Chapter 4

The Life that Pleases God: 4:1-5.  
People often wonder how to know God’s will in their lives. The Bible clearly reveals them. God does all things according to His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus.  God wants us to live a holy life (4:3; Ephesians 3:11).  Paul refers to the Thessalonians that they are saints of God (3:13).  So he urges them to live a separated life in this world. It is vital to know our identity in Christ to live a life that pleases God. Paul wants them to live a life that pleases God.  Paul already instructed them the importance of it while he was with them. Now he gives specific instructions about it (4:3-8). They should live a pure and holy life by abstaining from sexual immorality. Premarital and extramarital sexual relationships are not the will of God. The only sexual relationship God blesses is that of a man and woman committed to each other in marriage.  Adultery will bring irreparable damage to marriage and children. It will destroy the reputation of the church and the testimony of Christ. Adultery is a sin against God.  Thessalonians came out of a corrupt culture and they were in need of clear instructions in this area.  Paul compares our body to a vessel of clay set apart for God’s use (2 Timothy 2:20-21). The believers should control their bodies in holiness and honor. They are chosen to be holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4).  The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are given for our sanctification 

(2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 17:17).  They are commanded to flee from sexual immorality 

(1 Corinthians 6:18).  The more we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, the less likely we will be given to sexual temptations (Romans 13:14;  2 Corinthians 10:5; Galatians 5:1).  Ask God to give a desire and strength to live a holy life.

Continue in Brotherly Love: 4:6-12.  
Knowing God’s will gives meaning and purpose to life.  Christians should not cheat a brother by committing adultery with his wife (Exodus 20:17).  God will judge them for such sin.  For God has called us to be holy and not to live in impurity (4:7).   To be holy means to be different and pure in God’s sight. Anyone who refuses to live such life not only rejects human rules but despises God.  Paul is reminding the Thessalonians about the importance of brotherly love (4:9).  They were already told that they should love one another. The emphasis here is our love and care for other believers (2 Peter 1:7). We love God because He first loved us and gave us His Spirit to love others (Romans 5:5). Christ commanded to love one another (John 13:34).  The mark of discipleship is love (John 13:35). Love is the bond of perfection that brings perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14).  True love never keeps records of wrong doings (1 Corinthians 13:5).  Paul urges believers to grow in their love more and more.  We should live a quiet life, minding our own business. Paul wants them to strive to be the best workers and live properly before the watching world. Do not draw attention to yourself by your laziness. Christians should be diligent in all that they are doing. We can’t expect others to take our message seriously if they don’t see we are diligent and faithful in what we are doing.  Such a lifestyle will be our greatest sermon. The motivating reason for such life is God’s gracious calling and His great love for us (4:7).  Pray that God would give you a desire to please him and share His love with others.  

The Comfort of Christ’s Return:  4:13-15.  
Paul gives considerable emphasis to the second coming of Christ in his letters to Thessalonians.  In this passage Paul explanations the implication of Christ’s return.  He wanted to comfort them with the words of hope. Some of them quit working  and were waiting for the return of Christ. These believers were concerned about their departed ones. They wondered what would happen to them.  Paul does not want his readers to be uninformed about those who are asleep (4:13).  The word “Sleep” is often used in the New Testament as a metaphor for death (John 11:11; Matthew 9:24; 27:52). Though we are all sorrowful about our departed ones, we don’t sorrow like people who have no hope.  The word “Hope” refers to confident expectation in the Bible rather than wishful thinking. Our hope is rooted in Christ’s bodily resurrection and his return(John 11:25).  Christ is first-fruits of resurrection and those who belongs to him next to be raised. The hope of resurrection is the fundamental Christian doctrine. If Christ is not risen, our faith is useless and we are still in our sin (1 Corinthians 15:14-19).  Are you saved? Do you have this hope in Christ?

Are we Ready to Meet the Lord? 4:16-18.   
​Paul gives details of what will happen when Christ returns.  Those who are alive will not meet Christ ahead of those who are in the grave (4:15).  The living saints have no advantage over the dead in Christ at the coming of Christ.  For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So we will always be with the Lord (4:16-17).   The resurrection of the dead occurs before rapture.  From the word "caught up" in Latin we get the word “rapture”. It means to snatch away by force. Christ himself will come down from heaven. It will be the fulfillment of prophecies (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20-21).   We will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2).  Christ destroyed Satan’s power by His death and resurrection (Hebrews 2:14).  Nobody can stop our Lord from returning to receive his own.  Christ is coming with a commanding shout. This is the shout of authority and power over sin and death (John 11:43).   Christ is coming with the voice of an archangel. Michael the archangel contented with the devil when he argued about Moses’ body (Jude 1:9). The voice of the archangel will silence all Satan’s accusations.  He is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10).  Christ is also coming with the sound of the trumpet of God.  In the Old Testament trumpets were sounded to gather Israel (Numbers 10:1-3).  What a glorious day when believers will meet their Lord in the air to be with him forever!  Paul points out that the Thessalonians should comfort one another with these words. This is our blessed hope.  We will be reunited with Christ and our departed ones (4:18).  This is also the purifying and challenging hope (Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:1-3; 2:28; 1 Corinthians 15:58).  Paul gives to the believers promises to provide assurance that the Lord will come to receive them to himself. Those who have this blessed hope will abound in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).  Do you have this hope in Christ?





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