Let Us Love One Another

By Bobby Blakey on March 8, 2015

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

AUDIO

Let Us Love One Another

By Bobby Blakey on March 8, 2015

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:01] It's a great privilege for me to do Compass Bible Church with all of you, I love coming here together as a church and I know the centerpiece of our time together is gonna be we're gonna open up our Bibles. And I think that's so important because this book right here is inspired by God, literally breathed out by God.

[00:00:22] The Holy Spirit moved men to write this book. And it says that this book is living an active, sharper than any two edged sword and that this book can cut straight to your heart and tell you things about yourself that you would never know or realize. Except now God has spoken to you through this book and revealed who you are and revealed who he is and how you can have a relationship with him. And so what a privilege it is for us to open up this book and let God speak to us every Sunday morning in here. Not only do we always have a text of scripture that we're trying to let speak for itself, we believe that the best way to go through the scripture is straight through books of the Bible out of time, because if we just pick our favorite passages and we bounce around to them and we'll, hey, one week we'll pick this great passage and one week we'll pick this one. There might be some passages that won't be our favorite passages, but they would be necessary. There is still inspired by God. There's a reason he wanted it said, and we would miss them completely. But when we're just going through a book, verse by verse, nothing gets missed. Nothing gets overlooked. And the book God's book can actually speak for itself. And today we're gonna look at one of those passages that's often overlooked in First Thessalonians, Chapter four versus nine to 12. So please grab your Bible and open it up and let's get into God's word and let's let him speak to us here this morning through these verses that we're going to look at together. First Thessalonians, four and nine to 12. And this this is a passage is just lost in a sex rapture sandwich.

[00:02:10] That's what that's what this passages in the middle of. All right. This isn't the white stuff in the middle of the Oreo, my friends.

[00:02:16] This is like when people talk about this passage, the passage right before it says abstain from sexual immorality that gets people's attention. The passage right after this says that within a moment that Jesus is going to come on the clouds and those of us who are hit will go up in the air to be with him on the clouds. That gets people's attention. And then this passage here says, hey, I live a quiet life.

[00:02:41] Love people.

[00:02:45] This is forgotten. All right. I mean, I was even reading books and listening to other sermons of how pastors have preached it and they're like and what this passage talks about his love, which reminds me of the opposite of love, sexual morality. And they start Reep reaching the sex sermon all over again. Or some guy I just listened to a guy yesterday who said, you know, why they weren't loving each other because they thought the rapture was going to happen at any moment and see this poor little passage here that really this is your daily life right here.

[00:03:15] That's what this passage is, the nuts and bolts, the little things, the in-between moments that you do every single day of your life. That's what this passage is speaking to. Let's read it together. Versus Aloni. It's Chapter four, verse nine to 12 with that just stimulating introduction that this passage is usually left out by everybody. Let's get into it here this morning versus Livonian Chapter Forbes' nine. Now, concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that is indeed what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.

[00:03:51] But we urge you brothers to do this more and more and to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and then be dependent on no one. It is very simple passage. A couple of things we want to talk about today. Want to talk about loving one another. That's a big emphasis there. And then we want to talk about this idea. Sounds nice. Count sounds kind of like a throwback. Sounds like something from back in the day where we would live quietly. Mind your own affairs and work with your hands. Right. I mean, this is what we're doing. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. This is this is our life. What work do we do? And who do we do it with? That's what this passage is going to get into. So start with me in verse nine. It says, Now, concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write you because you have been taught by God to love one another.

[00:04:56] God has already taught you. There is an assumption here in this passage that if you're one of the brothers, then God has already taught you how to love the other brothers and sisters.

[00:05:09] And the word here you might be familiar with this word is the word for love here.

[00:05:14] It comes from the idea of the city of Philadelphia. Anybody ever. The city of what? What does Philadelphia mean? Right. Brotherly love. That's what it says right here. Okay. So you saying. Let brotherly love be known among you. But he's not talking about when you get together with your siblings. He's talking about let brotherly love happen right there in the church. And it is happening. And that's great that it's happening. So here's what I want you to do.

[00:05:42] More of brotherly love. That's what he says abound in it. Take it to the next level.

[00:05:49] Now, we've been talking about this brotherly love idea. This church is a family idea because that's one of the main themes of First Thessalonians and here he is commanding it once again. Now, I got to do something really special this week. I got to go to a conference for pastors and in my family, my dad and my two brothers, just three of us Blakey boys growing up, me and my two brothers, we all ended up pastors.

