Sunday, February 14, 2010

First Thessalonians, Chapter Five

1 ¶ But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
Now, Gentile Christians are told what the Hebrew Christians had been told by Jesus.
Acts 1:6 ¶ When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Even before that, Jesus has warned them that, of the events of the end, specifically when the final rapture occurs, that it is not for anyone by God the Father, the soul of the Godhead, to know.
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
The “day of the Lord” is specifically the time of judgment coming at the end of the Great Tribulation but can refer to the entire time period beginning with the Rapture of the church and until the Great White Throne Judgment. It will surprise them and Satan has no idea when that time is coming and neither do you now. Just type in “day of the Lord” into any computer Bible search engine and you’ll see that the “day of the Lord” is a reference to any judgment from God, similar to when God refers to “visiting” someone or to His “visitation” as in the common phrase parent’s use, yelling from the top of the stairs, “you don’t want me to come down there”.
There were times under the Old Testament where God warned that His day, this particular time of judgment was coming. When it came, it was sudden and horrifying. Here, Peter is referring to the end of the Millennium when God recreates the earth and the heavens.
2Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
We Christians, moved by the current celebrity of the day, usually someone who has ripped off Clarence Larkin’s works, think that things will get really bad before the Rapture of the church, the removal of the church, happens. But, that’s not necessarily the case. I believe mankind will be full of himself and his accomplishments and think everything is really going spiffy. Faith will take a back burner. Look at World War One. Everyone predicted a golden age for mankind at the turn of the century, a new age of understanding and enlightenment. Then, the world exploded in a fire that was only quenched with millions of dead, then a short break as combatants rearmed and realigned and then less than twenty years later another explosion, the likes of which the world had never seen, then what followed was the fire of a thousand little explosions regarding unsettled scores and enmities. We are still dealing with it now.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
We should not be surprised at any of the events to come. We should be looking up expectantly waiting for the Lord to call us out even if that doesn’t happen in our lifetime. We will be with Him eventually anyway. “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die”, a movie villain once said. Be prepared in your mind for what is to come, either the Rapture or your death. Don’t let things going good or bad in the world deceive you. Even if mankind were to usher in some kind of golden age where everything was hunky dory don’t be fooled.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Notice that what comes after the colon further defines what goes on before through contrast of opposites.
We are the children of light, light that was here before the sun, moon, and stars;
Genesis 1:3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 ¶ And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
2Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
It was day when Jesus walked on the earth. We are children of that day.
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
The long night began when Judas left to betray the Lord and it will be daylight when Christ returns.
John 13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. (note the colon referring you back to Judas’ behavior)
Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
The darkness is evil and wickedness, like the abyss of space, cold and unforgiving, full of devils.
Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
1John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
6 ¶ Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
The command to “not sleep” is contrasted here with watching and being sober. Sleep is often linked to drunkenness in the Scriptures. You can be drunk with the world and its pleasures and be asleep to what is coming. Now, don’t misunderstand me, God has given us pleasures but we are to be sober and not drunk with them.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
Most people get snookered at night and we are not, as it was said, children of the night. I am a firm believer that nothing good happens after midnight but sleep. Young people, beware of your attraction to the night. The night is a cloak for all kinds of mischief that can wreck your lives. But, here it is about being alert for Christ’s coming to take us.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
Don’t be drunk with the world and don’t, please, keep mixing the world in with your worship. Something is not of Christ simply because you have taken a worldly attitude or action and slapped the name Christian on it.
In Isaiah 59:17 and Ephesians 6:14 the breastplate of righteousness is mentioned but here faith and love are used in the typology. Faith, love, and righteousness would guard your heart far better than simply outwardly showing separation and outwardly exhibiting a vain morality. Love in Paul’s letters is stressed as love for your brothers and sisters in Christ and love for Christ. Faith is something God gives you so that you can trust in Christ and believe that He has saved you.
The helmet of salvation is mentioned in the verse in Isaiah and in Ephesians 6:17. The hope of it is added here. We know we are saved not because we feel saved today or under this or that circumstance but because the Bible, the word of God, says we are saved. Unlike others we have no fear of losing our salvation. It is a hope, an expectation, an assurance that we have because we believe this Book.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
A comforting statement and very important. Again;
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
1Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
Remember the part of Isaiah 61:2 that Jesus did not quote in Luke 4: “the day of vengeance of our God”?
God’s wrath will be visited on the nations of the earth; Germany, France, Russia, China, the United States, and all of them. We have and will be spared from that wrath. That doesn’t mean that things can’t get bad for us before they get better and it doesn’t tell us exactly when the church will be removed or if it is even going to happen in our lifetimes. Will there be millions of living Christian’s raptured, or like in Noah’s day, only eight left.
