It's Good Not to Know!
If you've ever felt like it would be easier if God would just tell us when Jesus will return, you're not alone. But there is incredible blessing for us today not to know!
1) Rather than having us be ready on a specific day for Jesus to return, God would have us always be ready.
2) Part of being ready is not just being prepared for the day Jesus returns, but knowing that our personal last day could also come any day.
3) We often feel like we're most ready when life is going smoothly, but it's often in those challenging times when we're depending on Him that we're most ready.
4) God would have us be ready every day, seeing each day as an opportunity to glorify Him and serve others.
5) Perhaps our current situation with the virus, where we don't know when it will all be over, is a great opportunity to practice encouraging each other being ready for Jesus to return.
The end is near!
Sometimes I [Pastor Krause] wonder if the rest of the world is as interested in the end of time as Christians are. When I started actively looking to see how many apocalyptic shows and movies are out there I was blown away by how many there really are. Of course, many of them are about zombies. This weekend we tackle our second to the last nagging question about Judgment Day. Our lesson "How?" is from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
When there's something in our future that we've never experienced before, we can tend to get a bit nervous. If that's true with any unfamiliar experience, it can be especially true with something as different as the return of Jesus. But as we study 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, we find incredible encouragement as we ask the question, "What Will It Be Like?"
Not just someday...
We often talk about what we will experience as Christians "someday." But what we're looking forward to isn't just far off in the distance. It affects how we live today!
1) God's heart for us is that we be sanctified, not just someday but today! Jesus makes us pure and clean so that Holy God lives in us today.
2) At the front lines of the battle between who we are in Christ and who we were before is this question, "Who's in charge? My feelings or me?"
3) When we live by what we feel, we often overstep and contribute to the pain and death in this world.
4) God is the ultimate justice-maker. Jesus endured the justice our sins deserve so we now stand right with God.
5) If we're longing for the day when we live in a pure and holy place with God, why would we go back to impurity now? God's given you His Holy Spirit so you can live the life God has called you to!
It Matters Today!
We're looking forward to eternal life with Jesus. Someday He's going to return. But let's be honest, sometimes all that good stuff can seem really far off. It can be hard to see how it changes the way we live today. So this weekend, as we're nearing the end of the church year and turning our focus towards Jesus' return, we studied 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 by asking the question "What Now?"
Are you ready for __________?
Depending on how you fill in the blank, that question can either bring about excitement or fear. This weekend we'll study 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 with the theme "Ready Or Not" and embrace the excitement of being ready for Christ to Come.
WE WIN!! What if we ran a race and we all crossed the finish line at the exact same moment? Wouldn't we all be the winners? I'm not talking about the kind of race where you don't keep score or everyone gets a prize just for showing up.
Finishing a race at the exact same moment is a good picture of what we wrestled with in our second installment of our Advent series "Christ is Coming". This week we wrestled with one of the most misunderstood concepts of the end times “the Rapture". What is it exactly? What does the Bible really say about the Rapture? We turned our attention to 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18 and our theme was the Greek word translated as "rapture" = HARPADZO (the right kind of rapture).
Pastor Krause leads us through a study of the principles and practice of thankfulness as we look at 1 Thessalonians 5:18.