"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are
unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is
good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray
without ceasing. In everything, give thanks; for this is the will of God
in Jesus Christ concerning you. Quench not the spirit. Despise not
prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearances of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify
you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 5:14-23
The writer in Chapter 5 reminds us that Christ will one day
return for His bride. As in the words of the song What a Day that Will
Be, we, the church, are children of the Light. We should be watching
and waiting for His coming. We know not the time or the hour; not even the
angels of Heaven are aware of the time for His appearing. There is nothing
hindering Him from stepping out on a cloud today. We are told He may come
as a thief in the night; we must work for the Kingdom while we are waiting.
People wonder, "What can I do to work for the Kingdom?"
The answer is simple -- we can do many things. Sadly, some people thing
that just because they are not a preacher, teacher, or deacon that they have no
particular function in the church. It's not just the preacher's job to do
everything there is to do in the church.
Let me describe some of the things we as children of God
are obligated to do:
Verse 14: Warn them that are unruly. The
unruly are those who do not have their minds set on God. We can help these
people by offering them the Gospel. We can tell them there is not a
problem that God cannot handle, and there is not a mess that God cannot clean
up! People need to know which direction to turn; even those who have
stepped out of line with God need to be reminded that God is still there.
For those who have dropped out of church, we can tell them we have missed them
and would love to see them back. God as often as you need to. Tell
them you love them and that God loves them, too. Send cards to those you
have not see for awhile. Go to the unlearned. Introduce the Bible to
them and help them grasp who Jesus is. Be patient toward all men. I
need your prayers on this issue. I don't have the patience I need.
It is hard for me to wait on anything.
Verse 15: Render no evil to another. It is so
easy to give someone the "What Fer" when they have given you the "What Fer".
We should never trade evil for evil. Someone must live about that sort of
thing. Learn to be humble; be bigger than the situation. If you want
to live a life where people can see your Christian walk, live above the emotion
Verse 16: Rejoice evermore. Sometimes I get
moody. I get things on my mind and, believe me, I love Lisa but I need for
her to give me my space. She needs her space, too. Husbands and
wives, you know when each other needs their space. When I am moody I find
it hard to rejoice. But Scripture says, "Rejoice evermore." To know
that you are a Christian and that God is preparing a mansion for you -- how can
we not rejoice?
Verse 17: Pray without ceasing. If your mind
is set on Christ, you are talking to Him. What is prayer? Prayer is
talking to God. God speaks to those who speak to Him. The answer to
your prayers comes through the Holy Spirit in His time.
Verse 18: Give thanks in all things. Thanksgiving
comes and we are thankful for this, thankful for that, and so it goes. We
should be thankful all the time. Give thanks when the family is well.
Give thanks when the bank account is low instead of when you have plenty. Give
thanks for the car you drive, even if it does have over a hundred thousand miles
on it. Give thanks for your neighbors. Give thanks in everything,
even when things are not going well, because a thankful heart is a saved heart.
There are three things to remember:
If you will concentrate on these three things, I promise
you the load will be lighter and life will be better. While there are
three things you should do, there are two things you should not do:
Quench not the Spirit. If God tells you to do
something, you must do it.
Despise not prophesy. You say, "Preacher, I'm not
going to get up here and run around the church and act foolish. That is
not what I am talking about. If you feel like raising your hands to God in
praise, you must do it. If God sends you to talk to someone about their
salvation, do you think that you came up with the idea? No, God planted
that idea in your heart. Most likely He has the person ready to receive
you and what you have to say before you arrive.
God enable us to make it through this life. The
Spirit comforts us, He guides us, and He leads us. There are so many
offerings of the Spirit that we do not realize all that we have.
Verse 21: Prove all things; hold fast that which is
good. The Bible talks about wolves being covered in sheep clothing so
that they can come into the flock and fleece them. We need to test all
things. If it doesn't look right or smell right, it probably isn't right.
If I do not stay true to the teachings of what is in the Bible, do not follow
me. Once you find something that is good, hold on. Do not give it
Verse 22: Stay away from evil. God help us all
to stay away from the very appearance of evil. I am often asked this
question, "Do you think it is wrong to do ....?" I answer, "Does it look
evil? Does it act evil?" The Bible says to stay away from anything that
has the appearance of evil. I would rather abstain from doing something
that might cause someone else to stumble.
Verse 23: Jesus is coming back for His church.
If you are saved this morning, you need to live by these things -- rejoice,
pray, give thanks, quench not the Spirit, despise not prophesying, prove all
things, and abstain from all appearances of evil. In everything give
thanks, for this is the will of God. Be thankful for what you have.
Be thankful for what you do not have. Be thankful that you are in the
House of God with freedom to worship as you choose and not in the Middle East.
Be thankful for loving family and friends. Be thankful for the Love of
God. Be thankful for everything. Be thankful that grace still
Sermon edited by Mary King