[00:06:16] I don't know why you would wish that on any family, but it happened to us, right? I mean, when I was growing up, even before even before I was born, my dad one day went to USC and he was sitting there at Tommy Trojan. One day, two men that he didn't know walked up to him out of nowhere and they preached to him the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was in college at USC. He had never once before gone to church and heard anyone tell him the good news that Jesus died for his sins and rose again. And he grew up right here in Southern California. Two strangers walk up to him. They tell him the gospel. They say from this day forward, Jesus needs to call the shots in your life. He needs to be your Lord. Forty five minutes later, my dad says, count me in. I want to be a Christian, is a man who meets with him every day for months to teach him the Bible. And he starts to get really passionate about following Jesus Christ. And he meets my mom there at a Christian function. And that's really important for me because that's where I come from, see? And then I can see growing up, the only thing I can really remember about my dad, the biggest memories I have is him reading the Bible at our house and then our family going to church together. Like that's that's how I lived my life. I didn't even know that wasn't normal to me, I thought. So everybody's doing they're just reading the Bible at their house and they go to church all the time. Ray went live. That's out. That's how he did it. And at one point, Dad didn't want to just go to church. He wanted to pastor the church. And so we moved around and went to seminary, started pastoring a church over here. We moved to Texas because he became a pastor there.

[00:07:54] And all all of a sudden, as we grow up, I end up being a pastor, my middle brother ends up being a pastor. All three of us. So here's a picture of us at a pastor's conference. All four Blakey men standing there, complete Bible nerds. You can see I didn't really get that. I didn't really get the height or the good looks in that group. But there we are. And I mean, this was not of any. We went out to lunch together. This was very rare for me and my two brothers and my dad to all be in the same state at the same time and to get lunch together. And my dad basically just says, here's how he starts out our lunch. How did we end up here, guys? How did all four of us end up pastors? I mean, if anything, I would have discouraged you guys from being a pastor. Probably. Right. But here we are. And so I'm sitting there with my dad and my brothers. And not only are we family growing up, but now we're all doing the same thing in different places all over America. And it's like, wow, I feel such a kinship with that. I feel this brotherly love, like I don't have to try to work at it. I don't have to, like, turn on. No, I see my brothers. I see my dad. That familial love. It just overflows out of my heart.

[00:09:06] I know it's not work for me. It's what I want to do. Here's the truth, though. There's men here in this room right now that I feel just as close to, if not even closer, that.

[00:09:19] My dad and my brothers.

[00:09:21] I mean, I love my dad. I'm not trying to diminish my relationship with my brothers at all. But there are guys here. I'm we're not talking about churches, other places. We're doing church together right here. And we have this kinship. We have this brotherly love. There are people here in this room, many of you even that I would say that's my brother. That's my sister. We're a family here. When I see you, I don't have to act like I'm happy to see you. I'm happy to see you.

[00:09:49] Like I'm seeing somebody that I love. I care about you.

[00:09:54] See, that's something it's not you. Nobody had to teach you how to love your family. Nobody has to teach you how to love your country. These are natural things. See, it's not like you've got to turn on your love for your family. In fact, if we find out that like some mom didn't love her baby and gave her baby away, we're like, that's shocking.

[00:10:12] Moms are supposed to love their family.

[00:10:16] We find out there's like a divorce. We find out brothers and sisters aren't talking to her. What's our natural response to?

[00:10:22] Oh, that sounds painful. Well, that sounds hard. It sounds terrible with this passage.

[00:10:28] You're saying is if you're a Christian, God has taught you how to love the other people in this room. And you should have that Philadelphia spirit. You should have that brotherly love for one another. You've been taught by God. He already turned on the switch. You don't have to try to do it or work harder at it. I mean, you supposed to do more of it. But do you have it? Does this group of people when you come here, the other Christians here at this church. Do they feel like brothers to you? That's the point here. And God's either done that in your heart and he's given you that love or he hasn't done that in your heart. And I can't turn it on. I can't say go do something you don't want to do here this morning. Has God taught you how to feel like a brother and a sister with other people at church? This passage assumes that he has to go with me to Romans Chapter five. Let's see the love of God and how he teaches us to love one another. And then you can decide if this is something that you have experience, if you personally know the love of God and you personally have this passion to pass it on. And when I say, do you love people today? I'm not talking about your your family. I hope you love your family. That would be messed up if you don't love your family. Right. I'm not talking about that kind of natural love when I say, do you love one another? The one another it's talking about is the one another here at church.

[00:11:47] The fellow Christians that we have fellow ship with, we share the life of Jesus Christ together as a body of Christ, and we worship him as one group of people coming before him. Do you love the other people at your church? And here's how the love of God works in Romans Chapter five. Start with me in verse six says, For while we were still weak at the right time. Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person, one would dare to even die. I mean, usually people don't really want to die for other people. They kind of want to live their own life. But maybe somebody would die for the president or a family member or something like that.

[00:12:28] But God hears a great phrase in the Bible, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

[00:12:40] Here's how God loved you when you were still lost, when you had no relationship with him, when there was no reason for God to love you. He took the initiative. He took the first step. He sent his son. And he reached out to you when you were a stranger, an enemy, when you were still lost in your sin. And he brought you to himself. That's how God loves you.