Part of Luke 18:8 says ………………..Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
By the way, when you read aloud a question in the Bible, please say it as a question. A great deal of thought and prayer went into this translation, as in regard to whether something was a question or not.
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Again, both the living and the dead shall live together with Christ. The following verses give us hope. Keep in mind, Job was written before the Law given to Moses.
Job 33:19 ¶ He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: 20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. 21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. 22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. 23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: 24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. 25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: 26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. 27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; 28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
11 ¶ Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
One of the purposes of meeting as a church is to comfort each other with the assurance we have that we will go to be with Christ, either being alive or dead, as there is no such thing as soul sleep. Your soul, which has been cut from your flesh by an operation of God, as we saw in Colossians, will be with Christ upon death while your body will be redeemed upon His calling out of His church from the earth or it will go to Hell.
Another purpose of the church meeting is to help each other learn about God’s word and His ways. Edifying each other and comforting each other is an extremely important task, along with helping each other, these things being in a list behind the first reason for church, worshipping and glorifying God together.
Beware of taking that too far, though. The Roman Catholic says there is no Holy Spirit’s indwelling of the individual believer, they believe that the Holy Spirit is only present within the church organization. The Fundamentalist is not better, who believes that you can’t know or experience God apart from church services, sermons, and duties. The proper function of the church with regard to learning should be to comfort and to teach the individual believer how to experience God’s presence in their lives every day and to learn how He speaks to them from His words in the Bible so that they can be Christians, not just when they are busy about the organized business of the church body but when they are lying in their bed at 3am or at work or in their neighborhood or among their families, and I’m not talking about being a frightened, paranoid, self righteous, nut but about having joy, confidence, and peace in Christ.
If any person who has been a Christian for any length of time can’t pick up God’s word at any time, alone, and find something wonderful in it, that lifts them up, comforts them, and draws them closer to the Lord Jesus Christ as God then the church, as an organization, has failed. In the same regard that if any member of the church has nothing to eat, a warm and dry place to sleep, or clothes on their back the church has failed, so it is if a Christian is totally dependent after five, ten, twenty years of salvation on the church organization and the Pastor to feed them spiritually and is helpless on their own in their complete dependence on the organization of the church then the church is a hindrance to rather than a furtherance of their faith.
In other words, we come to worship, to comfort, and to edify. But, if this is the only time we act as Christians, then we need to stay home and read our Bibles and pray. We’re not getting it.
Think about it. When a young person, full of life, expectant about the future, looks at your life right now, do they see joy, peace, a yearning to know God? Or do they see a frightened, self righteous, hypocrite who is willfully ignorant of God’s word? How can such a person edify or comfort anyone when their own spirit is so twisted?
Let us come together to worship God, to comfort, and edify each other, and to be equipped to go out into the world as ambassadors for Christ.
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
There are several things of importance here. Lastly, we can’t function as a church if there is no peace among us, in particular. Let petty rivalries, jealousies, and envying stay outside of this assembly. Firstly, we are to honor those that do the work among us, the Pastor for instance. We need to help him as we can and are able, to encourage him, and when we get to the point where we can, pay him and his associates some kind of salary. Visiting evangelists and preachers should also be well provided for as they do their work. Appreciating the work of the Pastor is very important even if we are unable to pay a living salary to him or his staff.
In situations like ours, encouragement and appreciation can be very important to keeping a Pastor prepared for the ministry and to show our esteem.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
These important instructions to the church would be good for you to memorize. There are four things here that are very important, here in this verse. Those among us whose lives are getting out of control and must be warned. You can see it in the person you know getting wrapped up in the world or their flesh. Perhaps, someone is walking a little close to adultery or heresy.
Then, there are those who just aren’t mentally all there, either through lifelong physical infirmity or a disease like Alzheimer’s. They need to be comforted and helped by the rest of us.
There are those who have a hard time caring for themselves, possibly through age or circumstance of life. They need our support and we are called to support them.
Be patient. Don’t expect other Christians to understand what you do about the Bible. Don’t insist that someone who is where you were twenty years ago to suddenly make the leap forward that you were unable to make in the blink of an eye. Be patient with the atheist, the nominal Christian, the agnostic, because they are blind. They need to see the reality of Christ by YOUR LIFE. Your arguing will not win anyone over if they can’t see Christ in you. Be patient. They are the ones with a short time. You have eternal life. Be patient with your brothers and sisters. All of us get wrapped up in the world and in our flesh at times. Be patient. Be patient with young people. You yourselves stumbled blindly with the arrogance of youth at one time. Bring them along, as we say in Boxing. Work with them. Be patient.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Notice how this command starts out with our relations with our brothers and sisters and then to all men, which includes the unsaved. To obey this requires a great deal of faith and a close fellowship with Jesus Christ. Believers in other lands have to deal with this often, even watching loved ones murdered and not being willing to take earthly revenge. Think about it. How obedient can you be in not paying evil for evil done to you?
