Gain the Biblical Perspective on Shining God’s Light Now-S13Ep9
This podcast covers Lesson 8 of Perspective Bible Study by Melanie Newton.
The day of the Lord
The day of the Lord” refers to a future time in which God will be more directly and dramatically involved in world affairs than He has been since the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. That day begins after the Rapture of the church, includes the Lord’s judgment against sin in what is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation chapters 6-18), Christ’s Second Coming in blazing fire (Revelation chapter 19), and ends with the conclusion of the “Millennial Kingdom” and final judgments of those who reject Christ (Revelation chapter 20).
Concerning the Great Tribulation, we won’t be on earth at that time. We are promised salvation and rescue from God’s wrath in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9. And, that’s how God worked in His other times of judgment. Genesis 7; Genesis 19; Luke 17:26-30
If we won’t be here to witness it, and we have no actual control over what will happen, then why did the Lord give us so much detail about that time? All Scripture is useful for teaching and rebuking (2 Timothy 3:16-17). All the verses describing what will happen during the Great Tribulation are a warning to those who reject the Gospel message now. Another purpose is to teach Christians how to live now in order to draw unbelievers to Jesus so they will believe and be saved. The purpose is not so we will spend our lives trying to figure out how all the puzzle pieces fit together. Only God knows that picture.
Until He appears, we are supposed to be waiting for Him, ready for His appearing. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6
“God doesn’t work on our timetable. He has a plan that He will execute perfectly and for the highest, greatest good of all, and for His ultimate glory.” (Chuck Swindoll)
We all have good intentions to share our faith with others if they ask us. God’s love should compel us to share the gospel truth. If we are God’s messengers, we need to be living as someone who shines light to those in darkness.
Living as someone who shines light in the darkness
“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)
Believers in Jesus Christ are children of the light. You are no longer in the kingdom of darkness. You are in the kingdom of light. It’s a new identity. Live as children of the light.
Your faith and love for God is a breastplate protecting your heart from corrupting influences. Your hope in your salvation and belief in Christ’s promise to come for you is like a helmet protecting your mind from doubt and despair. Those flow from your identity as children of the light.
Your identity as children of the light is visible to others. Most of the rest of chapter 5 describes all the ways you can live your life as children of the light. And, each one of these provides light to watching unbelievers.
- Encourage and build each other up (v. 11)
- Esteem and love your spiritual leaders (vv. 12-13)
- Live in peace with each other (v. 13)
- Warn those who are idle and disruptive (v. 14)
- Encourage those who are disheartened (v. 14)
- Help the weak (v. 14)
- Be patient with everyone (v. 14)
- Don’t pay back wrong for wrong (v. 15)
- Strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else (v. 15)
- Rejoice always (v. 16)
- Pray continually (v. 17)
- Give thanks in all circumstances (v. 18)
- Don’t quench the Spirit (v. 19)
- Test all teachings to hold onto what is good and reject what is evil (vv. 20-22)
All of these are God’s will for your life. But, the best news is that He doesn’t expect you to do this on your own. God Himself will sanctify you. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
The word sanctify means to be set apart from sin and to God. By faith in Jesus Christ, God declares us holy in His sight. We are clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27).
You are also being made holy in your thoughts, words, and actions by the work of the Holy Spirit. This is ongoing from the moment of salvation until the Lord comes or you die, when your “being made holy” is complete.
It is Christ at work in you through His Spirit that enables you to do anything good in His name—whether for yourself or for anyone else. We are to live dependently on Him to do this. Colossians 1:29
You can always pray to the Lord like this: “Lord Jesus, I can’t do this on my own. I trust you to do this in me and through me.” Then, watch what He does!
The New Testament teaches that Jesus’ return for us could be at any time. Yes, it has been just shy of 2000 years of waiting. But, if we lived as though we believed that to be true, and asked Jesus to give us His heart’s compassion for the unbelievers around us, how would that affect our lives today? Would we be more interested in shining the light rather than those who contentedly just dance in the light with your friends?
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His perspective on life in the present and in the future. Then, live securely in Him during this time of waiting.