MP3: The Rapture Road Thru 1 Thessalonians 4
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
Since the first installment of The Truth Will Set You Free podcast series titled “The Rapture Road,” Pastor Vic Batista and Nathan Jones have been teaching through the Bible’s prophetic book of 1 Thessalonians in a verse-by-verse study. We will continue with chapter four and verses 9-12 concerning Paul’s advice on how to live a quiet life.
How To Live A Quiet Life
Vic Batista: First Thessalonians 4:9-12 provides us with some great advice about how we as Christians should live.
“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.”
Vic Batista: Isn’t that a wonderful passage? Verse 12 advises that Christians should walk properly, meaning following after the Holy Spirit who was given us once we were saved, as verse 8 reveals. And, what great advice verse 11 provides when telling us to mind our own business.
Nathan Jones: Stop gossiping? Christian can be the worst when it comes to gossiping.
Vic Batista: Yes, and we at times couch our gossip in public prayer, often called “heavenly sharing.” Christians should watch our speech. A lot of times people just want to hear the latest personal information for the sake of gossip, but they really aren’t planning on helping the person who’s struggling or is in need. Discussions on social media, such as Facebook, are laced primarily with gossip. People are interested in what others are doing, but never really wanting to build a relationship and help those people. Therefore, as Christians, when we post things online we should make sure that Christ is first and that there is never any gossip.
Nathan Jones: The subject of gossip reminds me of a time in my life. Vic, you tell your stories of your pre-Christian years involved in a street gang. Well, during my early college years I, too, was a member of a different type of gang. I was a member of a gang of old ladies!
In my youth I worked at a nursing home where a lot of the employees there were older women themselves. And, wow, did they gossip! During breaks, they would sit around the table and gossip about this person and gossip about that person. Every conversation oozed with negativity. I found myself being drawn into their conversation, and weirdly enough since I am a guy, I also became a gossip. I ended up with a very negative outlook about things. Leaving that job was for the best because I didn’t like what I’d become. So, you don’t have to be in a street gang to be dragged down into sin. You can be a member of any type of gang that isn’t living Christ-like and be pulled into sin.
Vic Batista: I can say then that Nathan Jones was a member of a real rough and tumble gang of old ladies?
Nathan Jones: Those old lady gangs could become quite rough. Sharp tongues!
Any influences that draw us away from becoming more Christ-like are negative. That’s why the Apostle Paul calls Christians to lead quiet lives and to live in harmony and love. Verse 9’s call to brotherly love reinstates the Golden Rule to, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Jesus commanded His followers to love God and love others. Again, the message for Christians is clear in that we are taught by God to love one another. When we love other people as much as we love ourselves, then we are not hurting them. That means we are not slandering them. We are not being sexually immoral with them. We are not gossiping about them.
Paul also exhorts us when walking properly to work with our own hands. In other words, don’t be a slacker, don’t be lazy, don’t live off the government and other people. Work for your food. If we walk properly with the Holy Spirit and live harmoniously in love with those around us, then the Lord promises in verse 12 that we will lack for nothing.
Vic Batista: Paul provides us with a wonderful word of encouragement and warning not to get ourselves into these compromising situations. While we wait for Christ’s return, we are to continue to do what is right, work with our own hands, and trust the Lord to provide. Don’t waste your time gossiping, rather invest that time wisely in pursuing Christ-likeness.
Nathan Jones: Yes, and don’t hang out in street gangs and gangs of gossipy old ladies.
Vic Batista: There you go!
In the fifteenth part of our travels along the Rapture Road and our verse-by-verse study of 1 Thessalonians, we have finally reached that great passage which teaches about the Rapture.