Today’s passage in our Men’s Study really struck me, and I want to pass on the nuts and bolts of this incredible passage from I Thessalonians 5:
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
God’s Word is living and active, so let’s just break down what God has for us here…
For God did not appoint us...
God is intimately at work in our lives and has chosen to work in our lives in a very personal manner
to suffer wrath
How can we ever thank God enough for sparing us the righteous judgment that is due us? God is holy and does not play with sin. The infinite holiness and justice of God demands eternal retribution on sin.
but to receive salvation
How wondrous is God’s love, that not only are we pardoned of our sin but we have a relationship with Him and heaven to look forward to!
through our Lord Jesus Christ
The plain and consistent teaching of God’s Word is that salvation is through Jesus Christ. Those who argue that this is narrow-minded take their stand against the Word of God – talk about shaky ground.
He died for us
God, being utterly holy does not merely forgive sin without the sin being punished; if He did so, His justice would be compromised. The basis of our forgiveness is the precious blood of Christ. Through Calvary, God’s justice is upheld while His loving forgiveness extended. Notice how these three truths are strung together: God's forgiveness is freely offered --> through Jesus Christ, and none other --> it was a messy process as Jesus' blood was shed.
so that, whether we are awake or asleep,
The whole purpose of the cross is about to be disclosed. What is God’s unfolding plan of salvation? First of all, “death” is given a new name. The sting of death has been removed, so throughout the New Testament we find the authors referring to death in much softer terms: death is replaced by sleep.
we may live together with him.
Jesus said that He came to bring life. Not condemnation or legalism. LIFE! Through the new birth our relationship with our Creator is restored. And frankly, whether we are alive in this passing life or have passed on to His very presence, we are alive in Him and will enjoy Him forever!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Wow! What a wondrous truth we treasure in our hearts. One of our responsibilities to each other is to encourage and build up in this truth. It is so easy in the hustle and bustle of life – not to mention endless distractions as well as trials and tribulations – to lose sight of the Prize.
Today, is the HOPE OF CHRIST fresh on your mind? Take time to be refreshed in His presence. And, don’t hold on to this hope. Pass it on and encourage those around you!