Friday, August 29, 2014

Why wait for the Rapture? Get carried away today...

The Word for today:
1 Thessalonians 5
Sometimes, there are too many flavors to choose from.
Usually I read the scripture passage for the day and immediately seize on the topic I'm going to express.
But as I read through the final passages of 1 Thessalonians, the plethora of possibilities produced a paralysis. It was like looking at a menu with way too many choices.
So today I am going to offer some bite-size items for you to chew on. And I'm going to leave a few up in the air (a 'Rapture" pun) for you to chase down on your own. I hope you pick one or two and follow through. Have some fun and some adventure as you traipse through the scriptures in pursuit of a precept. Get a good reference Bible (one that refers you from this verse here to that verse over there) and let the references carry you away (another Rapture pun) to God knows where.
When the Word of God is given out, it should be received as just what it is—the Word of God.
If we receive it that way, then it’s able to work in us:
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. (1 Thes. 2:13)
Q. What gives? 'Rapture' isn't even in my Bible!
A. Rapture --"the experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion" (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary). In 1 Thes. 4:17 “caught up” (KJV, NASB, and NIV) is the Greek word harpazo, meaning “to grasp hastily, snatch up, to lift, transport, or rapture.”
The reason the word "Rapture" is associated with this event is because the word "Rapture" is merely perfect! The word denotes a romance that our theologians never convey when discussing this event. I treated this subject in a previous article (found here) which you just must read!!!--
Q. "The day of the LORD comes as a thief in the night," says 5:2. But in 5:4 it says "the day of the LORD will not overtake the brethren as a thief." I'm confused.
A. Take a hard look at the intervening verse--5:3--and note the pronoun change.
Not appointed to wrath.
God has not destined the church for wrath—for the Great Tribulation—because Christ bore our judgment:
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. (5:9-10)
1. Note the difference between appointed to afflictions in 3:3 and not appointed to wrath in 5:9.
2. What do these verses denote about God the Father—as a Father?
Prayer life stuck in neutral?
Then don't 'pray' for a while! Just give thanks for everything! (5:17-18)
Thanks-giving turbo-charges prayer.
"Quench not the Spirit." (5:19 KJV) / "Do not put out the Spirit's fire." (5:19 NIV).
We quench the Spirit when we refuse to let the Holy Spirit lead--and take matters into our own hands.
"Do not despise prophecies." Don't ever stop studying the Word of God. (5:20)
"Prove all things." Don't be taken in. (5:21)
"He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." Amen. (5:24)

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