MP3: The Rapture Road Thru 1 Thessalonians 5
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 now conclude with the Apostle Paul’s final exhortations and blessings in chapter five.
Nathan Jones: The Apostle Paul will end his letter to the church in Thessalonica with a variety of exhortations, blessings, and admonitions. Let’s read verses 12-22 and then we’ll follow up with verses 23-28.
“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
Vic Batista: There are a lot of little pieces of wisdom strewn together there.
Nathan Jones: Right, chapter five is an amazing chapter because there’s so much wisdom included in it. It reminds Christians that while we are here now waiting for Jesus to come and take us home, there’s still a whole lot of work to accomplish. What do we do in the meantime? We are told right here by Paul how we as Christians should live. We should live holy lives and do the work of evangelism in sharing the Gospel with others. That is the Christian’s calling. That’s what our purpose here on earth is to be while we wait for Jesus to rapture up the Church to Heaven.
Vic Batista: Christians need to get out there and proclaim the Good News and hope-filled message of Jesus’ soon return. Bible prophecy provides a great evangelistic tool for doing just that.
Nathan Jones: Indeed! Bible prophecy provides a fantastic tool for evangelism because of the hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled. No other religion exists that offers genuine, detailed, fulfilled prophecies as the Bible does. We’ve seen all 300 Old Testament general prophecies and 109 distinct prophecies fulfilled concerning Jesus’ First Coming. That means that we have 100% proof that Jesus is the Messiah because He fulfilled all of the prophecies about His First Coming. Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah. He descended from the line of David. He was born in Bethlehem. Jesus’ family had to flee to Egypt. His ministry came out of back-water Nazareth. He rode a donkey victoriously into Jerusalem. The Messiah would be crucified, be dead, then buried, and rise again. Again and again and again, Jesus fulfilled ancient prophecies concerning the Messiah.
And, because Jesus did fulfill all of the hundreds of First Coming prophecies, we know that His Second Coming is assured. Nearly 500 verses in the Old Testament and one in every 25 verses in the New Testament prophesy about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The return of Jesus Christ will happen, and according to prophecies concerning the end times, it will happen soon.Nathan Jones: The return of #JesusChrist will happen, and according to #prophecies concerning the #EndTimes, it will happen soon. #rapture Click To Tweet
Sanctified Then Glorified
Vic Batista: As we come to the close of the Rapture Road with 1 Thessalonians 5, we see even in the last verses that Christians are constantly encouraged to pray and to be filled with the Spirit.
Nathan Jones: Which is really what the whole letter to the church in Thessalonica is all about. Verses 23-28 read:
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
Vic Batista: I again see a reference to the return of Jesus Christ in this last portion. Verse 23 reminds us of the Rapture.
Nathan Jones: Yes, Paul yet again reminds his readers that Jesus Christ is indeed returning.
What’s also interesting to me in verse 23 is where it says, “the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely.” Sanctification is the process of becoming more holy, more Christ-like. When you become saved your sins are forgiven, but you’ll still spend the rest of your life becoming more Christ-like. That’s called the process of sanctification. And so, Paul is saying here, “Hey, Brother, you’re saved, but still continue to work towards becoming more Christ-like. Get rid of the sin your life. Don’t quench the Spirit.” Not quenching the Holy Spirit, as Paul mentions in verse 19, means to let the Holy Spirit who now dwells in you help you grow in your relationship with God, and in doing so, you will be seen by God as being blameless before the coming of the Lord Jesus.
Vic Batista: I wish to encourage those who call themselves a Christian to remember that we as Christians have a Christ-commanded responsibility to live holy and pure lives. The good news is that you don’t have to attempt to do this on your own. God can give you the strength, if you surrender all aspects of your life to Him. The Holy Spirit will grant you His strength to live out a pure Christian life.Vic Batista: Christians have a Christ-commanded responsibility to live holy and pure lives. The #HolySpirit will grant you His strength to live out a pure #Christian life. Click To Tweet
But, maybe you don’t actually have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Maybe you have yet to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Knowing the Tribulation climbs ever higher on the horizon, you now know how important it is for you to surrender your life to Jesus Christ while there is still time. Remember that Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
Nathan Jones: Yes, indeed, receiving salvation begins as a matter of surrendering your life to Jesus Christ. God created you. He loves you, so much so that His Son died for you in order to take the punishment for your sins. God knows the beginning from the end. There is nobody but Jesus who is able to take the wheel of your life and point you in the right direction towards Heaven.
Maybe you’ve lived your life and so far have really messed it up. The reason it’s so messed up is because our sin nature is always causing us to make bad decisions. But, you can make a good decision right now, the best decision even. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ, and in faith place your trust in Jesus Christ.
If you’re ready to accept Jesus and His salvation, pray from your heart in faith and repentance something like, “Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and become my Lord and Savior.” And, Jesus promises to do just that. Your sins will be forgiven. The guilt will be washed away. And, you too can have that hope of knowing that Jesus Christ is coming for you to take you up to Heaven one day, either in the Rapture or through the natural passing of life. Regardless, that blessed hope and comfort Paul wrote about is now yours forever.
Vic Batista: Once saved, continue to seek Jesus Christ by trusting Him in all things. Read your Bible, find a doctrinally sound church home, and become baptized. Continue to keep your eyes on Jesus. Live knowing that He loves you. Trust in Christ, for He has the best in store for you. Look forward to Christ’s soon return. May He continue to guide you in all truth. Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit, and always pray.