Journal – April 11, 2021
2 Samuel 1:1
Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag;
SECOND COMING OF THE LORD
1 THESSALONIANS 4:9-18
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; 10and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 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. 17Then 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. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Vs. 9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; The apostle now turns to other topics quite a bit in contrast to the previous verses regarding brotherly love and honest industry in their secular calling. Brotherly love or Philadelphia love is the love of a brother that is a fellow believe or a Christian brother. Paul writes you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. They that were already taught by God had no need for further teaching. To be God-taught is to have divine teaching as a divine power and life. Brother-love has a special prominence, (1) for it is a testing fruit of regeneration we know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death; (1 John 3:14); (2) its visible existence is a condition of the world’s knowledge of conversion (John 17:21); (3) a token of true discipleship (John 8:35); while it is obedience to Christ’s new commandment and enforced by His own example (John 13:34); and is essential to the spiritual growth of the church.
Vs. 10 And indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more. It appears thatthe practice of brotherly love by the Thessalonians was not quite like their knowledge of it. The mutual love, tendency and purpose of the divine teaching was an earnest and actual affection, manifesting itself in such forms and spheres as the state and wants of the churches around them and opened up for them. The apostle inculcates an increase of this love, which according to the previous verse, they already possessed, their love was not perfect, but was capable of increased intensity guided by a growing Christian intelligence and experience. Their love was to be towards all the fellow believers, not only in their own city, but also in the whole province of Macedonia including Philippi and Berea along with other places to which the gospel had been carried. But we exhort you brethren, to abound still more. What the manifestations of brotherly love were we do not know, the Greek indicates that their love had contained some acts of substantial Christian hospitality or relief for the poor, or kindness to persecuted refugees afforded to such as might be the victims of persecution. We know that Paul gave high testimony to their grace of liberality in the Macedonia province in 2 Corinthians 8:1-2.
Vs. 11 That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. UNDER NORMAL SITUATIONS THE FOLLOWING RESPONSE IS OFFERED: The admonition is to live peaceably in their own families, to give no disturbance to other families, by gossip, to behave with quietness in the neighborhood of the city or town they live in, and seek the peace for the community, that you also aspire to lead a quiet life. Next, they are not to stick their nose into other people’s business under a pretext of zeal for the other person’s well-being. If the person is a skilled craftsman then mind your own business and work with your own hands at your craft; if he is a merchant than run your own business making sure you stock what others need, or if an equestrian businessman be sure you have all the needed things to care for horses. So, it is work with your own hands as we commanded you. We read in Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. HOWEVER. THIS IS THE SITUATION IN THESSALONICA: Some were supporting the needy generously; but others on account of the liberal generosity of the rich refused to work expecting to be cared for. This is an abuse of brotherly love and has a bad effect on all concerned. These were gad-abouts tending to others business, not working with their hands It is probable that the mistaken idea about the immediate return of the Savior may have unsettled many minds and led them to live in this idea of depending upon richer brethren expecting a new state of society, all things having passed away. We probably find the unsettled state of their minds was caused by the erroneous belief regarding the speedy advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their present state seems to have been contemned and its obligations done away with through their feverish enthusiasm which their false expectations had excited within them. They were in deep uneasiness about the share which departed friends and relatives would have in the blessing and glory of the second advent. They are therefore charged to study a calm, dignified, unhurried composure. They were to mind their own affairs engaging in that business which interests them in the life that now is and the life which is to come. Paul tells them to work with their own hands, no doubt the majority of the Thessalonian Church was made up of the working classes. They were not to cease manual labor, and by their idleness beg the generosity of others; but they were to be as active in their daily toil they were before the gospel ever came to Thessalonica. Their minds were confused by these momentous truths that open up to them regarding the advent of the Lord, some of them were forming false conclusions and speculations. When Paul visited the city later, he found some of this same evil and warned against them as we commanded you.
Vs. 12 That you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. Those who are outside are outside the Christian community—the non-Christians living around them. The lack of a decent behavior towards unbelievers created prejudice against the gospel and hindered its reception. In addition, the unsaved could see the actions of those who were refusing to work and were wondering about this type of behavior. It is a disgrace, even to the unsaved, for a person to live in idleness and beg from others. When we see the charge to work with your own hands, those individuals that need to get busy and be obedient, they would lack nothing.
Vs. 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. While Paul and his associates were in Thessalonica, they taught the doctrine of the resurrection, but since they had to leave suddenly parts of it may have been misunderstood. Therefore, the special points he is providing gives illumination, it appears the problem was about those Christians that have died (fallen asleep) subsequent to Paul’s teaching and what their relation was to the Second Advent. The church members were anxious over relatives and friends—some were in great sorrow and perplexity. They did not doubt their ultimate resurrection, the point that disturbed them was the connection of the dead believers with the coming kingdom. What they; feared was that those who fell asleep before that period might by their death be excluded in some way from the glories expected at the Second Advent thought by many to be so near at hand. Not their decease in itself, but their decease in the time of it, or before that date troubled the survivors. Paul shows that their death is no loss, that they forgo no advantage that they rise first, and are in no way obstructed by those who shall be alive at the Savior’s second coming.
Vs. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. The apostle actually states that: if we believe that Jesus died and rose again then we have the absolute certainty that at the Second Coming of Jesus: God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. Christ’s resurrection on the third day secures the resurrection of all those for whom He paid their sin debt, they shall arise based upon their connection with Him.
Vs. 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. The anxieties of those that are not working in Thessalonica are eased: we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. Inasmuch as Paul says we say to you and we who are alive brought about the teaching that Paul would not die before the Second Coming.Paul sets forth two classes, the living and the dead. He naturally puts himself in the first class because he was a member employing the present time. Also being a member of the family of God he addresses it by the word WE. Then in 2Corinthians 4:14 the apostle says: knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus and will present us with you. Notice the us.
Vs. 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. This same Jesus that went up into heaven and was seated at the Father’s right hand, the Lord Himself will descend from heaven. There will be a shout, the Greek keleusuati is a command, andonly appears here in the New Testament, with the voice of an archangel. It may be that the archangel gives the thunder-shout on that great day, and those sleeping in Christ the world over, arise as the trumpet of God sounds. The dead in Christ rise from their graves, think for a moment on that great event, individuals eaten by wild animals, sailors buried at sea, those whose bodies have been burned—all will rise from their grave and stand again on this earth.
Vs. 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. The last trump sounds, He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:31).
Vs. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Catechism Question 59
Q. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.