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1 Thessalonians 5:3-11 (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 2, 2021 6:00 am

1 Thessalonians 5:3-11 (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 2, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of 1st Thessalonians 5:3-11

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The church is going to suffer through the great tribulation period. You're just like, gee, turn them off. Because how do I untie this Goidean knot?

How do I unscramble? Fine. It doesn't happen. You know, if you don't get it, it doesn't mean you're going to go to hell. You're free to disagree with this, to me, clear teaching of the church and not perish for it.

But prophecy matters. And the more you understand God's program, the more useful you become in God's program. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher, Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of 1 Thessalonians. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, here's Pastor Rick in Revelation Chapter 3.

Again, he'll begin there today and then continue in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 on today's edition of Cross-Reference Radio. He says, I'm at the door. I'm knocking to get in. You think I'm in there. I'm out here and you won't open to let me in. But if you do open, you'll be apostate no more. Will they open or will they not?

I don't know. So, this idea of things being absolutely absolute is bothersome to those who are outside of the Lord's truth. You know, there aren't two ways to be right-handed. You're either right-handed or you're left-handed.

There's not two ways to be right-handed. And this idea that there are absolutes is essential to out preaching the gospel, to saying to a lost world, listen, God has established that there are absolutes. Yeah, there are some things that are gray zones. There are many of those things in life, as we call them. But how can there be two ways if there is one truth?

It can't be. And so it is important that the individual resolve this. I know when I became a Christian, I was so happy to ditch every foul idea about God that swirled about my head before he reached me. And this is what is, I think, the mark of the Christian. One of the marks of the Christian is that once they are born again, everything else is gone.

Their ethnic identity, their color of their skin, the language that they speak, all of that goes way down to the bottom. The only thing that stands up is the salvation that they have been recipient of. So God makes no room at the cross for synthetic gods and neither do we. And we should have no respect for error because God does not have respect for error. There's not an auxiliary savior or an auxiliary salvation or an auxiliary church.

There's one. And there's one Lord and God over that church, and His name is Jesus Christ. And if you want people to go to hell, just don't tell them about Jesus Christ. Well, He also says we are not of the night or of darkness.

And, you know, the longer you're saved, the less, I think, understanding you have of this kind of thinking. We look at liberalism today, political liberalism, and we just scratch our heads. Why is it that anything decent they hate?

They seem content on burning down the house they live in upon themselves. It's a madness. It's a sickness that certainly is demonically energized, engineered, and maintained.

And we look at this and we just say this is madness. Well, that's what the angels must be saying when they see human beings sort of bury the evidence that is inescapable concerning the person of Christ Jesus. We are so susceptible to this that even you who have been born again for decades know that Satan has a return visit.

He has follow-up visits for you. He has hope that he is going to cause you to fall away from the faith. And God says that should never happen.

There's no reason for that. And so verse 6, we continue, He says, therefore, that's based on everything He's been saying. Let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and be sober. How can we sleep when we know what's going on? One of the beauties of prophecy is you know what's happening. You know what's going on. You're awake to these things. Some of you remember that show, you know, I don't know, the invasion of the body snatchers. You know, there were those that knew what were going on.

They could see what was happening. That, for the sake of making the point, is what's going on hopefully with Christians. We are alive and we are watchful. This word that He uses here in verse 6 where He says, therefore, let us not sleep as others. That word in the Greek for others, there's an interesting lesson in it. It really means remaining ones.

It really reads this way and I'll build that up in a moment. He says, therefore, let us not sleep as the remaining ones. That is the ones left behind.

That's the meaning of that. In the Greek, the Greek scholars tell us that there are three words used for others. There is alos, those of the same kind, like you're on a team.

They're different people, but they're the same team, same kind. There is hetras, those of a different kind, you know, apples and oranges. And then there is loipos, which is used here.

Those are the remaining ones or remnant, the rest. That's what that Greek word means. It is properly translated others in the context of everything Paul is saying to us. And so he is reading that verse 5 again. He says, therefore, let us not sleep as those left behind. It's prophetic.

