The Essentials for A Happy Family Part 2
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
March 29, 2000
We are nearing the end of our study of the book of 1st Thessalonians! Tonight we're in chapter 5 picking up where we left off last time together in verse 12 thinking about The Essentials for a Happy Family.
Now keep in mind that the church is more like a family than it is a business. Now there is a business side to the church, but in function, it's more like a family! And God wants His family happy because a happy family can accomplish more for God than an unhappy family.
Now I'm not saying we've got to compromise our beliefs in order to get along with somebody. We're not going to compromise one iota of the Word of God to get along with anybody!
Never forget that so goes the fellowship so goes the church. Everything we do around here is linked to the fellowship. When the fellowship breaks down, everything goes down. The attendance goes down. The additions go down. The finances go down. Baptisms go down. Down, down, down!
And do you know what usually breaks the fellowship in a local church? Sin and selfishness! Sometimes it comes from the leadership. Sometimes it comes from the fellowship. It can even come from both the leadership and the fellowship.
And how we need to continue building up the fellowship! Well, that's how Paul wraps up this letter to the Thessalonians. By giving them the essentials of a Happy Family!
Now last time beginning in verse 12 Paul addresses the leadership of the church. And then beginning in verse 14 he addresses the fellowship of the church. The leadership and the fellowship!
We saw that in every church, there are at least three kinds of church members: Urma the Unruly, Frank the Fainthearted, and Walt the Weak. And Paul directs us in what to do with them.
We're to warn Urma the Unruly. We're to comfort Frank the Fainthearted. And we're to uphold Walt the Weak.
Now Paul continues his instruction in verse 15 and continues through verse 22 in talking about the fellowship of the church.
The Essentials for A Happy Family
I Thessalonians 5:15-22
As Paul continues speaking about the fellowship of the church, he says back in verse 15, "See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all."
Paul uses two imperatives here: the word translated "see" and the word "pursue." The first one speaks of our fighting. The second one speaks of our focus.
First, our fighting. "See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone..." Paul says the same thing in Romans 12:17, "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men." And in I Peter 3:9: "Not returning evil for evil or reviling (abusing language) for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing."
Now let's face it: the flesh wants to retaliate! When we're ...
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