Thursday: Encourage One Another

(1 Thess. 5:9-11)

As we have seen, in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Paul has drawn a series of contrasts to illustrate the two sides of judgment when Jesus

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returns. In our passage for today (1 Thess. 5:9-11), Paul addresses the contrast between wrath and salvation. Believers can have confidence in the last days because in Christ there is assurance that they are children of the light.

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11. What is the essential message in these verses? What is the hope that Paul is talking about, and why can we claim it for ourselves? How is the gospel revealed in these texts?

Many today feel that the biblical concept of God’s wrath reflects more the culture of Bible times than the truth about God. That, however, is a misconception. It is true that, in the Bible, God has accommodated His truth to the limits of human language. But the concept of the wrath of God is not limited to the more ancient parts of the Bible; it is widespread in the New Testament, as well, including from the lips of Jesus (Luke 21:23; see also John 3:36), the pen of Paul (Rom. 1:181 Thess. 1:10), and the visions of Revelation (Rev. 6:161715:1). So, we cannot safely ignore the concept; it must express something very important about God and the plan of salvation.

While we cannot go deeply into the matter here, we must be clear that the wrath of God is not an irrational, impulsive rage. God’s ways are not our ways (see Isa. 55:89). The biblical concept of the wrath of God is more like a nation’s need for justice in relation to lawbreakers who abuse and oppress others. Those who persist in wickedness will be punished and destroyed. Because we have all broken the law of God, we would all be subject to the execution of justice were it not for the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

That is the good news about the wrath of God that shines through 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11. God’s purpose for us is not “wrath” or punitive justice but grace and salvation. And in Christ He has provided the protection we need so that we not experience destruction in the judgment. This is why Paul thought that the wrath of God, rightly understood, was a reason for encouragement rather than fear (1 Thess. 5:11). In Christ, we never need to face God’s wrath because, on the cross, Jesus faced it for us.

Talk about good news!



Thursday: Encourage One Another — 7 Comments

  1. I'm sorry but I don't see God's wrath the way the lesson author sees it. The classic definition of wrath is found in Romans 1 where God leaves the wicked to their own deviant choices which always ends in self destruction. We always want to see the wicked punished especially when they hurt us in some way - that is human nature. Jesus, however, treated his enemies much differently.

    Jesus also taught a different approach than we so often think of. He told us:

    But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Mat 5:39-46 NKJV).

    He even rebuked his disciples when they had an attitude different than this (Lk 9:51-56) and demonstrated those principals on the cross when he cried out, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Lk 23:34 NKJV).

  2. I agree with Tyler
    Emulating Christ means loving and forgiving others all the time.
    It is only by God's mercy and Christ's interceding on our behalf that will save us from his wrath.

  3. I humbly disagree with this statement in the lesson - " Those who persist in wickedness will be punished and destroyed." - because it does not gel with what I know about Jesus in my relationship with HIM and with what I read about HIM in the gospels. This does not " encourage " me at all. My take on it is that GOD is in control and HE is LIGHT (holiness) and that in the presence of HIS LIGHT, darkness (sin) vanishes or is destroyed. When I cannot swim and had the opportunity to learn but neglected to do so and I find myself in deep water I will drown. When I do not know GOD, do not love HIM, do not serve and had the opportunity to but neglected it, I will be destroyed, not because HE wants to but because I chose it.

  4. The only Way we can be saved is by God's mercy and grace. Sin is the transgression of the law and so those who persist in their sinful ways knowing the truth of good and evil will forego that grace because they chose to cruxify Christ over and over again as they do wicked. That's why the text said the persitent wicked ones will be destroyed together with the devil. We have to lean on Christ because only his blood has saving power, only his grace is sufficient to turn this sinful wicked heart into Christ-like heart. The author is correct to say what will ultimately happen to those who continue to deny and reject Christ's teaching. Salvation is free and not forced on us and to inherit eternal life we must choose Christ over Satan and his grace will see us through as we strive for righteousness and holiness.

  5. I think some of the concerns about this lesson are due to personal focus. Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin. God is the Good Father who wants what is best for us and knows that sin is fatal to us all. He WILL eradicate sin. If He didn't, how could He be love? He doesn't want ANYONE to perish, but all to have eternal life. The sad fact is that some choose the sin over Life, Love, and Goodness.

  6. Sin cannot exist in the presence of God and therefore if we choose to not accept Christ who is able to clothe us in His righteousness then we will be destroyed. So let us choose wisely and become clothed in Christ's righteousness as we look forward to dwell in His presence.

  7. What Paul is talking about is the need for us to have spiritual armour or the three Christian graces; faith, love, and hope. Faith; if we believe that the eye of God is always upon us, that there is another world to prepare for, we shall see reason to watch and be sober. True and honest love to God, and things of God, will keep us watchful and sober. If we have hope for salvation, let us take heed of any thing that would shake our trust in the Lord for we know that the devil is always prowling around (1 Peter 5:8). We have ground on which to build unshaken hope, when we consider that salvation is by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, to atone for our sins and to ransom our souls. Be Blessed.


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