[00:13:01] And that's how God teaches you now to go in love other people.

[00:13:06] In fact, if you're a Christian, look back at verse five before it explains to us the love of God. It's talking about our character. It's talking about who we are. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. When you become a Christian, you're born again into a new family with the Heavenly Father, and you get all now blood brothers and sisters with all the other Christians, blood brothers and sisters, because you've all been washed by the same blood of Jesus Christ. And it says that love is poured out in your hearts. Same idea.

[00:13:41] You're taught by God to love one another. Question of the morning. Do you have that love for one another?

[00:13:48] Some of you guys, we've been talking about this for weeks. Those of you guys who have been around at our church for a while.

[00:13:53] Do you resonate with this idea that church is a family? And can you feel for the other people here at this church? Only God can give you that. Good. First John trophy to first. John.

[00:14:05] John.

[00:14:09] On Chapter four. First, John, Chapter four, start with me in verse seven. Now, first, John, the whole point of this book is that you would know as a believer in Jesus Christ. You affirm that he is God. That he died for our sins. That he rose again. Well, have you really been saved then? That's the point of first, Sean. In fact, some people would even describe first, John, as a series of tests, as a series of self examinations to see if you are in the faith or not. And if you pass the tests, then you have assurance of your salvation. And you can know with 100 percent confidence that Christ has done his work in your life. And much of the theme of First John is love specifically. Can you love one another? Here's one of the evidences that God has done a work in your heart when you can feel like a family with people that aren't your family, but you have Christ in common. Look at our first John for seven says it beloved.

[00:15:06] Let us love one another for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Now anyone who does not love does not know God, because here's a great quote that we all love. God is what does it say here is love.

[00:15:23] So if you're gonna say that you have a relationship with God, then what happens when you come to know God is you experience his love and it's poured out in your hearts. He teaches you then what love is, by the way, that he gave his son for you.

[00:15:36] And now it's saying, if you really know God, you're really a Christian, then we'll see it in that you love one another. But if you don't know God, then you won't love others because God is love.

[00:15:47] There's only one source for humans to really love each other, and it must be God.

[00:15:53] It can't come from the goodness of our own hearts. That's what it's saying right here. It has to come from a relationship with God.

[00:16:01] Can you take people who are strangers, people that aren't even the same as you, people that probably you'd rather kind of avoid? And can you make them family? That's church.

[00:16:11] That's the love of God poured out among us.

[00:16:15] And it's saying that's what we got to do. And here's the example. Verse nine in this, the love of God was made manifest. Here's how he showed his love among us, that God sent his only son into the world so that we might live through him. And this is love. Not that we have loved God. That's not how it started. No, he loved us. He took the initiative the first step, and he sent his son to be the pushy Asian, the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

[00:16:44] Now, let me just stop right there.

[00:16:45] Let's say the sermon wasn't about you love and other people. Let's say the sermons about God. Love you. Can I get a man about God loving you? Anybody excited about that? Anybody glad that God didn't leave you in your sin? That God didn't wait for you to take the first step? That God didn't wait for you to get your act together like you could somehow reach holiness or perfection someday?

[00:17:04] Aren't you glad that God came in out of nowhere when you were running the opposite way of him and he grabbed you and he brought you back to him and he saved your wretched soul and he's now calling you a son or a daughter, even though you would never deserve to be in that position. Is anybody pumped up here about the love of God? See, so we should then be just as pumped up about receiving God's love in ourselves as to passing it on to other people. And if you're not pumped up about passing it on to people, then you probably haven't received it for yourself.

[00:17:37] That's what the Bible saying.

[00:17:39] You can't tell me, you know, the greatest gift ever given in that God would choose to trade his perfect son for your sinful life. You can't tell me, you know, love like that and then not care about these other people.

[00:17:53] That's hypocrisy of the worst kind. And that's church. That's that's it is. Amen.

[00:18:00] Come on, get me some Jesus. But all these other people, man. I hope the senior centers kind of give me a wide berth at church.

[00:18:06] I don't know about those guys. Church would be great if it wasn't for the other people that go there.

[00:18:13] Oh, man. That's all we talk about. Let me just tell you, if you can't love other people, I'm not talking about your family and I'm not talking about your country, I'm not talking about the people that love you.

[00:18:25] You can't love the stranger, the enemy, the person you have nothing in common with and become brothers and sisters with them for the cause of Jesus Christ. Then the question on the table here this morning is, do you really know the love of God? Because nobody just receives the love of God and walks around and says, I'm loved. Now, when you have the love of God, it's so overwhelming. It's so powerful. It cannot be contained. It compels you it shakes you up like a can of soda. And you must share it with other people. Otherwise, you don't even know what it is.

[00:18:54] In fact, it goes on to say that right here, verse 11, beloved, if God so loved us. Logical conclusion. Knock, knock. Anybody home? Hello, McFly. God so loved us.

