Then Sudden Destruction will Come

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ESV

“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

In America today, an altered and diluted gospel message is permeating the gatherings of the church (and/or what is falsely called church). For many are teaching that we can make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ, have our sins forgiven (past, present, and future), and have heaven guaranteed us when we die, regardless of how we live our lives. No requirements for repentance, submission to Christ, and obedience to Christ.

And if repentance is actually taught, it is often more along the lines of just making a confession of sin rather than actually turning away from sin. It is more of an acknowledgment that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, but it is not usually about turning away from one’s sinful lifestyle to now walk in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord, as a change in practice and in desire, for they are calling that “works salvation”.

So this message which says, “There is peace and security,” is within this false gospel message when it teaches that a mere one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ is all that is required of us in order for us to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God. For they are telling their adherents that they can now be at peace with God, and that they are eternally secure, regardless of how they live, which is a lie from hell.

But Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we give up our old lives, and we die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, then we have eternal life with God (Luke 9:23-26; cf. 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:1-23).

All throughout the New Testament we are taught the kind of lives we must live if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God, and if we want to enter into God’s heavenly kingdom. And we are warned that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and holiness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God, regardless of what our lips have professed.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 ESV

“But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

If we are believing in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, which results in us being crucified with Christ in death to sin, and us being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives, then we are not in the darkness, but we are children of light. But even as children of light, we must walk in the light and not in the darkness. We must continue in Christ and in walks of obedience and holiness, and we must not stray from our pure devotion to Christ Jesus, our Lord.

And that is what this warning is about here. We must live what we profess. We must walk in the light that God has given to us. We must guard our hearts against becoming slothful and unconcerned about how we are living our lives. We must not be influenced by worldly and ungodly people so that we start following them instead of following our Lord. We must remain alert to the dangers in front of us so that we do not fall into any traps. And we must guard our hearts against falling back into sin.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but this isn’t saying that we will never face his wrath, regardless of how we live our lives. In fact, I believe it serves as a warning to us, and not as some calm reassurance that no matter how far we stray from the Lord that we are still eternally secure. And I believe the warning is to not go the way of the world and of the flesh, for we are not destined for wrath, but if we choose to stray from our Lord, and that is where we remain, we will face his wrath if we do not repent and turn.

And yes, for those of us who are walking in the light, and who are in genuine fellowship with Jesus Christ, who are not walking in sin, and sin is not our practice, but righteousness and holiness and walks of obedience to our Lord are what we practice, though not necessarily in absolute sinless perfection, if we remain (continue in obedience) in Christ until the end, we have that hope of salvation and of entering into God’s heavenly kingdom.

And so we should encourage one another with these words. And this is what the Scriptures teach us (see Scripture references below):

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Follow Him

An Original Work / February 21, 2013
Based off Luke 9:22-25

Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.

Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.

Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.

If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.

Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.

Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!

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