Be Ready for Jesus

Posted: March 3, 2016 in 1 Thessalonians, Route 66, Uncategorized

Route 66: 1 Thessalonians, “Be Ready for Jesus”

Have you ever wished you had just a bit more time with someone?  You couldn’t quite say everything you wanted to say or do what you wanted to do, and all of a sudden it was time to leave.  No doubt Paul experienced that quite often.  During his missionary journeys, many times Paul didn’t get to leave on his own schedule.  It wasn’t uncommon for him to be forced out of town after riots and other troubles erupted.

Such was the case with the Thessalonians.  He didn’t get the all the time with them that he wanted, and it probably felt as if he had left some things undone.  Much had been accomplished, and Paul took much joy in the church that was there – but he wanted them to know a few more things.  Most importantly, he wanted them to know to be ready for Jesus.

BACKGROUND:
The epistles to the church at Thessalonica are fairly unique among the letters of Paul, in that these seem more to be group-authored than anything else we have from him.  Although many of Paul’s letters begin with more than his name alone in the opening line (typical for a Roman epistle), the other letters are overwhelmingly written in the 1st person singular.  Paul may have been with other people as he dictated the letter to his amanuensis (scribe), but it was his voice & his thoughts, as guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  However, both letters to the Thessalonians are primarily written in the 1st person plural.  There are some spots that are singular, and obviously in Paul’s voice, but overall these letters could easily have been joint-authored by each of the men listed in the opening line.  In this case, it was Paul, Silvanus (Silas), and Timothy.

Considering the circumstances of writing, this actually makes much sense.  From the book of Acts, we learn that Paul and his companions first arrived in Thessalonica during his 2nd missionary journey, after having left Philippi. [MAP1, MAP2]  This was all part of Macedonia, where Paul realized he needed to go, after receiving a vision from a man of Macedonia pleading with him to help them. (Acts 16:9)  By this point, Paul had already picked up Timothy from the town of Lystra, and Luke had also joined up with Paul somewhere along the way, perhaps in Troas (1st person in Acts 16:11).  Luke seems to have stayed behind in Philippi after Paul & Silas were released from jail (Acts 17:1 is back to 3rd person), so it would have been Paul, Silas, and Timothy who arrived in Thessalonica together.

Thessalonica was thought to be the major metropolis of Macedonia, having an active sea port, a large population (10,000 strong), and being situated on the famed Via Egnatia trade route.  It was actually considered a free city within the Roman Empire, which allowed it special privileges other cities did not enjoy.  It also made the citizenry especially wary of drawing the attention of the Romans, which played a major role in Paul’s ministry there.

Once in the city, Paul engaged in his usual evangelistic strategy: first preaching to the Jews in the synagogue, and then preaching to the Gentiles when he was inevitably kicked out.  In Thessalonica, that equated only to three weeks in the synagogue (Acts 17:2), and an unknown amount of time out in the rest of the city.  All in all, it wasn’t very long (some scholars estimate only 4-6 months in Thessalonica total) before the Jews became envious of Paul & stirred up trouble against him & the other missionaries.  They ended up assaulting one of the Thessalonian believers by the name of Jason, dragging him to the elders of the city, accusing him of harboring “those who have turned the world upside down,” (Acts 17:6).  (How wonderful it would be for the church to be worthy of the same label today!)  The main charge against the Christians is that they preached a different King (which they did, though the kingdom of Christ is not of this world), and the city leaders were troubled by this.  This might threaten their freedom & privileges, and Rome would surely bring down trouble upon them. 

With all that in mind, Paul & co. left for Berea, where some of the Jews followed them.  Paul eventually sailed on ahead to Athens, with Silas & Timothy later joining him (Acts 17:15). From Athens, they went to Corinth, where they spent quite a bit of time.

That all brings us to the 1st letter to the Thessalonians.  Unlike other letters which were written while Paul was in prison, or after the events of the book of Acts came to a close, this was written while these things were still ongoing (likely in the very early 50s).  Paul references his recent ministry among them, even how he had come to them from Philippi, as well as how the missionary party had been forced to leave under quick circumstances.  All in all, Paul & the others seem to have written from Corinth, after Timothy had been able to quickly journey back & forth between them & the Thessalonians.  Paul was understandably concerned how this new church was faring, probably not feeling as if he was able to complete the ministry he desired to do there.  So he & the others wrote not out of correction, but simply out of pastoral love – wanting the best for the church & exhorting them to continue looking ahead.

