Monday, November 26, 2018

The General Resurrection

Definition:  the Raising of the Body of all believers in the last day.  (literal body)
This is fundamental and very orthodox teaching since the beginning.

Are glimpses in the Old Testament:
Job 19:25-26
Psm. 16:8-10 (David)
Dan. 12:1-2  (Daniel)
John 11:23-24  (Martha)
So, Jewish people had the Jewish background to head them into this direction of a bodily resurrection.  There was no New Testament at this time.

So, the doctrine developed with teachings and revelations by Jesus.  (example:  John 6:38-40 )

So... Paul to the Thessalonians:  1 Thess. 4:13-18 - This teaching = incredulous to the believer.

Note:  (1)  idea of "soul sleep" - contrast with the Rich man and Lazarus, thief on the cross - "this day...", saints in heaven (Revelation).    The idea of soul sleep doesn't bear out in Scripture  (can't be upheld)
         (2)  "loud command"  (vs. 16)  compare to Lazarus as an example:  John 11:43
         (3)  "caught up"  (vs. 17)  Latin "RAPTUS" => Rapture

Summary = Called, transformed, gathered!!  Compare Matt. 24:30-31

This = far more than life after death.
This = final, complete Redemption!  God will not lose a single thing!!
Our body will be reunited with our soul/spirit.  Rom. 8:19-23
HOW??  = Power of God!!!  (Phil. 3:20-21 )

What will this 'new' body be like??  1 Cor. 15

  (a)  different ... yet the same - 1 Cor. 15:35-38
         example:  seed => plant  DNA exactly the same.

  (b)  spiritual ... yet still physical  - 1 Cor. 15:42-44
      Compare to Jesus' body - Luke 24:36-44

  (c)  created like Adam ... Recreated like Jesus! - 1 Cor. 15:45-49
Note:  1 John 3:2

True!!  But still a mystery to us!! - 1 Cor. 15:50-53
Christian Resurrection .... hence Christian Burial - example:  body buried east to west.  Feet facing east, so at resurrection, upper body will rise to the east.

NOTE:  pagan efforts to destroy the Hope of resurrection by destroying the Body of the believer  (never worked!!)  Will be resurrected by the Power of God!!

Question:  Two Resurrections??? - John 5:28-29  (also in Daniel)
1st. Resurrection:  Rev. 20:4-6
2nd. Resurrection - Rev. 20:11-15
Rev. 20: 6 = ".... no power over them"

Summary, Conclusion, Question:  "who are you going to trust?"  - Rev. 1:18

And so, 1 Thess. 4:18

Closing Scripture:  1 Cor. 15:54-58

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Thanksgiving = America's most celebrated holiday!
92% of ppl. have a special family gathering and meal
83% offer special grace @ that meal.

Because:  (1)  We're blessed - as individuals, as a nation

                (2)  We (inherently) know it!  (even without counting/listing blessings!

                (3)  We know we ought to SAY SO!!  - thanks are due.  People inherently know that blessings come from beyond us.

Thanksgiving = time to (1)  Recognize our blessings
                               to (2)  Recognize the Blesser - (ie:  the source of the blessings)
        Example:  David's prayer - 1 Chron. 29:14, Deut. 8:17-18
Contrast with:  Rom. 1:18-21 - Refusal to recognize Source of blessing leads to (a form of) depravity!
(definition:  moral corruption, wickedness, degeneracy, indecency..)

Numerous studies indicate that showing appreciation, expressing gratitude, acknowledging goodness in my life has Positive Effects!! - physical health, mental health, relational health, attitude, outlook, expectation
Therefore:  1 Thess. 5:18

Is clear we should (1)  develop a grateful heart - attitude
                            (2) give thanks - action
                            (3) develop a habit of thanksgiving

#1.  Develop a Grateful Heart  = An Attitude of Gratitude
How to develop that??
      (1)  focus/ "think on" - Phil. 4:8
      (2)  count  (list your blessings --- literally!!)
Give time and thought to this.

#2.   Give thanks - biblical references of "give thanks" to "be thankful" - 50:1
       Verbal thanks = (1) an offering  Psm. 50:23, Heb. 13:15
Bible is HUGE on "Give Thanks"
can be  (2)  a sacrifice  (ie:  costs)  - 1 Thess. 5:18

#3.    Develop a habit of thanksgiving
Illustration:  contrast with "habit of complaint"  - Psm. 107:1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-22, 31-32, 43

#4.  (attempt to..) inspire others through thanksgiving 
Example:  saying grace in public place
To inspire Thanksgiving = to inspire Worship
To inspire Worship = connect people to God

On one hand, special Thanksgiving meal, prayer, focus, wristband = good thing!!
However, we know it should be year around!!

