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Waiting for the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ

1 Thessalonians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Paul gave thanks to God for the Thessalonians genuine love for God exhibited in their work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in Jesus Christ. They have turned to God from Idols and have served the living God. They have become an imitator of Paul and of Christ. They have become an example to other believers in the neighboring places and cities.

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Thanksgiving for Evidence of Changed Lives (vv. 2-10)

Introduction:
What should the Christians do while waiting for the Lord’s Coming?
Christians believe that Christ will come again to earth at the end of time in an event usually described as the parousia (Greek for “arrival” or “presence”).
The repeated theme of 1 Thessalonians is “the coming of the Lord” or “The Day of the Lord”. Referring to the 2nd coming of the Jesus.

10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

19 For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming?

13 so that your hearts may be established blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain until the Lord’s coming, will not possibly precede those who have fallen asleep.

2 for you yourselves well know that the day of the Lord is coming in the same way as a thief in the night.

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray to the Lord that in studying 1 Thessalonians
This will enable us to examine ourselves with respect to the salvation that we received. Are we living our lives for Christ who saved us?
2. This will remind us not be “idle” for the Day of the Lord is near.
3. This will teach us what we should do while waiting for the Lord’s coming.
We can pick-up important lessons from this letter of Paul to the Thessalonians for our maturity and above all for the glory of God.
Background of the Letter:
Thessalonica was the largest city in first-century Macedonia and the capital of the province. It was a free city. Paul, Silas, and Timothy evangelized the city against the strong opposition of the Jews; but, though their stay was short, they were successful in establishing a church (Acts 17:4)
To help the new church, Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians not long after Timothy came to him (1 Thess. 3:6).
This letter was written around AD 50.
BOOK:

a. Thanksgiving for their faith, love, and hope in Jesus Christ (vv. 2-4)

2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;

3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and csteadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,

Work of Faith = Faith that is not dead
Labor of Love = Love that is not limited to Words
Steadfastness of hope = Hope that is not shortsighted.
4. They have shown that truly, they are God’s chosen people, evidenced by their fruit.

4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;

b. The power of the Gospel in their lives (vv. 5-10)

5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

They become imitators of Paul and of Christ - endure suffering. (1:6)
They’ve experience joy despite of tribulation (1:6)

6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

As a result, they have become an example to all believers in neighboring cities, and the gospel spread throughout (1:7-8)

7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.

They turned to God from Idols. (1:9).
turned = verb, active. daily turning to God and away from Idol.

9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a areception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve da living and true God,

The Gods at Thessalonica
Thessalonica was filled with images of gods, altars, and temples (Acts 17:1–9). The Thessalonians worshiped Athena, Demeter, Persephone, Poseidon, Pan, Hades and many other deities. The first converts in the city had “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess 1:9). When they became believers, they abandoned their family and community gods, committing what the rest of society regarded as an antisocial act.
Many in Thessalonica regarded Paul’s proclamation of “another king, one called Jesus” as a challenge to Roman imperial power—one that generated hostilities against him and the Thessalonian believers (Acts 17:6–9).
Application:
What should be our response to God?
- Man needs to be delivered from Idolatry and only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can deliver us from idolatry.
- There must be an active daily turning away from idols.
Served the living and true God (1:9)
served = greek douleuo meaning “slave”.
living and true = unlike the false God’s of Thess.
Application:
What should be our response to God?
Waited for Jesus’s 2nd coming (1:10)

10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

wait = remain, (present, active, infinitive)
"In the last two verses [vv. 9 and 10] we have two words which cover the whole Christian life— 'serve' and 'wait.'"
"This appeal well illustrates the doctrinal teaching of this Epistle. It is thus, 'Live a holy life, that you may be prepared to meet your Lord.'"
"Believers live anticipating a coronation (2 Tim 4:8) rather than a condemnation."
ILLUSTRATION:
WE MUST CONTINUE TO SERVE AND WAIT FOR THE LORD AND NOT BE IDLE BECAUSE GOD IS VERY PATIENT WITH US, HE SACRIFICED SO MUCH TO “RESCUE” US AND SO WE MUST WAIT FOR HIM WITH TRUST AND CONFIDENCE. HIS RESCUING US IS VERY COSTLY.
1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 312: Costly Rescue

COSTLY RESCUE

Topics: Blood of Christ; Evangelism; God’s Love; Great Commission; Redemption; Sacrifice; Salvation

Reference: 1 Peter 1:18–21

For four years Emperor Theodore III of Ethiopia had held a group of fifty-three European captives (thirty adults and twenty-three children), including some missionaries and a British consul. By letter Queen Victoria pleaded in vain with Theodore to release the captives, who were held in a remote nine-thousand-foot-high bastion deep in the interior.

Finally, the queen ordered a full-scale military expedition from India to march into Ethiopia, not to conquer the country and make it a British colony, but simply to rescue a tiny band of civilians.

The invasion force included thirty-two thousand men, heavy artillery, and forty-four elephants to carry the guns. Provisions included fifty thousand tons of beef and pork and thirty thousand gallons of rum. Engineers built landing piers, water treatment plants, a railroad, and a telegraph line to the interior, plus many bridges. All of this was necessary to fight one decisive battle, after which the prisoners were released. Then everyone packed up and went home. The British expended millions of pounds to rescue a handful of captives.

—Jim Reapsome, Current Thoughts and Trends (May 1999

CONCLUSION:
Man needs to be delivered from Idolatry and only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can deliver us from idolatry.
Sinners / idol worshippers will not enter heaven, they will go to hell when they die. God rescued them by sending Paul, Silas, and Timothy to preach the Gospel to them.
I want to remind and encourage the believers, as God’s chosen people, rescued from the slavery of sin and idolatry, to act like one, to develop in their character and be an example of faith that work, love that labors, and endure with hope as we wait for the Lord’s coming. Our sufferings as Christians will not compare to the joy that we will experience in our resurrection with Jesus Christ.
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