Just Like Labor Pains

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.”

We Who Believe in Jesus

When we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, and if our faith is genuine God-given faith, and not of ourselves, then we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to walk (in conduct, in practice) in newness of life in him that is not like our old lives. For our old self was put to death with Christ so that we will be no longer enslaved to sin but now live as slaves to God and to his righteousness.

Therefore, we are to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions, for sin should have no more dominion over us. It should no longer be our master and us its slaves, but now Jesus is to be our Lord and Master and we are now to be his possession to do his will. Now our minds are to be set on the Spirit and not on the flesh, for to set the mind on the flesh is death, not life eternal with God in heaven.

For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and 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 we die with Christ to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we have eternal life with God. For Jesus also said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one doing the will of God in heaven.

[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; Luke 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23; Titus 2:11-14; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; Heb 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15]

Peace and Safety

But not many people are teaching the gospel taught about above, but they are teaching an altered gospel message designed to appeal to human flesh. And so they are not requiring that we die with Christ to sin or that we walk in obedience to his commands or that we submit to him as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives. And they are not teaching that if we continue living in sin and not in obedience to our Lord that we will not have eternal life.

And so they are teaching a diluted gospel which tells people that all they have to do is pray a prayer to receive Christ, or that they just have to confess with their lips that Christ is Lord and believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, or they just have to acknowledge what Jesus did for us on that cross and just accept his grace, or all they have to do is just acknowledge that God is enamored with us and just accept his affection.

Now maybe half of this has any connection to the Scriptures at all. And that which is connected to the Scriptures is taught out of context and it is being twisted to teach a partially true gospel. But a half-truth gospel, especially if it is deliberate, is a lie. And here we have to go back up to the top and read those Scriptures and see that there is much more to our salvation and eternal life than just a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

So, what is happening today is that many preachers are leading people to believe that these one-time professions of faith in Jesus Christ are enough to secure salvation and eternal life for them and that nothing else is required of them and that nothing bad is going to happen to them because heaven is secured them. And then they add on to that that we will all be raptured before the tribulation and so we will not have to suffer like other Christians have had to suffer because of their walks of faith ever since Jesus died.

But Jesus nailed it when he said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. And he nailed it when he said that many are going to say to him on that day that they did all these things in his name, and to many he is going to say, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawlessness!” And that is what will happen when people are saying “peace and security” then destruction comes upon them suddenly.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 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.”

But we who are genuine followers of Jesus Christ should not be surprised at all when our Lord comes to judge. We should not be taken back by it for we should be prepared. For the Scriptures teach that we are all going to be judged by our works. And if we sowed to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (death). But if we sowed to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life with God. So we need to take this seriously.

So, if we are living to please the flesh, and if we are deliberately and habitually engaged in things such as sexual immorality, lying, cheating, adultery, stealing, slandering others, moral impurity, idolatry, sorcery, drunkenness, and the like, we will not inherit the kingdom of God regardless of what professions of faith in Jesus we have made with our lips. So we should not be deceived, because we are all going to reap what we sow.

Therefore we must not be those who are spiritually asleep and who are still living to please the flesh and not God. We must be those who are spiritually alert and who are following our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). We must be serious-minded Christians who take God and his word to heart and who obey the Lord because we love our Lord and we want to do what pleases him, and we don’t want to obey sin any longer.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 ESV

“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.”

Now, a lot of people are teaching that since this says that God has not destined us for wrath that we will not ever have to face his wrath if we profess to believe in him. But in context, that isn’t what this is saying. Go back and read what it says before this again. This is a warning to us who profess faith in Christ Jesus to not be among those who are spiritually asleep and who think they can still live according to the flesh and that God will not judge them. We need to live as children of the Light, not of the dark.

And this is why we are encouraged to exhort and to encourage one another, because so many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are living like those who are of the darkness and not like those who are children of the Light. For they are still living in deliberate and habitual sin and not in obedience to our Lord in walks of holiness and righteousness. And so the Scriptures teach they will die in their sins, not inherit eternal life.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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