[00:19:04] We also rocket science here. Also out of love one another.

[00:19:10] No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God abides in us. And His love is what it's perfected in us.

[00:19:18] It's made manifest in us. It's seen in us. And nobody here can see God to this morning. We're worshiping him, spirit worshiping in him. In truth, we cannot see him. But it says that if somebody were to come in here and they were to see that this group of people actually cares, actually puts others needs, is more important than their own.

[00:19:35] If they could see that we really love one another, then they will know we're disciples of Jesus Christ.

[00:19:40] Then they will see God when his people love each other. We put the love of God on display. The world is going to think God is as loving as he is when they see us loving one another. So let me ask you guys a question. How we doing at that here in the American church?

[00:19:59] How we doing? I think you could probably go to the average church in America today at a church of even this size of hundreds of people, you might be able to get in and out of that church without anyone engaging you in real conversation beyond. Hey, great to have you. Here's a bulletin. Smile, smile, smiles. No real conversation. And you got away without you really engaging your heart to anybody else's.

[00:20:23] That's been the church experience that I've had of just going to many churches, not real conversations. It's not real care. There's it would be hard to describe the relationships that a lot of churches as loving one another, giving our lives for one another. So let's just make this very personal, do you pass the love test? That's point number one. Let's write that down. You got to pass the love test.

[00:20:47] Can you tell that you feel like family with other Christians, that you're able to love one another? People who have experienced the love of God always 100 percent of the time without fail, they've already been taught. You can't turn it off. They do love other people. That's the testimony of the scripture.

[00:21:06] So the first step before we can even talk about loving one another more is we've got to talk about do I even have a heart that is capable of loving other people? I got to put myself to the test. This is a good thing. Examine yourselves to see if you are in. Faith. Check your heart. The Bible encourages this. And that's what the whole theme of verse. John, look at chapter three, verse 14. Bible wants you to know you're going to have and not just I. I think so. Most likely the Bible wants you to know sitting here today beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when you take your last breath on this planet, you will be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible wants you to have that assurance. And so it gives you tests and it says here first, John, chapter three, verse 14. We know that we have passed out of death into life. I know that I've been saved by Jesus old life gone new life come because we love the brothers say it's one of the ways that you can know if you're saved or not here this morning. Whoever does not love abides in what? What does it say? That you're still dead and you're saying it says whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer.

[00:22:18] And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

[00:22:22] So here we go to where Jesus says, hey, you've heard it, said thou shall not murder. But it's not just about murder. It's about the thoughts and intense of your heart. And even if you don't hit anybody or inflict any physical pain on anybody but in your heart, you hate them and you say bad things about them and you mull over in your heart, you're still guilty of the sin of murder because it's what's within that defiles a man, see?

[00:22:46] So even if you just hate somebody, you don't like somebody, you can't stand somebody. You're just so annoyed by somebody. It says that's really the sin of murder in your heart.

[00:22:58] How can you do that and have eternal life at the same time? Verse 16 by this we know love that he laid down his life for us. And we here's the logical conclusion. Every time we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

[00:23:11] If anyone has this world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, here's somebody I could help them. But I don't want to. Well, how does God's love abidin him? Little children. Let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth. So let's maybe even take it this way. Let's not ask ourselves if we feel like we love other people. Let's ask ourselves.

[00:23:36] What have I done to show that I love other people here at this church? How have I proven it by my deeds? How can I see that it is true?

[00:23:46] One thing you could even do is you could even think, what would the other people that know me here at this church? What would they say?

[00:23:52] Would they say that I love them?

[00:23:55] How can you know for sure that you love others? Because if you can tell that you're loving one another, then you can know. It says that you've passed from death to life. Now, I care about you here this morning, even if this is your first time here. One thing I want for your soul is I want you to go to heaven. I want you to know right now that you can go to heaven. And it says, here's a way that you can. No, put yourself to the test. Look at yourself. Ask God to reveal this to you. Do I really love one another? The other people at church? That's a proof.

[00:24:25] That's a proof of salvation.

[00:24:27] The only way I can take somebody that I didn't grow up with, that's not going to offer me anything. And I could care about them and I could pursue them and I could go after them and I could take my needs and push them away and my feelings and desires and push them away to get to this other person that doesn't come from me.

[00:24:45] If I can treat people like that. That's the love of God coursing through me to other people's.

[00:24:51] It's a great way to live. Do you know that way?

[00:24:54] And it's terrible. You know, the worst day off for me is often is often the worst day of the week is sometimes my day off.

[00:25:01] I don't know if this happens to anybody else, but on my day off, what do I sometimes ask myself? What do I want? What do I feel like? How am I doing today? Oh, it's a dangerous way to live, my friends.

[00:25:13] So much better to be thinking about so-and-so and praying for them. And how are they doing and how are they feeling and letting the needs of other people drive your life forward. That's how Jesus Christ lived. Sure glad he didn't consider himself. Sure glad he didn't ask himself how he was feeling the night that he got ready to die on the cross for our sins. In fact, he prayed not as I will, but as you will.