It is anticipatory. Ephesians chapter 3 verse 2, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature children of wrath just as the others. Same Greek word there.

Ephesians 2 verse 3, Paul uses just as those left behind. And so when you hear someone say, let me tell you why I think the church is going to suffer through the great tribulation period, it's just like, gee, turn them off. Because how do I untie this Goidean knot?

How do I unscramble? Fine. It doesn't have, you know, if you don't get it, it doesn't mean you're going to go to hell. You're free to disagree with this, to me, clear teaching of the church and not perish for it. But prophecy matters. And the more you understand God's program, the more useful you become in God's program.

And the more you push it away. I mean, listen, there are Christians that if they put the same energy they put into their career or their family or their portfolio or their hobby or whatever it is, if they put some of that energy into God's house, the church, the local church, which is part of the universal church, they'd be fierce as an army with banners. And we have, in this church, I think we have an extraordinary amount of believers. Nebuchadnezzar could walk around his kingdom and look out and see the gold and the marble and all the things he looted from other countries and the hanging gardens of Babylon. As you can say, this is not the great Babylon I have built. A pastor of a good church can walk around and see the people and it's like gold and marble and the hanging gardens.

He says, isn't this not the great church God is building? You appreciate what God has done. You know what it does. You know how it counts. You know that it is meaningful. He continues in verse six. He says, but let us watch and be sober.

Sober is exact to the Greek. Don't be filled with the wrong stuff. Well, what's the wrong stuff? The stuff that alters your state of consciousness. Your reliability that renders you harmful to others, a menace and unstable. We are all vulnerable to stimulants that intoxicate us spiritually and physically. But I'm talking spiritually because Paul is talking spiritually, of course, at this point. We must avoid nod, nod, nod, like some of you might be doing right now.

Nod inducing pleasures. Luke's Gospel chapter 12 verse 13. Let your waste be girded and your lamps burning and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master.

How can you not love that? Even if you're going through tough times as a Christian, you say, listen, I know that's required of me. When I'm done with this tough time, I'm getting back up on the wall where I belong.

I'm going to serve. Verse 70 continues, for those who sleep sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. Well, they come out at night because it puts a veil around them.

It covers them. Sleep is used metaphorically to identify the living dead. To God, they are alive physically. They're dead spiritually. The born again are alive physically and alive spiritually. The living dead are unconscious of God. They're outside of his blessings. God wants to alert them that he can give a solution.

And that's what we are here for. And the moment we are no longer the good churches on earth, the local churches, the moment they are no longer useful, they will be taken out miraculously. And so lost souls, they sleep in the face of eternity.

We're supposed to be awake. He says, and those who get drunk are drunk at night, incapable of reacting the way they should be. There's never been a time for the church to be drunk.

There never will be a time. By definition, the word drunk means destabilized, unacceptable behavior. And people can be drunk with power, with sexual lust, with family, with career, with fun. I've mentioned some of those things already.

Those things render us useless if we let them get out of hand. I don't live for my family. I love my family as much as any of you. And I would fight to the death to protect my family. But the main thing for me is Jesus Christ.

And I try to have it be the same way with them. I want to be my wife's second love. I want to be my daughter's and my son's second love, the first one being Christ Jesus. If they get that one right, they are invincible. And I want them to be invincible against what is coming their way. And what is that?

A time in the presence of the throne of God. You who date, date someone who loves Jesus more than you. You who are about to get married, get married to someone who loves Jesus Christ more than you. I'm not talking about those who abuse it. I'm not going to feed my family because I'm called on. Those people need a spanking. Actually, we can upgrade that too.

Give them a beat down. But anyway, that is nonsense that's never preached in the scripture. Those of you who are already doing it, you know what I'm talking about. Those of you who want and are filled with the Spirit, God will instruct you in these things because he's the one that has taught us. He taught us this in Luke's Gospel, chapter 14, by the way. I think verse 23 to 24. You love that family, your wife, you love these things more than me.

You're not worthy of me. And so he comes now, verse 8, he says, but let us who are of the day be sober. The distinction, us again, verse they and them, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of hope, of salvation. Here again, Paul's preferred triad. He mentions faith, hope and love in 1 Thessalonians chapter 1, again right here.