Closing Scripture:  Psm. 106:1-2, 47-48

Monday, November 12, 2018

Lifestyle Matters - Community Life

Paul addresses:  (1) first - the Gospel - how to access God
                Then  (2) - lifestyle - how to live afterward 
On one hand , all people need this instruction/exhortation - makes no difference how close we are to the Lord.   (The Jews already had the Mosaic Law - knew God's parameters for how to live)

However, is especially true of Gentiles in that day.  Because:
         (1)  people raised with a pagan worldview
and therefore (2)  practiced a pagan lifestyle - mostly very different from God's will.
This was pre-Christian time.

Comparison:  challenge to a post-Christian Society (which we in 21st. Century America seem to be in or heading in.)
On one hand, most = believers in God  (Christ)
However, NOT versed in the Biblical Worldview!

POINT:  letters to Thessalonica - Still relevant today!

in 1 Thessalonians - Paul addresses:
(1)  Sexual purity
(2)  Brotherly Love - between those of the faith - brothers and sisters in Christ
(3)  Community Life/Christian Reputation - from a moral standpoint

1 Thess. 4:11-12 - (includes I.  Basic Instruction and II.  THE Reason for these Instructions.

I.  Pauls' Instructions 
live a quiet life;  mind your own business
            Contrast to:  gossip, busybody, disorderly, divisive.  This causes division rather than cohesion.
Work with your hands, make your own way -
        Contrast to:  idle, loafer, *moocher* - * Reference = those CAPABLE but unwilling"

Was this a problem in Thessalonica?  - 2 Thess. 3:6-15
Is it really a Big Deal?  - 2 Thess. 3:6
(these instructions are:  (1)  by the AUTHORITY of Christ
                                    (2)  according to the TEACHINGS of Christ
Not just from Paul himself.

II.  Paul's Reasons  - 1 Thess. 4:12
"daily life .... might win... outsiders"
on line here = (1) Reputation + (2) Salvation 
Your reputation can make a difference in someone's salvation

(1)  your daily life = not your religious profession BUT daily PRACTICE!!
By  "FRUIT" you REPRESENT --- the church, the Faith, God!!!

(2)  might WIN = convince/persuade/"win over"
      win respect therefore win souls - Dan. 12:3  Prov. 11:30

(3)  of outsiders - not outside your community, your influence, But = outside .... THE FAITH!!!
Compare to:  1 Tim. 3:7

Summary:  (1)  The Gospel Matters
But also     (2)  your Lifestyle Matters - make Adjustments to make an Eternal Difference.

Closing Scripture:  Matt. 5:13-16

Monday, November 5, 2018

Lifestyle Matters

1 Thess. - background/letter
Paul addresses:  (1)  Gospel - how to access God
     and            (2)  Lifestyle - how to live after accessing God (salvation)
This = typical Pauline style

So:  1 Thess. 4:1 - "to please God" - does not mean make Him happy.
 = according to His Design & Desire  (There is a way to live)

Here Paul addresses (1) sexual purity
                                (2)  brotherly love
                                (3) community life/Christian reputation
These 3 =  (1) primary (fundamental) concerns and (2) cover a lot of moral ground.
These are necessary elements of Christian life.

Last week looked at "sexual purity" - 1 Thess. 4:3

Noted:  (1) this was not new revelation - (example:  Mosaic Law - Jewish people were very clear on sexual purity)  the Law is God's Law!!
            (2)  this was not rules of the Apostles... (but from God)
            (3)  This sets Christians apart!!  1 Pet. 2:9 - peculiar, not odd, but particular to one person
The idea is not stand out, but stand APART - example:  THEN and NOW.

Today:  Brotherly Love

II.  Brotherly Love - 1 Thess. 4:9-10
Word = philadelphias (So, William Penn in 1682 - named the capital of the state coming from his name - Pennsylvania Philadelphia (city of brotherly love)

In Classic Greek - word refers to love of siblings, brothers by birth
New Testament/Christian use - love of brothers/sisters in Christ - by the New birth.  (those who've been born again!)

Paul suggests this:
(1) comes supernaturally - to believers - (something new, something special)
1 Thess. 4:9 - "taught by God"  - 1 Thess. 4:8 - Holy Spirit within
When we are with Christians who follow Christ, there is a special bond.

(2)  should be developed - 1 Thess. 4:10 - with Rom. 13:8 - should get better and better at

(3)  should be practiced - because this is more than sentiment/feeling
1 John 3:16-18  James 2:15-16
The indwelling Holy Spirit teaches you to love the brothers.  Do you treat them as valuable?

PROBLEMS!!  (1)  some will take advantage of this 
                         (2)   your brother is not always lovable 
                         (3)  you are not always loving  (willing!!)

So:  2 verses :  Jesus answer to "who is my neighbor?" - Luke 10:36-37 - "go and do"

We are obligated!!!   BUT - we needn't be naive!   Matt. 10:16 - love without harm.  There is a point where not to be used!


Lifestyle Matters -  (makes a difference)  (1)  for YOU 
                                                              (2)  for those close to you  (especially family)
                                                              (3)  for those you live among (community)

Lifestyle has  (1)  immediate impact - tomorrow, next week, next year
                     (2)  eternal impact  - Eph. 4:1

Closing Scripture:  Eph. 4:1-3