SIGNIFICANCE
It’s what the Thessalonians are exhorted to look forward to that the epistle is best known for: the rapture.  1-2 Thessalonians each contain some of Paul’s most detailed teaching on the events of the end times (though teaching on eschatology is scattered throughout Paul’s letters).  In the first letter, the issue is the imminent rapture; in the 2nd letter, the issue is Jesus’ 2nd coming & clearing up confusion between the two.

One aspect about all of this that is so interesting is the importance Paul placed upon this teaching.  His time with the Thessalonians was limited, yet he apparently already introduced some concepts about the future resurrection and rapture, and this proved to be a major motivation for holy living.  Whereas some churches avoid the topic of the end-times altogether, Paul did the opposite.  This was basic for Paul.  He lived with a constant eye towards seeing Jesus face-to-face, and he wanted the churches he planted to do the same thing.

How important it is to realize that we will see Jesus, and we will see Him soon!  Whether by death or by rapture, one day each of us will look the Lord Jesus in the eye & see Him for the glorious God that He is.  How will He find us?  Will we be ready?

GENERAL OUTLINE
Being that this letter came early on in Paul’s ministry (possibly one of the first he wrote), it does not divide as well as Ephesians or Colossians.  It certainly wasn’t planned out to the depth that Romans was.  That said, there is some organization to 1 Thessalonians.  Chapter divisions are often arbitrary, but they are easy enough to use.  1 Thessalonians has five chapters, which fall into two major categories:
Current Events – What was going on at the present time.

  • Thanksgiving for them (1)…Paul’s joy at their faith.
  • Paul’s ministry among them (2)…His defense of his ministry & motives.
  • Concern and prayer for them (3)…Why Timothy came & went, and how Paul prayed for them.

Last Things – What the church could look forward to in the future & how they could prepare for it.

  • Christian life and hope (4)…Living rightly, with an eye towards the rapture.
  • Imminency & exhortations (5)…Awareness that Jesus can come at any time.

Current Events
Thanksgiving for them (1)
Greeting (1:1)
The opening is fairly standard, with the aforementioned multiple-authorship exception (at least, potentially…it still could be primarily Paul in voice).  Paul & the others present themselves humbly, which is only natural considering there is no discipline or correction in the letter.

There is one subtle issue of importance in verse 1, which might be overlooked at a casual glance: the equality of Father & Son in the Godhead.  The church originates from where?  “In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Grammatically speaking, the two Persons are joined by the conjunction, which makes them each recipients of the same action.  All of that to say, God the Father and God the Son have the same power and authority over the church, and the church finds its existence in both of them together (along with God the Holy Spirit).  Considering that this was written less than 20 years following Jesus’ resurrection, it goes to underscore how important the idea of the deity of Christ was to the early church.  This is not something that developed over time & centuries; this was foundational to the church itself!

Their faith and example (1:2-10)
The bulk of chapter one is filled with warm greetings and prayers from the missionary party.  They were overjoyed at what God had done in & among the Thessalonians.  Although there had been trouble from the Jews (who apparently were not fair-minded, as were the Bereans – Acts 17:11), the people who did come to faith remained faithful.  Paul and the others knew what the Thessalonian Christians continued to do, even after Paul’s quick departure – their “work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope” (1:3).  Even with as short a time as Paul was there, he was absolutely convinced they were true believers, having the “election by God” (1:4) & “assurance” of the Holy Spirit (1:5).

What had been evidence of their faith?  “Affliction.” (1:6)  It wasn’t Paul who was dragged before the magistrates & city elders – it was one of the Thessalonians.  They personally experienced persecution on behalf of the gospel, and they showed they were willing to suffer for the name of Jesus.  As Paul would later write to Timothy in Ephesus: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution,” (2 Tim 3:12).  We so often look for signs of blessing in terms of material prosperity, but perhaps we’re using the wrong standard from which to measure.  Those who stand firm for Jesus today should expect persecution.  Obviously it’s not something that we ought to seek out, but it is a sign that we’re doing something right.