[00:25:39] And it's clear that God wants us to love others. Go back to First Thessalonians, Chapter four.

[00:25:45] I'll let you put yourself to the test. Hopefully you have other people at this church that you're connected with that you could talk to and ask and kind of talk through that love test of do I really love one another? Other Christian people, the brothers in Christ. And then he says, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. And so they're loving people in a wide geographical region. This is verse 10. And I think for them to be loving people in such a wide geographical region, I think there must be some financial love that must be coming along the way here. And that's probably what it referred to there, giving gifts to help brothers in other churches.

[00:26:26] But even though they do love one another and even though they're loving people beyond even their own congregation. He says, we urge you brothers to do this more and more. Nancy, Paul assumes here he expects that we have a category that we think in his Christian people and the category that we think in is this one another category that there's people in my life that are close enough to me that know me, that I see and interact with on a regular basis.

[00:26:56] And I treat them a certain way and love and they treat me a certain way and love. And we encourage one another. We bear one another's burdens. We confess our sins to one another, just type in one another into a Bible search engine.

[00:27:09] You got a little Bible app on your on your phone or on your computer. Go to Bible Gateway ARCOM and just pick any translation you want.

[00:27:17] We use the ESV, but you could pick any translation and you type in one another and you get down to the New Testament and you just start looking throughout the entire New Testament. How many times it will tell you it will command you as a Christian to love one another, to pray for one another, to come alongside one another, even to confront one another.

[00:27:37] There's this assumption in the New Testament that we have a group of people that we live life with, that we share our thoughts with people who really know us and we really know them. They are the one another's in our life. Do you have that group of people say?

[00:27:55] I would be very hard to say, hey, let's go love one another, will one, if you don't have the love of God in your heart.

[00:28:00] This is gonna be a very frustrating sermon to go and do, too, if you don't have one another's.

[00:28:05] How are you gonna go do this?

[00:28:07] Hey, everybody here. We have to break down into smaller groups of people where we are known and where we know each other.

[00:28:18] And this is a big problem that we have in the church right now, because many people don't go to what we call small groups or life groups or home groups, we call them all kinds of trendy names. Right. But the idea is basically the one in other groups is what we could call them, because that's where they are.

[00:28:33] Where can you practice all of these commands? Term of being the Hebrews Chapter 10. And let's just see, here is a clear command for everybody here to be involved in some kind of small group, not just to come to church, but to be involved in a small group where you can live out the one another. Kinds of commands. Hebrews, Chapter 10. Look at verse 24 with me. This is often used as a proof text as why you should come to church, why you should be here this morning, including all of you overachievers who came to a 10 o'clock service when it was advertised at 11:00. And you still made it, right? I mean, people should be walking in right now. Who who didn't get the message right. But look what it says here. This isn't just about coming to church on Sunday. Hebrews Chapter 10, verse 24. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

[00:29:30] Okay, now let's just how would I do that?

[00:29:33] I would have to have some people that I know well enough that I could think about them, that I could consider them, and I could be thinking, okay, here's my brother so-and-so. My sister so-and-so. Here's somebody I've gotten to know at the church. I want to see them love more. I want to see them do more good deeds. I want to see them living for Jesus Christ more now than they ever have in their entire life. How could I stir them up to do that? How could I spur them on? So I have to know people to even be able to do that to consider them.

[00:30:08] I'm thinking about it. I'm waking up on Tuesday. And what am I thinking about? Not me. I'm thinking about you.

[00:30:14] I'm thinking about how we're gonna see each other at small group. And I'm wondering if that test that you were gonna take or that interview you were gonna have or that that big meeting with your boss. I'm wondering how that went. And I'm concerned that you might get discouraged, that you might not really be getting in the word and prayer. And I'm thinking about how can I fire you up again? That's what this is saying.

[00:30:35] Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some. But look, here's another one, another two back to back, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near, see?

[00:30:48] Not neglecting to meet together, we often say, see, that's why you should come to church. Don't stop meeting together. But in context, is is talking about coming to church and hearing a sermon.

[00:30:57] No, this is talking about what?

[00:30:59] Going to small group and encouraging other people say.

[00:31:03] Do you see how we can't do church. Right, unless we know one another? So let's get this down four point number two. We're gonna need to abound in obeying one another commands. Clearly, the New Testament is filled with things that we're supposed to do love, encourage, pray, confess, whatever it may be. One another, one another. Do you have people that you know well enough here at this church to practice that with? Now we're trying to help you out. We're trying to make this very something that anybody can get a part of. We're very user friendly here. We've got these things called home fellowship groups. That's what we call them. You can call them whatever you want, OK? Are just groups of people trying to practice these commands. And we've got and going on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night and Friday night, four nights out of the week, if you could be available one of those nights of the week. We got people here at this church, leaders who are trained and ready to go and they want to meet with you. There are people in this room right now who want to love you.

