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God’s judgment, godly pastors, and Christian living, 1 Thessalonians 5

Paul here addresses three more problems present in the Thessalonian church: questions about the day of the Lord (vv. 1-11), how church officers should be viewed (vv. 12-13), and various Christian responsibilities the church had (vv. 14-22).

Since the beginning of their church Paul taught about “the day of the Lord,” a period of world-wide judgment followed by the establishment of the kingdom. The Thessalonians probably thought that the great persecution they experienced meant that the day of the Lord had come, but here Paul rules that out. That future time of world-wide judgment will happen suddenly when unbelievers least expect it (vv. 2-3). It will involve God’s judgment on unbelievers, a time of great wrath, which God has not appointed Christians to experience (vv. 5-10).

Christians must have a loving, high regard and respect for their spiritual leaders who work hard among them (vv. 12-13). His admonition, “be at peace among yourselves” (v. 13b), shows that problems between church leaders and members isn’t a new thing!

Last, Christians must be faithful in all the different aspects of church life (vv. 14-22).

Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On

  1. Truths about the end times are essential for basic Christian living and church life. Paul taught these things to new believers! Sadly, “end times” teaching is too often ridiculed, viewed as non-essential or unimportant, or is all that some focus on. A Christian’s “balanced diet” of Christian truth must include truth about the end times!
  2. Christians “quench the Spirit” (v. 19) when they don’t listen to or disobey God’s Word. God’s Word is the Spirit’s sword (Eph 6:17). The Holy Spirit works through the Word to save souls (1:5), bring joy to Christians’ hearts (1:6), and guide and protect believers from sin (4:8). Don’t quench the Spirit by a disinterested attitude or disobedient spirit!
  3. When Jesus comes God will remove every trace and effect of sin from human life (v. 23)! “Amen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20).
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