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September 10, 2023

Don’t Miss the Signs (1 Thessalonians 5)

Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5
Service Type:

Driving back home from a recent engagement, I had a moment that made me reflect on the importance of recognizing and not ignoring signs. As I navigated the road, I found myself overlooking the signs guiding me home until I saw a glaring one that read, "Florida Turnpike Next Exit." It was then that I realized I had missed the crucial sign that would have directed me home the correct way.

In our journey through the teachings of 1 Thessalonians 5, we delve into the vital message of not missing the signs that God provides to guide us through life. The passage, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 (NKJV), underscores the importance of being aware of the times and seasons and not being caught off guard when the day of the Lord arrives like a thief in the night.

The Day of the Lord is a central theme in this sermon, taking us from the Rapture to the Renewal. The Apostle Paul reminds us that while we may not know the exact day or hour, we can discern the signs of His coming. Just as we recognize seasonal changes in the world around us, we should be attuned to the signs of Christ's return. These signs include societal unrest, pandemics, lawlessness, political division, wars, and more. People, weary of these troubling times, may start looking for an alternative to Christ—possibly an Anti-Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 reinforces that as believers, we are not in darkness, and the Day of the Lord should not overtake us like a thief. We are sons of light and sons of the day. Thus, we are called to be vigilant and sober, avoiding worldly distractions and influences that can lead us astray.

The message encourages us to "put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation" (1 Thessalonians 5:8). God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ. We are promised a future with Him, whether we are awake or asleep when He returns.

In light of the imminent return of Christ, the sermon emphasizes three key principles:

  1. Be Sober: We should avoid indulging in worldly distractions and remain vigilant, not under the influence of anything that clouds our judgment.
  2. Be at Peace: Recognize and respect the leadership in the church and maintain a peaceful and unified congregation.
  3. Be Patient: We are encouraged to support and strengthen one another, being patient with everyone and pursuing what is good.

Additionally, we are reminded to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks for everything, and not quench the Spirit. The importance of testing all things and abstaining from every form of evil is also highlighted (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22).

Furthermore, believers are called to be sanctified in body, soul, and spirit, separating themselves from the world and living blamelessly before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). This sanctification should be complete and holistic.

The sermon underscores the significance of being others-centered by praying for one another, greeting all believers with love, and sharing the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:25-27).

As we journey through the teachings of 1 Thessalonians 5, we are reminded of the signs that indicate the imminent return of Christ. We are encouraged to live in a manner that reflects our readiness for His coming, being vigilant, at peace, patient, positive, and prayerful. Our sanctification should be complete, and our focus should be on serving others and sharing the message of God's grace.

Presented by Pastor Allen Victor, Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, Florida.

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