June 26 2016

Living as a Christian

What does it MEAN to be a Christian?     Oftentimes there is a tendency to think of Christianity as something you do on Sunday morning. We should look at it differently, though.    A Christian is not just someone that takes in a service on Sunday morning, then goes off to their life for the next 6 days….

A Christian is someone that has trusted in Christ – and has been forgiven of all of their sins…and then their life CHANGES as a result.   By doing so, one becomes a member of the Body of Christ – and we has a new family.     But….this FAMILY…..expects things from us.   This FAMILY should change us and make us different.   

So…with that in mind….what does it MEAN to be a Christian?   How does that impact our thinking?   

Let’s take a look at our text today:  

1 Thess 5:12-15   --    What it means to be a Christian   

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June 23 2016

Ready or Not! Here he Comes!

Tbe “rapture” is something that Christians have been looking forward to for almost 2000 years.   The Bible tells us that after Jesus rose from the dead, he told us to go forth and make disciples of all nations. 

He then ascended into Heaven – and the Holy Spirit came to guide the church until someday, he’s going to come back.     We don’t know how long that’s going to be.   The world has been waiting for 2000 years or so.   It might be another 2000, or 5000 years or more.   Or it might be today!   When he comes back – we’re going to see the event known as “the rapture”  

THIS event is what Paul is talking about in today’s text.   

Now….some may say…”Why does this matter?”     Well…it matters for a number of reasons.     It matters…..because it helps us understand an eternal perspective, and it maybe spurs us on to think about things a bit more urgently today.  

One of the issues facing the early church was that people were dying – Christians were dying.   The people in Thessalonica were wondering what was going to happen to those that died – were they going to be in the coming Kingdom of Christ?     So….we see some answers here, today.   

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June 14 2016

Learning to Walk in Love and Honesty

I love watching a baby’s first steps.   It’s kind of fun to watch them as they kind of do the stiff-legged Frankenstein walk…..as they kind of waddle around….

But in time….they are soon running around so fast that Mom and Dad can barely keep up!    

The Christian life is similar in a way---at first…we barely understand who Jesus is, or what it means to be a Christian…but in time, we start to get around a bit better…and in no time, we are doing great.   

Let's open up to 1 Thessalonians 4:9-13 

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June 10 2016

Be Set Aside

Let's look at a vacuum cleaner belt remover tool – it’s ONLY purpose is to place on the bottom of the vacuum cleaner and to be able to hook the belt on it so you can remove the roller.     

It has NO other purpose…you can’t brush your teeth with it.  You can’t use it to mow the lawn.   You can’t use to cook dinner, or to even vacuum the floor.    It won’t fix your car, or help you with ANYTHING ELSE….but to help you remove the belt on the vacuum.   

For all intents and purposes….this belt remover tool has been set aside – it is “set aside” – it’s designed for its purpose.  
 
Are you ‘set aside” as this tool is? Are you being set aside and is God working on YOU and giving you a specific purpose?    I would suggest that if you’re a believer in Jesus…you’re a LITTLE bit like this tool that I have here…..
Yes-we do have a purpose in life.   Our purpose….is to glorify God.
     
Today’s topic from the text is a big word:   Sanctification.   
In our text here……Paul has written the Thessalonians…and he’s told them that they have believed in Jesus, they’re faith has grown. 
 
Last week we saw that in chapter 4 he told them to put down roots and grow in Jesus.   
THIS week..he’s going to talk about the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life – about how the Spirit CHANGES US once we believe in Jesus.
   
Sanctification:    Process of God making the believer holy—resulting in a changed life.    

In the SAME way this tool has a SPECIAL PURPOSE – we also have a special purpose – it’s “set aside” and made JUST for that.   It’s special.    It’s not like the rest of the tools in my tool bag.   

Christians are to be “set aside” – we are to be different from the rest of society.   We are not to be the same as everyone around us.
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