It certainly was in Paul’s case.  He suffered, and the churches he planted suffered as well.  But because they remained faithful, they became an example (1:7).  Other churches in Macedonia & Greece could look to Thessalonica and see how they ought to respond to the hatred of the world.  Paul didn’t even have to brag on them to other churches he planted…word about them was spreading on its own (1:8).

  • Faith in Christ certainly needs to be preached through our words, but it ought to be proclaimed through our lives as well.  There ought to be evidence to back up our claims of being Christian.  As Jesus said, a tree is known by its fruit (Lk 6:44), and the fruit of a believer is love.  Our love for God & love for others, if sincere, will manifest itself in some way…that’s something that simply cannot be contained or concealed.  If it is, there’s a problem.

For the Thessalonians, the example of their faith was so evident, that other people in other cities were able to report back to Paul how they had heard of the Thessalonians turn from idolatry to Christianity.  Interestingly enough, Paul turns this already to issues of eschatology: 1 Thessalonians 1:9–10, "(9) For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, (10) and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come."  He won’t officially talk about the rapture until the 4th chapter, but already he writes of how the church was waiting for the Lord Jesus & how Jesus would deliver us from the wrath of God.

  • Ultimately, that’s not just what happens with the rapture (being delivered from the day of the Lord’s wrath upon the earth), but that’s what happens with our salvation, period.  Because of Christ, we are delivered from the wrath of God!  Jesus has fulfilled all of the punishment that we had earned, and we now rest in God’s grace and favor.

Paul’s ministry among them (2)
His blameless behavior (2:1-12)
Because Paul had to leave Thessalonica so suddenly, it seems that he felt compelled to answer some charges that had potentially risen up against him.  Had he run from the Jews because he was in the wrong?  Was he in reality a charlatan, trying to enrich himself off of the Thessalonian Christians?  Not at all!  Whatever rumors that were being spread about him, Paul (and the others) could put them to rest.  The Thessalonian Christians themselves knew Paul (2:1).  They knew the reason they came, and how they had already suffered persecution & unjust imprisonment in Philippi (2:2), and were still faithful to preach the gospel in Thessalonica once they arrived.

Neither did Paul & the others preach from impure motives.  God tested their hearts (2:4), and their honesty was seen in their deeds.  Paul and the others could have demanded that the Thessalonians support them financially, but they didn’t do so (2:6).  They labored not only in the gospel for their salvation, but with their own hands in order to avoid burdening the baby church (2:9).  Paul and the others had lived blamelessly among them, and they knew it – so now Paul and the others had the credibility to call them to “walk worthy of God” (2:12).

  • Just as with the love of a believer, the motive of a minister is going to be made clear through his actions.  Does a preacher or evangelist really seek the best for the people, or is he just seeking his own?  Actions speak louder than words.  There’s nothing wrong with receiving an offering, and there are many ways to do so that honor the Lord.  But when a preacher’s focus is always on money, then that’s a pretty good indication of where his priorities are.  Pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc., should care more about the gospel of Jesus than personal gain.  And when they don’t, it’s evident.

Their response to the missionaries (2:13-16)
Of course, the Thessalonians at the time had known of the sincerity of Paul & the others, and thus their motives proved no stumbling block to the gospel.  The Thessalonians received the words of the missionaries as if they were the words of God, which in fact the gospel is. (2:13)  When we preach Jesus, we do not preach ourselves; we’re preaching the gospel that belongs to the Lord God.  And God’s word is powerful!  It “effectively works in [those] who believe.” (2:13)  Whether that is the gospel proclamation of Jesus, or the written words of Scripture, there is power in the words of God!

  • That’s one reason it’s so important to proclaim it clearly & without apology.  God will use His word to bring His people to faith.  All we need to do is to proclaim it & get out of the way.

One way the word of God worked within them was to give them the strength to withstand their suffering.  The issue of their persecution comes up once again, as Paul (Silas, and Timothy) compare the Thessalonians to Jesus, the Jewish prophets, and the Judean Christians – all who were persecuted.  In each of these instances (the Thessalonians included), it was the Jews who did the persecuting, and in doing so, they filled up on the wrath of God (2:16).

