LIVING IN THE LIGHT, How to be a Christ Follower, Week 6, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11

Week 1, HOW TO BE A CHRIST FOLLOWER,                           How to be a Christ Follower, I & 2 Thessalonians .001                                                                                    1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Week 2, DOING MINISTRY AS A CHRIST FOLLOWER,                  1 Thessalonians 2:1-13

Week 3, STANDING FIRM AS A CHRIST FOLLOWER,                       1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:8

Week 4, FILLING THE GAPS IN YOUR FAITH,                                      1 Thessalonians 3:9-4:12

Week 5, WHAT HAPPENS TO CHRIST FOLLOWERS WHEN THEY DIE?  1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:3

WEEK 6, HOW A CHRIST FOLLOWER LIVES IN THE LIGHT, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11

I. PROPER PLACE

             A. Not in Darkness

“But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters,” (4a)

‘these things…’ (look at 4:2, “For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.” From 4:2-5:3 the Apostle Paul outlines the issues and ideas from God that the Thessalonians need to understand.  He doesn’t want them to be in the dark on any of them.)

               1. Overflow in Loving Others

“And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.” (3:12)

               2. Abstain from Sexual Immorality

“God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. ” (4:3-5)

               3. Be Prepared for The Rapture

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.” (4:13-14)

Then the next several verses…

ACTION A: The Lord’s Coming from Heaven

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.” (16a)

         – Angels Shouting, God Making Noise!!!

ACTION B: The Christ Follower’s Body  will Meet the Lord

“First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves.” (16b)

        1. Since the Christ Follower’s Spirit is already with Jesus, his Body will Rise from the Grave.

2. This Body will Meet Jesus & our Spirits to be Made New.

ACTION C: The Living Believers will Meet the Lord

“Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” (17a)

ACTION D: All Christ Followers will Live Forever with Him

“Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” (17b-18)

  1. Not Surprised

“…and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.” (4b)

                            Last week we ended with message with talk of  ‘The Day of the Lord’

“For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.” (5:2)

Paul is saying …

  1. You won’t be surprised (overtaken or seized)

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

II. PROPER ALLEGIANCE 

  1. New Life in the Day-Light

“For you are all children of the light and of the day;”(5a)

  1. Born  of the Light, ‘Huios Phos’ (son of the light)
  2. It is our True Home

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7

– Light is the Dominant Influence in the Christ Follower’s Life.  It is the Nature that God has put into every Believer.

      2.  No Life in the Dark-Night

“we don’t belong to darkness and night.” (5b)

1. We are not ‘of’ the night, that is not our place

2. We belong elsewhere.

III. PROPER RESPONSE

  1. Since We Are Of the Light 

“So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.” (6)

A. Be Watchful – Stay Alert, Paying Attention

B. Be Clear Headed – Free from Intoxicants, In Control

“Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk.” (7)

I saw a good picture of lack of control.  There was a drunk man walking back to the boat and lost control, full of toxins he feel into the rocks.  Very sad.

Jesus said, “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.” John 12:35

          2. Since We Are Of the Day

“But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.” (8)

                A. Think Right  – Clear of Mind. Fighting Temptation.

               B. Dress Right,

                       i. Breastplate of Faith –  Trusting in God’s Person. Trusting in God’s Powers. Trust in God’s Promises.  Trust in God’s Plans.’

                   – Faith provides the defense against temptation, because all sin results from a lack of trust in God.

                     for example…I worry because I fail to see God’s will in action in my life…I lie because I want to hide God’s truth…I commit adultery because I deny God’s wisdom in His teaching on marriage…etc.

                     ii. Breastplate of Love – Delight in God.  Devotion to God.

– Love of God provides a deterrent to sin, sin is a failure to Love God and his ways.  “Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind”  If you are delight in this love you will stand strong in the Light.

                  iii. Helmet  of Hope for Salvation – Hope in the future.  Hope for now.

– The breastplate covers the heart, the helmet covers the head.  Protect your head with the hope you have in Christ and don’t let the darkness destroy your clear, sober thinking.

IV. PROPER DESTINATION

   A.   God has Destined Us… 

  1. For Salvation through Jesus, Not for Wrath 

For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.” (9)

                   2.  To be with Jesus Forever

“Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.” (10)

  B. Jesus has Called Us…

  1. To Encourage Others!
  2. To Build  Each Other up!

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (11)