[00:32:02] They want to encourage you.

[00:32:04] They would love nothing more than to come alongside of you and build you up in the faith. It is available. If anybody here wants to get in a group with others, you can here at this church and we'll work and even right now to create even more groups because we're hoping God's going to bring even more people to experience this kind of love. I mean, we're we're a Bible teaching church, we like the Bible so much, we put it in our name, even though we know some people aren't going to like that. We're Compass Bible Church. And I know a lot of people who go to churches like this and love the Bible and they go from one Bible study to the other Bible study to the other Bible study. And we can sit around and we can have theological conversations and talk about cross references and flip all over this book. But we don't like open it up about who we really are.

[00:32:49] And we don't like hearing about other people's problems and thinking about how to help them. I don't want to just talk about the Bible here at this church. I want to live the Bible here at this church and it says that we're going to love one another. That's what it says, if we're gonna be Jesus as people. We got to get with some people and we got to get real with each other. We got to take the masks off and the smiley faces often. If you've got the joy of the Lord working out of your heart, well, then keep on smiling. But if you're put on a face. We got to talk to somebody and tell them what's really going on in your marriage with your kids at work in in the struggle of your own relationship with God, with you. You've got to get real with people. So hard for us here in Orange County to be honest and open about what's really happening in our hearts. Even as Christian people. I find that naturally, myself and other people that I interact with, we are resistant to getting real with those around us. And we have a perception of ourself that we would like to believe and we would like others to see. That is often not really accurate. And the people who could help us the most are the ones that we are purposefully avoiding. And I want to encourage you. Some of you guys who have not been go into these groups to come out and become a part of this group. And maybe somebody sitting here this morning and they're saying, well, this would be great. I would love to be loved. I would love to be encouraged. I would love to have people come and bear my burdens. I've got some things they could do for me. Right. Well, notice how it always commands it. It doesn't say, hey, wait for somebody to come and love you. It's not what it says. Yeah. Those other people at the church, they should be doing this for you. Feel good about yourself. You're never gonna find that passage in the Bible, my friends. Who's it always going to put the onus on? Who's the command always going to you? Are you the one you want to you want to have this kind of relationship with other people? You got to start it. You've got to initiate it. That's what Godwit did with you.

[00:34:44] He took the first step and he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for your sins. You've got to take the first step and you've got to reach out to somebody and you've got to love other people.

[00:34:54] If you wait for people to love you, it doesn't work because it's a love for one another. See?

[00:35:01] And I know we've had bad relationships at church and I know people have hurt us and they backstabbed us, but this is what the Bible commands us to do. This is clearly God's desire for our hearts. And I'm pleading with you now. I'm saying, hey, we've got a chance to do real church right here in Orange County in 2015. Let's do it.

[00:35:19] OK. Let's love each other.

[00:35:22] Would it be great if somebody could come over to our house or come into one of our groups and sit there with us and see how we interact? And at the end of it, they would say, you know what, I actually believe that the people here at this church love each other. When w would anybody else like that to happen, I would I would love that would. That is like the goal of my life right there. See if people could just come in here and they could be like, wow, there's something different, something that's made me a little uncomfortable because people here actually want to talk to me. And I don't experience that anywhere else, not even in my own house sometimes. What's going on here? See, then they'll know that God has poured out his love in our hearts, that we are Jesus disciples, that there truly is a love coming from God. And how will they experience that through you as you love one another here at this church? And we need a lot of lovers here to reach the people of Huntington Beach in Westminster and Garden grow. There's a lot of people out there who need love. They need the love of God. And here's our God has decided to give it to him through you. Loving people here at this church.

[00:36:27] We need to redefine hospitality. Do you know what hospitality is? Hospitality is not donuts and coffee. That is not what it is. I might include that. It's helpful, but that is not what it is. Hospitality is the love of strangers. Can we. All right. That their hospitality is the love of strangers. This is what separates Christian people from every other kind of person on the planet that you and I could not grow up in the same family. We could not be from the same neighborhood. We could not come from the same country even. We could be two completely different people. But immediately upon seeing you, I love you like a brother or sister because I know we have Jesus Christ in common. You're a stranger to me, but I love you as one of my own. That's Christianity.

[00:37:11] Say.

[00:37:13] And it's so important that we have that here at this church, a real, genuine love for one another, and I pray that you're a part of that. And some of you guys are. It's awesome to see. I wish you guys could get it to see what I get to see, because I get to see all the groups that are meeting. And I hear the reports from the leaders and people who didn't even know each other six months ago are now like brothers and sisters here at this church. And it's like they're best friends and it's like they could never imagine not knowing each other. How does that happen? It's the love of God working right here among us. And it's happening. And I want to just urge you to to be a part of it. And if you're experiencing that love, if something's happening in the group that you're in, man, do it more or more. Abound in it. Don't get enough love. Spread it out. Go back to First Thessalonians, Chapter four, because it gets into now you it kind of seems like you might be switching gears, but I think you'll see how they go together here in versus eleven and twelve because it talks about brotherly love doing it more and more.

