09/29/13 Giving Hell a Headache!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don’t Be Confused Series: wk. 9

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-12 (NKJV)

1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you.

Intro: The beginning of the book of Thessalonians commends the Christian for their attitude toward the return of Christ. In the final words in chapter 5 the attitude must lead to an action, or something is radically wrong. The coming of Christ is an exciting hope which leads to action – or it should! Ministry should be dangerous to hell. The Christian should be so committed and courageous for God that the enemy knows your name. Jim Elliot once said: “Oh that God would make us dangerous!’ Jim Elliot with three other missionaries died in 1956 while attempting to evangelize to the Waodani people in Ecuador. It is one thing to say your name is written down in the Lambs Book of Life, but it is another for the devil to know who you are! Are you a threat to hell? Are you giving hell a headache!

Application: Oh that God would make you dangerous!

1. The Lord’s Return and Time: vs. 1-3

“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

There is a simple and easy answer to this time frame or the Lord’s return. It is a fact: that should not have to be discussed, a day that shall come suddenly and unexpectedly it is a day of false security, a day of terrible destruction and travail, a day of no escape. Now remember we were just told in chapter 4 that “we will be caught up!” the church will not be a part of this great tribulation. There should be no confusion for the believer!

The church must take serious – “This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it!” There is a call for the believer in Christ to be awake and alert in view of Christ's coming, because the believer will not enter into that awful night of the Tribulation period, which is labeled the Day of the Lord.

The church is looking for a Person, not for times and seasons. The Lord Jesus does not come to the church like a thief in the night. The church is looking for and waiting for the Lord to come. You don't wait for a thief and look for him and leave a note for him on the back door when you leave your house -- "I left the back door open for you, Mr. Thief, and you'll find the family silver in the third drawer to the right in the dining room." I don't imagine you have ever left such a note. The chances are that you check everything before you leave the house, making sure that your home is doubly locked. You want to keep the thief out. So the Lord Jesus does not come as a thief to the church. The Lord Jesus does come like a thief to the world after the church has been raptured.

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.” Isaiah 13:9

“When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them." It is going to be a big surprise to the world. They are not going to expect it. The world is living in a "big lie," the promise of peace and safety. The Lord Jesus warned of that: "Take heed that no man deceive you." The world expects to enter a great era of peace, the Millennium, but they will find themselves plunged into the Great Tribulation, which will include the greatest war the world has ever seen. It will come upon them suddenly like a thief in the night.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10 (NKJV)

- Just remember this, church! “Let not your heart be troubled!” Give hell a headache you won’t be there right?

2. The Lord’s Return and the Believer’s Behavior: vs. 4-11

4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you.

The rapture of the church actually does two things: It ends this day of grace in which we are today, this calling out a people for His name and bringing many sons home to glory. This is what God is doing in our day. The Rapture not only ends that, but it begins the Day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation will get under way when the church leaves the earth. The one event of the Rapture will end the day of grace and begin the Day of the Lord. It closes one day and opens another. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." Why won't it? Well, because we won't be here. We found in chapter 4 that "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout" and take His church out of the world. "Ye are all the children of light." In other words, you don't belong to that dispensation which is coming in the future. You belong to the dispensation of grace in which we are today.

If you do not learn these distinctions which are made in the Scripture, you will be hopelessly confused. My last two months of message’s all have been about the Christian having no need to be confused. When the Day of the Lord comes, we are going to be with the Lord. We are not in darkness. That day will not overtake us as a thief in the night. He does not come as a thief to take His church. The church is looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior. We must be “Standing on the promises not sitting on the premises!” We are the chosen not frozen. “Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober!”

The word sober has several meanings. It can mean "to stay sober" in the sense of not using an alcoholic stimulant, but there are also other kinds of drunkenness besides that caused by alcohol or drugs. A lot of people get drunk on power or on the making of money or on the pleasures of this world. The child of God is to stay sober and is to watch. Why? I believe we are close to the time of the return of the Lord. I don't know, of course, but I think we are. “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11

“Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” So how do you give hell a headache? Let's understand that we have a duty to perform. Putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and wearing the helmet of the hope of salvation speaks of a soldier’s duty. The hope of salvation is that blessed hope of the future. We are not looking for the Great Tribulation period. I don't see how there could be any rejoicing in that! We are looking for that blessed hope, which is the consummation of our salvation. The bible tells us: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Whether we die first or whether we live until His coming, we shall live together with Him. Most of the church has already gone through the doorway of death. What a parade that will be someday -- beginning with Stephen and the apostles, the martyrs, all those who have fallen asleep in Jesus down through the years, and then those who are still alive at His coming, and if you and I are still alive, we will bring up the rear. Thank God, we shall be there by the grace of God! “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” What a comfort all of this is to us as believers! There is no confusion with comfort there is no confusion with love!

Here is a simply duty for the church, comfort yourselves together and edify one another! Can you do that?

Conclusion:

Can you love someone out of hell? You can, are you giving hell a headache? Let me ask you, if an evil spirit questioned your identity, what would you say? How would you be able to answer? Are you becoming a dangerous Christian? Are you famous in hell? Do demons shudder at the mention of your name? What are you doing to ensure that your face is on the walls of hell’s post office? Does the devil know your name? What will you do to give hell a bigger headache? What will you do to become a more dangerous Christian?


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