Preppers - 6/3/18

PREPPERS 06-03-2018
1 Thessalonians 5: 23-24

While flipping through the channels a few days ago, just trying to find something
worthwhile to watch, … I came across the Chevy Chase movie produced by
National Lampoon, … Vacation. … I didn’t watch it … but I have seen it in the
past.
The premise: … A family goes on vacation … and if anything can go wrong, …
it does!
Much like most real life vacations.
How many of you have been on a vacation with a child? … No matter how long
the trip is, … be it 5 minutes, … 5 hours … or 5 days, … we are bound to here that
wonderful question; … “Are we there yet?”
Here’s one for us; … Have you ever asked that same question in terms of your
Christian life?
Maybe things are going right for us spiritually … or have been for a little while,
now … yet do we still ask our self; … “Hmm, … am I there yet?”.
Is it possibly, … the opposite extreme, … nothing is going right for us spiritually,
… our walk is more like a crawl, … we feel like your prayers are stopping at the
ceiling … and instead of saying; … “Good morning Lord”, … we wake up saying
“Good Lord, … it’s morning!”
In the midst of all of this, … are we wondering; … “Are we there yet” … and …
“will I EVER be there?”
Here are the facts; … the Christian life is a journey … and it takes time.
When we feel like it may never end, … to some extent, … that is true.
The life we now have is eternal, … so it will never end … but the life in this body,
… it will come to an end … and at that time, … the struggle against the flesh will
cease … and we can become what Christ had always intended for us to be.
So, where do we turn when we want to know; … “Are we there yet?”
The best place to turn is to God and to His Word.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit,
soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
(Pray) Dear Lord, … let us become prepared … for Your coming … AMEN

Thessalonica was the capital of a Roman province … and known as a city of great
commerce. … The Church in Thessalonica was known for its faith and charity …
but was also known for focusing too much on one tenant of Church doctrine: …
Christ’s return … (this is a theme touched on in both letters by Paul to this
Church).
Paul’s purpose in writing this book was to confirm the young believers in the
foundational truths, … exhort them to live in holiness … and to comfort them as
“sons of light”, … without pains of death … and Christ’s return.
We can see traces Paul’s purpose in our passage today.
First Paul tells us: …
1. God is at work in us.
Paul tells us that the Lord is working to sanctify us.
What is sanctification?
A. T. Robertson (noted Southern Baptist Theologian of the early 20 th Century)
defines it as: … “to render or declare holy, to separate from things profane”.
It is presented in the text as a wish for the future.
Something taking place and continuing to take place … (open ended)
Accordingly, … what is the difference between sanctification and justification?:
… Justification occurs at salvation: … We are made just by the blood of Jesus
Christ; … our sins are wiped clean.
Sanctification begins at Salvation: … It is the process of becoming more like
Christ … and ends when we reach the other side, … that is, … our eternal reward.
We are being sanctified … “Through and through”, the entire Spirit, … Soul …
and Body. … (What is reborn is His, … what is eternal is His … and what is
temporary is His).
What does God want from us?; … EVERYTHING.
When we release control our lives for God to move and work, … wonders will take
place.
In Genesis 4, … Moses questioned God on whether or not the people would listen
to him. … God asked Moses what was in his hand. … Moses replies; … “A staff”,
… God tells him to throw it down and it becomes a snake … (that’ll make them
listen).
God is at work in us from day one of our salvation, … taking us as clay and
molding us into what He desires for us to be. … The biggest and only obstacle we
have is ourselves.
Is God at work in your life?
If not, … why not?

Have we trusted Him for our salvation? … If so, … are we not willing to let go of
our life?
So, … we know that God is at work for us … but we also find that: …
2. We are preparing for eternity.
Spirit, … Soul … and Body … are listed.
Once again, … the Spirit is indwelled in us at salvation; … the body is a temporary
shell or home … that we use to relate to this world … but the soul is eternal.
Billy Graham often preached on the value of the human soul, … the eternal part of
who we are.
What are we becoming here on earth; … what God is doing in our lives …
is preparing us for eternity.
John 10:10: … “may have life and have it in abundance” - life eternal.
Notice, … Paul also mentions Christ’s return, … so we need to be ready for the
event that may bring us into eternity with our Savior.
Today, there seems to be a lot of interest in eschatological issues; … the end times.
With never ceasing war, comes questions about the end times. … Issues in Israel
also.
The Left Behind books have raised a lot of interest.
Are you pre, mid, or post millennium … in terms of the rapture of the Church.
Some people are willing to die for their point of view related to this topic.
Don’t misunderstand me, … I’m not saying this is not an important issue, because
it is; … it deals with our Savior … but ultimately, … the debate over tribulation
should play second fiddle to … being ready for it.
The important question is, … should Christ return today, … would I, … would you
… be ready?
What do we need to do to be ready?; … Salvation and walking closer with Him.
Finally, … when wondering: … “Are we there yet”, … always remember to: …
3. Keep the faith.
God is going to do THIS.
From Eugene Peterson’s, … The Message: …
5:23 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you
holy and whole, put you together - spirit, soul, and body - and keep you fit for the
coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
5:24 The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!

2 Timothy 2:11-13: … This saying is trustworthy: For if we have died with Him,
we will also live with Him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He will also deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful,
for He cannot deny Himself
God will remain faithful, … not matter what we may do.
When Adam fell, … He didn’t just scratch the project to start over.
The history of Israel; … God always restored them!
Peter denied Christ before a slave girl just months prior to proclaiming the gospel
to 1000’s and the authorities!
God continues to work in my life … in spite of my failings and short comings.
God has continued to use this church for over 65 years in spite of anyone …
or anything that may have happened in the past.
That is just the type of God we serve; … He is holy and just … but He is also full
of mercy, … compassion … and grace … and He will never ever give up on any of
us!!!!!!
When God Ran - by Benny Hester
Almighty God, the great I am
Immovable rock, omnipotent, powerful, awesome Lord
Victorious Warrior, commanding King of Kings, Mighty Conqueror,
and the only time
The only time I ever saw Him run
is when He ran to me, took me in His arms
held my head to His chest, said "my son’s come home again"
looked at my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
with forgiveness in His voice he said "son, do you know I still love you?"
it caught me by surprise, brought me to my knees when God ran
Much like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, … our Heavenly Father sits
and waits for us to make a move toward Him … so that He can run out to meet us.
He will do it, … He can … and He will.
It is His promise … and we have His Word (The Bible) that He will do it.
So, … are we there yet?
Sadly and thankfully, … we are not.
Sadly, … because we are still going to face the struggles and hardships that come
with living in this body and on this earth.
But thankfully, … knowing that God is at work in us, … He is preparing us for
eternity … and we can trust Him to do what He promised.

It starts with knowing Him; … do you know Him?
If we are a believer, … what are we doing to prepare for eternity?
Keep asking: … “Are we there, yet?”
AMEN