He does it in 1 Corinthians 13 and again in Ephesians 6. Faith always leads to action. Love is action. Love is a verb for the Christian.

Hope is the energy that supplies these two items. He says, but let us who are of the day be sober. The church in the early days, at its birth, on its birth day, the very first day the church came to life, they were accused of being drunk by those who didn't know what was going on. Peter stands up and he says, these are not drunk as you suppose. It's 9 o'clock in the morning.

Buy a clue, as we would say today. That's probably getting to be an old way of saying it, but still it makes the point. Listen to this in Romans.

Is this not energizing? This is to you who say you are Christians, that you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Paul says, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Romans 13, 12, the night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. And so he says, putting on the breastplate of faith and love. Drunks drink up, saints suit up.

That's the way it's supposed to be. While they're out having a good time pouring poisons into them, we are supposed to be about the kingdom. Can we have any fun as Christians?

Of course. We have to have rest and relaxation. It's not to be fun at the expense of others. It's not to be fun that begins to dominate us. You know, if you know people that live to be happy, you know that they are a problem. For people who always want to have fun are very shallow as far as I've experienced them. I'm saying always wants to have fun.

I want to have fun too, but there are times that I've worked before play. That's the saying that we have. And so anyway, if you serve the Lord God but you dismiss His truth, you are delusional. You cannot serve the Lord Jesus Christ with lies. And without truth there is no true God.

It just makes perfect sense. He says, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. It's hard to sleep with armor on, harder to sleep. Of course if you're exhausted you can sleep anyway. I'm reading this book again about the occupation in Holland, the Nazi occupation, and the young lady who lived the story said she was so exhausted at one point and trains were so crowded that she fainted in the crowded trains because the Nazis wouldn't let them ride in certain cars so all the people had to pile in to use up the trains and she fainted standing up.

And there's a whole story she goes into about how miserable it was and little things like that during that period of time. But the church is not to be falling asleep with her armor on. Her armor is to be turned in, scorched and scuffed and dented but some still have theirs in the box. They've never put it on.

They don't even know how, you know, which is the front or the back end. It's mint condition. I don't want to go to heaven and the good Lord says I'll take your armor and I'll use it as a museum piece. The breastplate of faith to protect the issues of the heart. The helmet of salvation to protect our thoughts and keep our senses about us. The armor overall is body armor to help us to stand for righteousness.

Who's the first person that we are to face with armor? Is it Satan? No. Is it the unbeliever?

No. It's ourselves. That's the first person we've got to face who's against Jesus Christ. That sinful nature, that carnal nature. Alright, if you're a really weak Christian, you've been so for years, I can accept that but what I don't want to accept is that you are content with it. You can still be stronger and be weak because aren't we all? Any of us that get stronger in Christ, we know we're still weak.

Paul said that when I am weak, I am strong because it's the strength of Christ that then kicks in for me. For God did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now again, what does someone who believes that church goes through the great tribulation, that's what he's talking about, the great tribulation period, the day of the Lord. He said God has not appointed us to this. We're appointed to salvation as a people, as a church, as an entity. We're not appointed to wrath. It is the day of the Lord, as Isaiah said, against sinners.

Now the not there in the Greek, we are told again by Greek scholars that it is an emphatic not. We would say something like this, for God has never ever appointed us for this wrath. That is the emphatic use of this verse. We're not appointed to wrath and I'm going to take one verse from 2 Thessalonians because I've been referencing it quite a bit. 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and there in verse 7, we find out the church escapes this period and how it happens. He's talking about the great apostasy that's going to come upon the earth, the rise of Antichrist, how he defiles the temple of God, makes himself to be God. He says that in verse 4 of 2 Thessalonians speaking of Antichrist, he says, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he sits as God in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. That's what Satan did. Satan tempt Eve with the same temptation that he fell for within his own heart. But verse 7 is where we're told in 2 Thessalonians, Paul says, for the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he, that's the Holy Spirit, who now restrains, because he's the only one that can, will do so until he is taken out of the way. When did the Holy Spirit come upon the human society as an entity? At Pentecost, the birth of the church, and so that is a reference to the church. You may say, I don't agree with that. That's fine.

