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Thursday, November 13, 2008

1 Thessalonians Week 10

It's the end of the world! Well.. that is what we are talking about this week anyway. On Sunday, I will come out of my bunker to teach about the Second Coming.

Paul concludes chapter 4 and begins chapter 5 with this subject. He does this only after talking about how to live for Christ before he returns. I hope that you will see the connection between the The Second Coming and how we live today.

1) Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


What do you look forward to most in the Second Coming? For many, it is the reunion with the dead. 1 Thessalonians tells us that every one of the faithful will be accounted for. What a day that will be! However, we will also be reunited with the Lord, who we have only been able to touch and see in the Lord's Supper and the other means of grace. What will it mean for you to be reunited with Jesus Christ?

2) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

The term "like a thief in the night" is thrown around a lot when we talk about the nature of Jesus return. Paul uses these images to warn of the judgement that is to come. He did not want the church to become lax. What is the danger in forgetting that Jesus will come at an unknown time like a thief in the night?

The video below connects the term "like a thief in the night" to several disasters, including September 11th. Watch how the narrator makes this connection. Is it good to connect these disasters to specific verses in the Bible? Is this how we should reach out to the unchurched about the last day?

The Bible does say that there will be natural disasters and wars, and they will be signs that mark the end. It does not say which ones will mark the end! One the one hand every disaster should remind of us the end and the effects of sin in the world, but we cannot use these disasters to pinpoint Jesus' return. The Bible does not give specifics about them.

Since we live in the time of grace, God no longer deals with us out of his wrath. Jesus has taken on the fullness of God's punishment. Therefore, since we live in grace, we should reach out to the unchurched with grace. Instead, of using scare tactics about God's judgement; we should approach them with the promise of the Gospel. Point them to the end of suffering, the end of spiritual struggle, and the reunion with the dead. Let them know that God wants to save them on the last day. By faith they can take hold of these promises.

3) When Jesus returns we will be given new bodies. What does 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 tell us about our new bodies?

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