1 Thessalonians 4
Notes on God's Plan
GOD’S PLAN - 1). Paul taught them to continue obeying his instructions for living more and more. (v.1) God will give us the orders we need to enjoy life according to His Plans. And when we receive those orders we need to obey them until He changes them, which may never happen. If we don’t receive a new word from God, keep following the last command with excellence forever. 2). Paul gave instructions as God gave them to him to give. (v.2) The leadership lessons he delivered were straight from God. He didn’t encourage anything outside of what God wanted done. 3). God wants us to be holy. (v.3) Paul told the Thessalonians that God wanted them to be sanctified. We can be made clean and pure by the power of Jesus’ work in our lives. And our efforts and pursuits from this point forward can be inspired and empowered by the direction of God. We should strive to be holy because that is God’s desire for our lives. 4). Paul encouraged them to live quiet lives. (v.11) He instructed them to mind their own business and work hard with their hands. There isn’t anything wrong with ambition, as long as it is according to God’s Plans. Our greatest desires in life should revolve around Him. The more we surround ourselves with things of this world, the easier it is to be distracted away from our main purpose of following God.
GOD’S PLAN - 1). We don’t grieve over death like the rest of the world. (v.13) In this matter, and many others, Christians should be profoundly different from those around us. When we act different and do things in unusual ways, the world will take notice and recognize the power of Christ to change a life. 2). We believe that Jesus died and rose again. (v.14) This not only helps us formalize our theology on life after death for the believer, but also for all matters of faith in our lives. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate foundation for the believer. We can stand on this truth and let it empower us as we serve God in this dark world. 3). Paul instructed according to God’s Word. (v.15) As he is giving them God’s plans concerning life after death, he directs them back to the Word. All instruction in life needs to find its’ roots in the Word of God. 4). Not only will we be resurrected like Christ, but those who are living on the earth during His Second Coming will be caught up in the air like Jesus during His ascension. (v.17) After the dead have already been raised to life, we’ll be raised to the heavens to meet them, and then meet Jesus as well. God will make us fly for Him.