1 THESSALONIANS 1
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
Help the old and sick as much as you possibly can: especially those whom you think deserve it least, for they are likely to be the ones everyone neglects. Christ's command to do it is not because of their merit, but because it is the will of our Lord and a test of our love and obedience to Him.
Helping those who are in need of help is far more important to Christ than catering to our own comforts and desires, though somehow the latter seems quite important to us at the moment.
The flesh is very self-centered, and serving the flesh will never give us life. We shall be asked about this matter at the judgment seat. It may be rather a sticky question, and it would pay to have a good answer ready. Better yet: a good record ready
Brother Growcott - Search Me O God
7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
...the apostolic preaching was very much simplified in regard to the Jews. All that was necessary was to show them what their prophets taught, and then to prove that to a certain extent their predictions were accomplished in Jesus, as an earnest, that what remained would be fulfilled in and by him likewise.
This was the course pursued by Paul in Thessalonica. He went into their synagogue, and reasoned with them out of the Scriptures of the prophets, opening and alleging, firstly, that the Messiah they were looking for must needs have suffered, and secondly, that he must needs stand up from among the dead.
These were among the first things (εν πρωτοις 1 Cor. 15:3), he delivered to the Jews; how that their Messiah was to die for their sins, according to the prophets; be buried, or
"make his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death,"
and arise on the third day, according to the scriptures. If he could convince them of these things, their minds were then prepared for his third proposition, which was,
"that this is the Messiah, even Jesus, whom I announce to you."
They err greatly who imagine that one method of preaching "the glad tidings of the glory of Christ," would have been suitable for idol-worshipers, and the members of the synagogue. The proposition, that
"Jesus is the Anointed, the Son of the living God,"
would have been meaningless and unintelligible to idolators. To have comprehended it they must have been made previously acquainted with the existence of that living God, and with the doctrine concerning the Anointed One. And this the apostle set himself to do in laying before them the glad tidings of the kingdom, as exhibited in the revelation of his will, which God had purposed to himself.
When they came to understand this part of the subject, they would very naturally desire to know, Who should be the King by whom the world should be ruled in righteousness, when the appointed time for the manifestation of the divine purpose should arrive?
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Aug 1857
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
THE greatest blessing possible is to be used by God in His service- used as part of the glorious divine Plan of Salvation-"workers together with God." We shall be used IF WE ARE USEFUL. Our life's ambition should be to make ourselves useful and suitable. By nature
and natural condition, we are absolutely useless; and there must be a very great change to become useful.
There is a way to become useful: by constant application of the mind to the Word of God and the Spirit of Christ. The "wise" of the world tell us man's greatest need is to be needed. There is considerable truth in this, though it's not the whole truth.
For God's eternal purpose, He "needs" a certain kind of people. He searches for them, as for rare living jewels in the vast dead stone pile of humanity. What a glorious ambition to give our lives to preparing, with His help, to fill that need!
Bro Growcott - Search Me O God
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1st.- "Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity," arising from the complication of international politics, described as "evil going forth from nation to nation," and producing a failing of heart among men (Luke 21:26; Jeremiah 25:32).
2nd.- The coming of Christ as a thief (Rev. 16:15), after the development of certain events to be spoken of hereafter.
3rd. -Resurrection of "the dead in Christ."
4th.- The gathering of the saints to Christ from all parts of the earth, including the living and those who have been dead.
5th. -The judgment of His servants, comprising the rejection of the unworthy; and acceptance of the "good and faithful"; the sending away of the former into the territory of the nations on whom judgment will descend, and the uniting of the latter as "the bride made ready," in glorious marriage, to the long absent but then arrived bridegroom.
6th. -War between the "powers that be," and the Lamb, who shall overcome them.
7th. Heavy judgments inflicted on the nations by Jesus and the saints, producing great slaughter over all the earth, and resulting in the complete abolition of the existing order of things, and in the teaching of righteousness to men.
8th. -Setting up of the kingdom of God, which will last for a thousand years, and then undergo a change in its constitution, adapting it to the necessities of the eternal ages beyond.
This is a general outline of the events which will occur at "the end," in connection with the establishment of the kingdom of God. It is deficient, however, in one important respect; it does not embrace those events which constitute the occasion of the Messiah's thief-like advent, and takes no note of the political signs which are revealed in Scripture as the premonitory indications of the near approach of the end.
These, with the question of how near the world probably lies to the great crisis, will be dealt with in the next lecture.
Christendom Astray Lecture 15