What western culture teaches is what Captain Ahab said to Moby Dick in the novel of the same name and famously quoted by a Star Trek villain, “Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.”
Fallen man loves vengeance. Our laws are written to take vengeance out of the individual’s hands lest we live in a world of vendetta’s and bloodshed. If you kill a man, it is considered to be a crime against the state and is punished as such, just as when a sin is committed it is a sin against God.
Follow that which is good. Think on good things. Put vengeance out of your mind. This is tough, as I said, and I doubt many Christians have the guts or the faith for it.
16 ¶ Rejoice evermore.
There are so many blessings awaiting you now and in the hereafter why shouldn’t you rejoice? Joy and rejoicing are prime subjects of Paul’s letters to the Christians. Notice how joy and rejoicing played such a huge part in Philippians, as we have already discussed.
Joy was the one thing I was without until God opened my mind up to his Bible. If you don’t have joy as a Christian, and many don’t, it’s directly proportional to how much you let God speak to you through His words in this Book. Do you give God the opportunity to speak to your heart and to your spirit through this Book? If so, how often? You’ll find that if you have no joy then you are shutting the God who made you out. Oh, you might be busy about “church business” and you might hand out tracts and you might live the “separated” life but you’re miserable and unhappy because God, the Lord Jesus Christ, has so little a direct part in that life.
God speaks to you through His word. He answers you through His word. What is the problem with you not wanting to know how to understand what He’s saying? Why are you so stubborn that you don’t want to read or hear what He has to say? Are you that controlled by Satan that you don’t care what God has to say about anything? I’m not talking about what I or someone else says that God says but about what He says IN THIS BOOK?
Joy is yours if you want it. Just open the Book and start reading and put away the “How the Christian girl met the Christian boy” romances and the Christian athlete sports book and let God speak to you. Joy will come, I guarantee it. Try reading Psalms or Ephesians and praying over it at the same time. It’s amazing.
17 Pray without ceasing.
The Christian is always to be in a prayerful state, ready to praise, confess, be thankful, and to ask for mercy at all times.
Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
Psalm 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Notice how the attitude toward prayer that the Christian is given is more profound that that under the Law in Psalms. We don’t have a scheduled time to pray but at any time we should be prepared to pray, to preach the word of God, and, of course, to die. But, prayer is essential and God responds to it if you are listening to Him through His word. I’m not sure how many Christian prayers go unanswered because we refuse to hear Him.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
If you go back through Paul’s letters you find two recurrent themes, among others. You find an expression of joy and the importance of giving thanks. An unthankful heart is the beginning of pride and a great many sins. In everything, we are to give thanks to God. This verse should be read again and again and memorized. Be thankful in all things.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
How can you quench the Spirit? By willful sin, failing to let God speak to you through His word, refusing to speak on His behalf, not being willing to lead others to Him, staying away from your fellow Christians, and from worldliness and idolatry. Covetousness, a lust for things and money and also engaging in worldly amusements. How much TV do you watch as compared to your reading and hearing God’s word? This is a command. Don’t quench it.
Another way you can quench the Spirit is to focus on yourself constantly; your suffering, your works, and your own interpretation of how you think church should be carried out.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
Don’t take lightly the preaching you hear and the talk of yours and the world’s future from the word of God. To despise is to hold in low regard or to esteem lightly. Look forward to hearing the word of God preached. Think on what the Pastor has said and discuss it after services with your family, particularly quizzing the children, as one reformer insisted parents do. Here is an example of an early Baptist church service in the 1600’s. There was no Sunday School or nursery.
I’m taking this from;
“Baptist styles of worship have changed considerably since 1609. The early Baptist services were quite long, sometimes with several sermons, and in the early days there was no music or singing. The oldest record of a Baptist worship service is from 1609, in a letter from Hughe and Anne Bromhead, who said:
The order of the worshippe and government of oure church is . 1. we begynne wth A prayer, after reade some one or tow chapters of the Bible gyve the sence thereof, and conferr vpon the same, that done we lay aside oure bookes, and after a solemne prayer made by the .1. speaker, he propoundeth some text owt of the Scripture, and prophecieth owt of the same, by the space of one hower, or thre Quarters of an hower.
