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September 3, 2023

From Sanctification to Glorification (1 Thessalonians 4)

Passage: 1 Thessalonians 4
Service Type:

In this sermon, Pastor Allen Victor of Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville takes us on an enlightening journey through the profound teachings of 1 Thessalonians 4. There are three stages of the Christian Life:  Justification, Sanctification and Glorification.  In today’s message we gain a deeper understanding of our spiritual journey as Pastor Allen delves into the latter two of the three stages:

Sanctification, and Glorification.

Beginning with the introduction of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, Pastor Allen explains how Paul's use of the word “Finally” does not mean he is wrapping up his message but rather letting his readers know he is now getting to his primary purpose of his letter. He emphasizes three key directives: Live Pure, Love More, and Look for the Rapture. These commands are the cornerstones of a fulfilling Christian life.

Verse 1b, "That you should abound more and more," reveals Paul's desire for believers to excel in their faith. Drawing from 3 John 1:2, he challenges us to prosper in all aspects of life, not merely in material wealth but also in spiritual abundance. This prosperity is linked to two areas in which we should abound: Sexual Purity and Love.

Pastor Allen's exploration of sexual purity in verses 3-7 exposes the dangers of sexual immorality and its consequences. He discusses the bondage, baggage, and damage associated with this sin, emphasizing that God's call for sanctification is a path to freedom and wholeness.

Moving on to verses 9-10, we are urged to Abound in Love. Love is not merely a feeling but a conscious choice, and God calls us to love Him, our neighbors, and fellow believers. The five practical steps outlined, such as aspiring to lead a quiet life and minding our own business, offer a comprehensive guide on how to live a life of love.

Finally, Pastor Allen addresses the topic of the Afterlife in verses 13-14. He highlights the misconceptions and different views surrounding this subject, emphasizing the biblical teaching that believers who have passed away in Christ will immediately be with the Lord.  And those who are still living when Christ returns will be taken up to be with Him as well. This message of hope and comfort found in the rapture is a powerful reminder of our ultimate destination.

As the sermon concludes, Pastor Allen encourages us to be prepared for Christ's return, reminding us to seek the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He leaves us with a thought-provoking question: Are you ready for His return, or are you caught up in the world?

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