Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words
I Thessalonians 4.1-8 — Moral Purity Involves Self-Control
It means avoiding sexual sins. It means being honest and ethical with each other.
4.9-11 — Moral Purity Is Built on Love
This love is for all Christians everywhere. We’re a global family; we know from the epistles that we’re actually a unique “ethnicity”. It has nothing to do with race, since our identifying characteristic is our relationship with God. It’s far more fundamental than just culture or genetics. We’re supposed to grow our love all the time. This proves that we’re never going to arrive or perfect our love. This is why we have to always work on it. We’ll never reach God’s level, but that shouldn’t keep us from trying.
4.11-12 — Moral Purity Means Living Peacefully
This means we don’t cause trouble. When the world thinks of peaceful people who don’t cause trouble, who do they think of? Usually Buddhists. This shouldn’t be the case. I can say from experience that Buddhists aren’t all peaceful (try converting to Christianity in lower Cambodia). But most of them keep to themselves and we never really hear anything about them — except that they have a reputation for being peaceful and living quiet lives. Satan has done a fantastic job (historically) of gaining followers who claim to be Christian, only to do horrible things like the Salem Witch Trials or condoning slavery or loudly protesting every sinful thing that happens in our sinful world.
God expects us to stand up for morality, but he also expects us to live quiet, peaceful, unassuming lives. When people think of Christians, they should picture a low-key group of people who do good things for others and live quiet lives. This is extremely appealing to our culture, which is drowning in existential crisis and self-indulgence. They’re desperate for purpose and meaning. If we follow the commands of I Thessalonians 4.11-12 and I Timothy 2, our example alone could very well lead those people to God.
This means we mind our own business. This means we don’t place unnecessary burdens on other people. Non-believers will at least respect our lifestyle, even if they don’t agree with it.
4.13-18 — We Have a Reason for Pursuing Moral Purity
We have hope because Jesus came back to life, proving that death is only the beginning. Jesus will personally come back for his family and we’ll be with him forever.
5.1-11 — We Have to Keep Living Pure Lives if We Want to Leave with Him
The world isn’t looking for the end, so it’ll catch them off guard. Luke 21.25 says everyone will panic when Jesus returns because they won’t have a clue what’s going on. The reminder to Christians in that passage is that we should look up and be strong because our rescuer is coming. We may not know the exact day, but when it happens we’ll know what’s really going on. We should always watch for his return because our hope of escaping earth’s fate is what keeps us going.