation. They are vulnerable to sin. The fainthearted is often unable to face conflict. They lack the courage to endure. They might even be too timid and insecure to do anything for God. They are afraid of failing, afraid of being ridiculed. But they long to take God seriously, learn, grow spiritually, and please God but next to the unruly, they’ll digress or stall rather than progress. They need the right support, comfort, and encouragement. They need to be discipled. They need someone to come along side them and support them. And when they get discouraged, someone needs to lead them by the hand. They need a specific, gentle, approach to endure and prosper.

The weak must be upheld

This group lacks spiritual and moral strength. They are weak in the faith. They are vulnerable. They are the immature who have lacked in resources and experience to have strength. They are the new converts, the babies of the faith. They need wise loving mentors, someone to teach and invest in them. They are flowers waiting to bloom with the right support, environment, and nutrition. They are people whose growth may later be surprising, however. Indeed, they sometimes grow to be leaders, faithful servants, and reliable support for others. They also can be harmed by the unruly.

In conclusion…

Paul exhorted us not to render evil for evil, not to take matters into our hands (1 Thess. 5:15).  We need to pursue justice and righteousness but never revenge. As children of God, we should not wish evil on, even, the evildoers. Afterall, we are commanded to pray for our enemies. God alone can transform the hearts of men. Indeed, vengeance taints the avenger as well.  Before you act, check your heart when you feel vengeful. As Martin Luther King said, “it takes courage to forgive those who have hurt you.” Vengeance belongs to God alone (Rom. 12: 17-21). Even in the face of racism and other crimes against us, this must be the message we preach and the lesson we teach. We must pursue good at all time. Whether unruly, fainthearted, or weak, we should be patient with all (1 Thess. 5:15).  The unruly may or may not be of the flock, but the weak and the fainthearted are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and therefore have the potential to grow and be all they can be for the glory of God. We should suffer long with them. We should not be quick to judge, or to give up on anyone. Rather, strive to see the good, the potential in others. School the unruly, strengthen the weak, walk alongside the fainthearted, in doing so we glorify and please our God.

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