Why does Paul mention their suffering so much?  Because it was real!  The Thessalonians may have suffered for the right reason, but it was still painful.  Persecution is often necessary, but it’s never fun.  Keep in mind these were baby Christians, and they were having to deal with some really deep issues at this point.  They didn’t have the opportunity to grow to Christian maturity in a safe, peaceful environment before entering the hostile mission field; they were born into a hostile mission field!  If their faith wasn’t serious, it wouldn’t be stable.  No one in Thessalonica had the luxury of making a half-hearted commitment to Christ.  They didn’t have the luxury of a lazy faith.

  • Neither do we!  We may not live in an area of the world where it is physically dangerous to be a Christian, but we do live in an era in which Christianity is increasingly rejected.  We no longer have the luxury of a lazy faith.  And it’s something we should never have had anyway.  Our commitment to Christ needs to be intentional & sincere; anything less is not a commitment at all.  Waving a Bible around does not make someone a believer – having a Christian grandmother doesn’t save you.  Salvation comes only through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, believing that He is God who died for your sins at the cross & knowing that He rose again from the grave.  It is personal faith in the personal God – a true commitment to the Lord Jesus.  That’s the only kind of faith that will sustain you through hostile times.  Anything less will be abandoned.

Paul’s joy for them (2:17-20)
It was with their faith in mind that Paul wanted to be with them.  They were his hope, his joy, his crown of rejoicing (2:19).  He was pulled away from them far earlier than he had wanted, and it seemed as if Satan himself hindered Paul from travelling again to them (2:18).  Yet he knew they were in the hands of the Lord Jesus, that their faith was solidly sincere, and that they would see Jesus at His coming (2:19).  That was enough to give him joy for the moment.

Concern and prayer for them (3)
Timothy’s inquiry & report (3:1-10)
It was because Paul was prohibited from travelling to Thessalonica that he had sent messengers back to them to check on the church.  Most likely, after Timothy and Silas had rejoined Paul in Athens for a time, Paul went on by himself to Corinth (Acts 18:1), while Silas and Timothy went back to Thessalonica.  Luke writes how they eventually joined Paul in Corinth, having “come from Macedonia,” (Acts 18:5) so perhaps Silas and Timothy split up to check on the various Macedonian churches before turning south again.  In any case, Paul specifically writes of Timothy being the one to check up on the Thessalonians (3:2), knowing how Timothy would continue to establish them & encourage them in the faith.  Paul’s fear was that due to his quick departure, the church would have fallen into temptation, and thus fallen away from the faith (3:5).

  • Question: was it logical for Paul to fear this?  Sure.  Even the best evangelists can see their work wither away.  Jesus told the parable of the soils, in which the seed of the word was sown, but out of four soils onto which it fell, only one produced lasting life & fruit.  Two of the other four soils saw short-term sprouting, but also quick destruction due to withering or weeds. (Mt 13)  Paul’s prayer for the church is that Thessalonica had good soil for the gospel, but the proof would be in the pudding (so to speak).  Would they last?  Only time would tell.
  • It ought to be no surprise that many people who respond to a gospel invitation end up not following Jesus at all.  They may have raised their hands, walked an aisle, signed a card, etc., but they hadn’t truly surrendered their hearts.  True faith isn’t surface-level; it goes deep.  (And it can be asked for!  Lord, increase our faith!)

The good news back to Paul was that Timothy brought a good report.  Not only had their initial faith been an example to rest of Macedonia (1:7), but it had endured to that day, and the Thessalonians not only had a faith and love for Christ, but also a love for Paul & the others (3:6).  And Paul being Paul, that only caused him to rejoice all the more. J

Paul’s prayer for the church (3:11-13)
Paul’s prayer comes straight out of his heart of joy for the church.  He still desired to see them, and asked that God would direct his way to them (3:11).  But more than that, he prayed that the Thessalonians would abound in love, and establish their hearts in holiness (3:12-13).  Why?  In order that they would be ready to stand before God and see the Lord Jesus.