[00:38:15] You've been taught by God to love this mysterious group of people that meets at church, the one another's.

[00:38:21] Then it says this verse eleven. And to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands now. Yeah, we're here to love one another. But then we all got to go home and take care of our own business. It says, in fact, we told you to do work and we told you to live quietly and mind your own business because that's how you may walk properly.

[00:38:44] That's the right way to live. As a Christian, that's a good example to outsiders. And you don't want to be dependent on no one. See, what Paul is actually arguing against here is the welfare state.

[00:38:54] He says we're gonna all love one another and he doesn't want some people now just leeching onto that love and just being supported by other people's love. And he wants everybody to be contributing to the love. And so he says everybody needs to have their own life, their own business, their own work that they're doing. So they don't become dependent on the group, but they can actually contribute to the group. And it's hard to read that without thinking there's a financial consideration there that everybody should be work in their own job, getting their own money, so that when they see their brother or sister in need and they have this world's goods to give them that they can offer it to their brother and sister.

[00:39:32] That's the idea here.

[00:39:35] Don't don't become somebody who who needs other people know, conduct your life in such a way that you can contribute to the needs of other people.

[00:39:42] That's the idea.

[00:39:44] There's a value here in hard work. And unfortunately, this is something that the Thessalonians, at least some of them, failed to do. Go over to Second Thessalonians, Chapter three. And here we see something very rare doesn't really even happen.

[00:39:57] In First Thessalonians, we see a negative statement about this church. Here's something they were doing that was wrong. First second Thessalonians, chapter three, verse six.

[00:40:09] He says, Now we command you brothers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you keep away from any brother. Avoid him.

[00:40:17] Now we're distancing ourselves from a brother who is walking in idleness. Here's a saying. We've got a brother who's not working, not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

[00:40:29] For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it. We weren't even receiving gifts. We were we were going out of our way with toil and labor. We worked night and day that we might not be a burden to any of you, even though we could have said, hey, maybe you should pay us because we're the ones running the church and preach to you the gospel. No, we worked another jobs. We won't be a burden to you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.

[00:40:58] For even when we were with you, we would give you this command if anyone is not willing to work. Let him not eat. That's pretty straightforward. We hear that some among you walk in idleness. It's like shock, outrage. Some of you guys aren't working.

[00:41:13] You're not busy at work. You're busy bodies.

[00:41:16] Now, such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus to do their work.

[00:41:21] And how does it say to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

[00:41:26] And we've lost that quiet life here in Orange County.

[00:41:29] The good old, good old man who can just go to work, feed his family, do a good job, earn an honest living, not look for any credit, not look for any glory, because that's just what a man does.

[00:41:42] See, we kind of lost that mentality awhile while ago.

[00:41:45] But there's something noble, there's something righteous, there's something godly about quietly going about your business and taking care of your family and even doing so in such a successful way, that when needs come up among my other people, you're in position to help the brothers and sisters who are in need.

[00:42:02] That's what it's talking about here, and he asked to rebuke. He has to write another letter and he has to go after them. And what's the thing that he has to go after them for? They're not working saying the Bible's putting a strong priority here on everybody here, particularly the men. And I'm speaking to and in the role that God has called you to, to do work. Go back to Ecclesiastes, Chapter two in the wisdom of King Solomon. He says work is a good thing. I don't know what your attitude toward towards work is, but God said that Adam should do work before the fall into sin. So if you want to act like go into the office from 9:00 to 5:00 is because we live in a fallen curse world. I don't know if that's a that's biblically accurate because Adam, he was going to be working there in the Garden of Eden even before he fell into sin. God's design has always been for people to do work. A little newsflash, it seems like there might even be some work for us to do in the New Jerusalem in heaven. We might even be doing some work.

[00:43:04] There's a value in work. Work is supposed to be seen as a good thing. It's a it's an immature juvenile attitude to act like I don't want to work.

[00:43:13] Men do work. It defines a part of who they are. Look at Ecclesiastes, chapter two, verse 24.

[00:43:23] It says there is nothing better. This is a pretty strong statement. If there's nothing better, that's saying it's the best. There is nothing better for a person than that. He should eat and drink and find enjoyment in is toil his hard work.

[00:43:39] This also I saw is from the hand of God. This is what God has given us to do for apart from him, apart from God who can eat or who can have enjoyment.