Moving on. And so, he says, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, not limited salvation from sin only, but expanded through being saved from Daniel's 70th week. And so a brief overview, this global event coming by Antichrist when the seals are opened. In addition to the world-cheering immorality and the absence of Christianity, communism's behavior, Islam's behavior, liberalism's, all of their quest for power will be centered in this one person, the beast from the sea. Now I make that distinction because in Revelation 13 you have two beasts that show up. There's the beast from the sea, Antichrist, and there is the beast from the earth, his prophet. And the beast from the sea is the incarnation of evil. It's sort of, it is like when Judas Iscariot began to decide that I am not going to follow this Jesus Christ, I'm going to betray him.

He was already wrong. When he sits at the Last Supper with the Lord and the Lord says, what you do, go do quickly, the scripture tells us Satan entered his heart, it supercharged him. That is what's going to happen with Antichrist. He is going to be against Jesus Christ from the beginning, but when that three and a half year period kicks in, he will turn to the beast, he will be just out of control with his madness. He moves to exterminate the great tribulation converts that will be coming to Christ. There are churches that have bought rights. I know Calvary Costa Mesa bought rights to broadcast the messages of Chuck Smith up until like 2050.

And so these things are still going to be out there. Some of them will try to be stifled, but you can't get rid of it all. God won't allow it. He destroys the armies that challenge him. He tries to exterminate, annihilate Israel and he will end up, it tells us in Revelation 18, hating the apostate church. Make her desolate, it says in Revelation 17 16.

Naked, eat her flesh, burn her with fire. That's hatred. He hates the hypocritical church. Somewhat saying, well, you know, if you're going to be a Christian, be a Christian, but if you're going to say you're a Christian and you're a fraud, I can't tolerate that.

Go figure that one out. And then the beast from the earth, that's the false prophet of the antichrist. He will be doing miracles, lying wonders. And everything these two are doing, their administration is going to be totally on board with it. Everything they're about, they're going to be an expression thereof. We see this now.

We have government in place where the leader does not have to say, you know what, I want to promote abortion because all the people that these folks in government that believe in these things support, so do their followers and their aides and their attendants, their base. So we're seeing in small doses. But there, here's what else is coming. Apollyon and the locusts from the abyss will be turned loose on men. Then, in addition to that, the demons of the Euphrates, who alone kill one third of mankind.

That's probably, if you start factoring numbers now and give a little bit more for the next ten years, probably four billion people are going to die, at least on earth during this great tribulation period. So this is what Jesus says. Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved.

But for the elect's sake, those days will be shortened. You want life without God's authority on earth? I'm going to give you a little dose of it. That is part of the judgment and the second coming of Christ.

We'll close with this. I'll read these verses, the last two verses, which don't require comment. 1 Corinthians 15, 24. When he delivers the kingdom of God, the Father, when he puts an end to all rule and all authority and power, that is the second coming of Christ with his church already having come forward. Isaiah 9, 7. Of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end upon the throne of David and over his kingdom to order and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

In other words, you can take that to the bank. Revelation 19, 20. Then the beast was captured and with him the false prophet, the beast from the sea and the earth, who worked signs in his presence by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Revelation 20, 10. At the end of the thousand year period, the millennial reign of Christ, we read, the devil who deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are and they will be tormented day and night forever.

You say, I don't like that. Take it up with God. Thessalonians 5, 10. Who died for us? Reading verse 9, again, just to keep it in context. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ who died for us.

That whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. And so in other words, God says, you're mine, dead or alive, you're mine to the church. Verse 11 of Thessalonians, therefore comfort each other and edify one another just as you also are doing. So I don't know how you can come away with these powerful things just in the first five chapters of Thessalonians about the church escaping this horrible time coming to the earth and still say you get it from the Bible. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of 1 Thessalonians. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app as well. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of 1 Thessalonians right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-11 15:04:40 / 2023-09-11 15:14:32 / 10

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