It’s with that in mind that Paul dives into the next section.  His prayer almost serves as an outline.  They needed to live holy, because they would soon see God…

Last Things
Christian life and hope (4)
Live purely (4:1-8)
Paul (and the others) plead with the church to live in purity.  “We urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus…” (4:1)  This isn’t subtle language; Paul is being as blatant as possible.  This is what he desperately wants them to know and do.  The Thessalonians had been saved, no doubt about it.  But they were to continue in that salvation, and live as though they had been saved.  They were to walk in such a way as would be pleasing to God, which is exactly what Paul had taught them when he was with them (4:2).

Why Paul writes with this kind of urgency, we don’t know.  Perhaps along with the good report from Timothy came news of dangerous temptations coming into the church.  No doubt the Christians were surrounded with all kinds of sinful things every day – it was a major metropolitan city, after all.  They needed to be exhorted not to take their salvation for granted, but to live as the people of God that they now were.  As pagan Gentiles, they had lived in all kinds of lustfulness, but no longer.  The will of God was for their sanctification – that they would flee sexual immorality (4:3).  God had not called them to uncleanness, but to holiness (4:7), and that applied to how they used their physical bodies & how they related to personal interactions with each other.

  • We are no less surrounded with temptations than the Thessalonians of Paul’s day.  In fact, we might make the argument that we have even greater availability to sin than any culture in history.  After all, we carry the internet with us everywhere we go.  Be careful & beware!  God has called us to purity.  This is an area in which the will of God is perfectly clear – there is no grey-area.  1 Thessalonians 4:3, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;"  It’s difficult to get more clear than that!  Be mindful of the temptations that surround you, and flee them.  Even if your particular weak area is not sexual immorality, God’s will for your life is still your sanctification.  He wants you to continue to grow in holiness, and we cannot do that if we’re always diving into the sins of our past.

Live humbly (4:9-12)
Holy living isn’t only how we live as private individuals between us & God; it’s also how we interact with others.  Paul reminded the Thessalonians that they were to love one another – and this was so obvious, he realized this didn’t even need a reminder (4:9). Even so, we are to abound in love, looking for opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ to one another.  In the process, we’re to live humbly, quietly (4:11) – to faithfully labor & work to put bread on our tables.  The basic idea is be a good neighbor.  Don’t be someone who’s always asking for money – don’t be someone who’s a burden on your neighbor, or being burdensome in your actions and words.

  • Some of this what used to be called plain old common sense.  This isn’t complicated; it’s just basic maturity.  Be a caring, responsible neighbor, and see what happens.  All kinds of opportunities might open up to point someone to Jesus.

Live hopefully (4:12-18)
At this point, Paul seems to take a sharp turn to issues of eschatology, but really everything in Chapter 4 has paved the way for this.  Paul wants the Thessalonians to be mindful of the resurrection and the rapture, but the rapture isn’t something to be looked at as an “escape hatch” from society.  Even in the end times, Christians are to live as Christians.  Even while looking ahead to the moment that Jesus will take us from this place, we’re still to live as witnesses and examples in this place.  That’s one reason why personal purity and brotherly love is so important for the believer.  Because Jesus is coming soon, we need to live for Him today, while we have the chance.

Paul didn’t want the church to be ignorant of the fact that Jesus IS coming soon.  He had alluded to it throughout the letter: we wait for God’s Son from heaven who delivers us from the wrath to come (1:10) – we will be in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming (2:19) – we pray that our hearts would be established before God at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with His saints (3:13).  Now he writes more specifically of that time.  What will it look like?  What is involved?

Although we cannot know for certain, it seems likely that this may have been another issue that was reported back from Timothy.  Obviously the Thessalonian church had already experienced persecution.  Perhaps some had died as a result.  Or perhaps, some had died in the short time Paul was away.  What would happen to these believers?  Paul had no doubt introduced them to a bit of doctrine about heaven, but he wasn’t there long enough to really dive into the details.  So Paul writes to give them assurance & hope.  All who are in Christ Jesus will see Christ Jesus.  Whether we die in the Lord or we live until His return, we will all see Him with our own eyes.