"This Morning exercise," the Bromhead letter concludes, "begynes at eight of the clocke and continueth vnto twelve of the clocke the like course of exercise is observed in the afternowne from .2. of the clock vnto .5. or .6. of the Clocke."
The earliest Baptist worship was lengthy and dealt primarily with Bible exposition. There was no singing, and Baptists put great value upon spontaneity and audience participation.”
Paul tells us not to hold the exposition of and the prophesying from the Scriptures, in low regard.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Modern day Christians will hold everything that has some mention of God in it in a favorable way without checking it out Biblically. If a politician mentions God or family values he or she is our man or woman. If a “praise” song mentions Jesus, we’re there. If a movie is made by someone who claims to be a Christian regardless of what heresies he recommends we will support him. We have an us and them mentality. Of course, the problem is that among US there are a great many of Satan’s counterfeits.
A praise song is no good if its doctrinally twisted and keeps you from singing or hearing a real hymn that is true and Biblical. A movie that keeps you from reading or discussing the Bible is worthless no matter what Christians are in the lead role or how little they say bad words or show flesh. A politician is not a Christian if he doesn’t acknowledge the authority of Jesus Christ in his or her life.
Prove all things. Test them. Check them out. Prove is shown to be the same as testing in the following verses;
Exodus 16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Exodus 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
Deuteronomy 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
2Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
The only things that are truly good are those that come from God. If it is not of God, it is not good, no matter how good it feels physically or mentally.
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
This is so simple but can be the subject of many, many sermons. If it could look bad, even if I have the right to do it and I know I would never be guilty of any wrongdoing, don’t. One example would be a preacher counseling a woman other than his wife privately, behind closed doors. More men of God have fallen because of something they didn’t see any problem with, at first, than for any other reason.
Another way of looking at this has to do with the Biblical definition of evil which is malice, malicious, disaster, calamity, etc. etc. and just bad things.
Genesis 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Note that the contrasts in this verse are the opposites of light and darkness, peace and evil. So that evil is the opposite of peace, such as violent behavior and words are the opposite of peace. In context evil would be calamity, disaster, and catastrophe.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
So, one way of looking at verse 22 is to say that we should avoid anything that has the appearance of being hateful, malicious, mean spirited, or intending harm to anyone. That’s not our place.
There are enough contrasts in the Bible to show that God hates violent men and regards man’s propensity to maliciousness toward his fellow man as pure evil. That is our heritage from Adam and Eve’s encounter with Satan in the form of a serpent.
Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Let’s look at some things that are evil.
Violence is evil.
Psalm 140:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Proverbs 1:16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
Proverbs 3:29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
Jonah 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
Malicious, mean spirited speech is evil.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
1Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
Disobedience to God is evil.
Proverb 17:11 An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
Isaiah 65:12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
Sin is evil.
Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
1Kings 15:26 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
But, remember that evil is not necessarily sin. God can cause evil; destruction, calamity, and disaster to befall anyone. God does not sin.
Jeremiah 36:3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
But don’t American Christians love violence? Oh, yes, we do. We can’t deny it. In our sports, in our politics, in our foreign relations, and even in our families. Not just the clenched fist but verbal violence, the abuse that comes out of our mouths. Paul admonishes us to abstain from all appearance of having a twisted, malicious heart.
23 ¶ And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here, the three components of our existence; spirit, soul, and body are listed. God, as well, is composed of a three part being. Its just that God’s different parts can function independently while if one of yours is separated from the others, you die. Here are verses that establish the Trinity, or three part God.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
1John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Paul prays that God will preserve us blameless to Christ’s return.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
And Christ is able and willing to preserve us. We Baptists believe in eternal security. There are certain similar promises made like this one. Remember in Ephesians that we are sealed.
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
God promises some wonderful things.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
One note on sin. Try to focus on Biblical sins against God and not cultural sins. Focusing on trying to be free of what really amounts to nothing takes your mind off the true sins that God wants you to put away.
Anyway, God is faithful and loving. We merely need to look to Him as the provider of all things and one who is willing to forgive us. Christ can preserve us and will preserves us blameless until the last day because we look to His righteousness, not our own, for our salvation.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
There are none of us who don’t need prayer, particularly anyone preaching or teaching, but all of us. The holy kiss isn’t something that Christians do now. I assume it had to do with being the kind of chaste greeting you find in Eastern countries today.

27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
Reading chapters of the Bible was a part of Baptist church services a long time ago. With the introduction of the lexicons and commentaries by scholars it has fallen out of favor. The Authorized Version was to be read in the churches, if you read the front page of the older copies.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. The first epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.
Here is the true title of Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ. The last sentence is not considered inspired but was the traditional notice written after this letter.

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