It’s with this in mind that Paul writes some of the most famous words about the rapture: 1 Thessalonians 4:15–18, "(15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words."

Despite the fact these words are debated back & forth throughout the church, there are some things upon which all Bible-believing Christians can agree.  (1) Jesus is coming back.  (2) Those who died in Christ will rise in their own personal resurrection.  (3) Those who live in Christ will rise to meet Jesus in the air.  No matter what position someone holds in regards to the timing of these events, orthodox Christianity must affirm at least this much.  IOW, all Bible believing Christians believe in a rapture, even if they don’t use the terminology.

That said, there are clues here in regards to the timing.  (1) The rapture does not take place prior to the resurrection.  They happen subsequent to one another, though only a split-second apart.  Thus, it hasn’t yet taken place.  It is still future. (2) Jesus is the One who Himself descends, and shouts, having the trumpet of God.  This is vastly different than the portrayal of Jesus’ 2nd coming in the book of Revelation, where the angels sound the various trumpets of judgment.  (3) Jesus is never said to set foot upon the ground, but rather we meet the Lord in the air.  This is also different than other portrayals of Jesus’ 2nd coming.

With that in mind (and more), it seems reasonable to think that the resurrection of the saints/rapture of the church is an event separate and distinct from the 2nd Coming.  Solid Bible teachers disagree on this point, and it is a non-essential issue of doctrine – so take it for what it’s worth.

The main issue for Paul is that the Thessalonians had a reason for hope.  They could be comforted even in death, because they had the sure promise of seeing the Lord.  When they would see Him was an open-ended question, and they needed to be ready…

Imminency and exhortations (5)
Be ready (5:1-11)
When would the resurrection/rapture take place?  No one knows.  Not even Paul claimed knowledge of the exact date, and it wouldn’t serve the Thessalonians to have him attempt to suggest anything (5:1).  Paul seemed to think that it would happen within his own lifetime (“we who are alive and remain…” 4:15), but he didn’t know.  What he did know is that it would come at an hour no one expected, just like a thief in the night (5:2).  Because Jesus could come at any moment, Christians need to be always ready.  This isn’t the time to get lazy (or “sleep,” 5:6) – this is the time to get active & sober (5:8).  This is a time to engage in battle, putting on the armor of God (5:8), being ready for whatever it is the world will throw at us.

Be active (5:12-22)
How to do it?  Paul gives a series of exhortations as examples.  (5:12) Recognize their elders & pastors – (5:13b) be at peace with one another – (5:14-15) do what’s right & pursue good – (5:16-18) rejoice, pray, give thanks – (5:19-21) exercise the spiritual gifts given them by God, being sure to test them – (5:22) keep themselves from evil.

Again, this isn’t rocket science; this is Christianity 101.  These are things most of us know; the challenge comes in actually putting them into practice.  The point here is that Christianity is to be lived out.  To be ready to see Jesus at any moment means more than just knowing the right doctrine; it means living in such a way that we will be found as pleasing to Him.

Be blessed (5:23-28)
Paul basically ends with a prayer of benediction for them.  Throughout the letter, he had exhorted them to be sanctified; how he prays that God would be the one to do it (5:23).  Through God’s help, they would be found blameless at Jesus’ coming.  Whatever it is we do for Christ, we do by the power of Christ, by the Holy Spirit.  And praise God for it!  If it depended upon us, we’d be lost.  But God is faithful, and God will do the work.

Conclusion:
Are you ready to see Jesus?  He could come back at any moment – but even if not, we’re still not guaranteed another breath.  Are you ready to see Jesus tonight?  If He called you home, what would you be found doing?  That’s a sobering thought, and it should be.  We’ve been given a limited opportunity to live for the Lord, with the limit being time.  Every day gives us 24 hours – 1440 minutes – 86400 seconds.  How are you using them for the Lord?  How many are wasted, spent living the way we used to live?  May God help us to value our time & be wise stewards!

Instead of wasting the time we’ve been given, we can use it living as witnesses for the Lord Jesus.  Be it through our humble day-to-day lives, or as purposeful walking examples of believers in Christ – we can point people to Jesus through our words and deeds.  Live for the Lord, and know you will be ready when He comes.

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