[00:43:50] Here you have a man. The idea in the Old Testament shows up time and time again when a man who does work and he provides for his family and he's there with his family and his wife's there and his kids are there and they're eating together. And the Lord has blessed the man's work and he's provided for them. That says that's a good thing. But he says it's hard to find something better than that than for a man to be there with his with his wife, with his kids to enjoy some work. Now, obviously, we've got people in all kinds of different family situations, in all kinds of things. But if you do work to make a living, you need to leave here today. No one. That's what God wants you to do. And there's no separation between the spiritual and the secular. Know, whatever it is you're doing to make money to provide for yourself and for your family. That is something you can do for God. That is a spiritual act of worship. How you do your work brings glory to God. As a Christian person, we should view work so differently than anybody else on this planet because we see that our paycheck ultimately does not come from our boss, our employer, some big company or some person that we work for. No, our paycheck comes from God. He provides generously all things for us. As a Christian man, I work not for any other man. I work for the Lord Jesus Christ. That's that's what the Bible teaches. That defines me. That's something I take great joy in. I find identity in. Go to Colossians Chapter three and you'll see it put now in a in a New Testament context. Colossians Chapter three. It's talking in here in the in the category of slaves. And I'm glad that we are not slaves and do not have slaves here in America, although I'm sure many times we feel like we are slaves. And it's says here in the category of talking to the slaves and their masters, Colossians three, verse 22 born servants obey in everything. Those who are your earthly masters do what your boss tells you to do. Be a good employee to your employer, not by way of I service, not just when they're around as people pleasers, but with sincerity of heart.

[00:46:00] Put your heart into it, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily with all that you are from the inside out.

[00:46:08] As for the Lord and not for men knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

[00:46:22] That's what it says. Who do you work for when you go to work? Who do you work for? Jesus Christ. We've got firemen in here. They're putting out fires for who? Jesus Christ. All right. We've got attorneys in here. We got bankers in here. We got all kinds of different men doing all kinds of different jobs.

[00:46:41] We got women working in here. We got young people working in here. We got people getting paid hourly, people getting big salaries. Doesn't matter what you're doing.

[00:46:49] You can do it for Jesus Christ and for him alone. And it brings him great pleasure. He wants you to know here this morning, you live quietly. You mind your own business. You work hard. There's going to be a reward for you. He is going to honor that. Let's get that down for point number three.

[00:47:05] Enjoy the reward of hard work. Enjoy the reward of hard work. This is the idea that you would not only be able to provide for your physical blood family, but that you would work hard and that God would bless you in your work so that you would be able to contribute to the needs of one another. And maybe sometimes this has happened where you've had a friend, a brother or a sister in Christ and their car breaks down or some kind of unforeseen financial circumstance comes up or they get fired and and their money in the bank is running low and they need some help. And you're able to come. One of the great blessings that you will ever be able to experience in life is when God has blessed you so that you can see a brother or sister in need and you can meet their need. That is a great blessing. And I hope everybody here gets to experience God doesn't bless you with an abundance so you can sit around and count the dollar bills under your mattress. My friends.

[00:48:04] He blesses you so you can be a blessing to others. He gives his love for you so you can pass it on and love other people in one way. Just to just to be brutally honest, you're one way that you can bless others. As you can give two or charitable organizations. And it's a very in vogue thing to do in America.

[00:48:22] Right. A lot of great organizations doing a lot of great work, fighting diseases, helping different kinds of people. I mean, there's a lot of things that you could give your money to. Personally, I can't think of a better cause to give your money to than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Going forward into the world. And that happens at the local church. I believe that when you give to the church that money gets dispersed to many people and it becomes a blessing to. So there's a great joy in working, seeing God bless your work and then being able to take from God's blessing and give it back away. And I promise you that start giving away the extra that God is blessing you with.

[00:49:01] And you'll find even more probably. That's usually how it works.

[00:49:05] To be generous like he is.

[00:49:07] So he says, hey, we're gonna love one another, but we're not going to start leeching onto one another. No. Everybody go and do your own work so you can be contributing to the needs of one another. And we could even apply this in a spiritual sense. Make sure you're walking closely with the Lord, make sure you're in the Bible in prayer, so that when other people need encouragement and they don't know what to do in a certain situation and they feel spiritually dry, that you have the resources to build that brother or sister up and to encourage them and love them.

[00:49:36] Man, tend to your own life so that you can help other people.

[00:49:41] That's one of the great motivations to get your own act together, is when you're going to be a blessing to others. If you're sitting here this morning thinking, well, I've got so far to go for myself before I could help somebody else. That's not what the Bible would want you to think, would want you to think. Get yourself going so you can help people and start helping people right now. Start loving one another right now. Who can you encourage today?

[00:50:04] That's the idea.

[00:50:05] Now, what if the rapture was going to happen, we're going to end up doing a three part series on the Rapture. We're gonna get into it big time. We believe Jesus Christ is going to come down at any moment and he's gonna take all the brothers and sisters and have a big old family reunion in the sky.

[00:50:19] OK. That's what we think. Now, if the rapture was going to happen.

[00:50:24] Because that's our next passage. What would you do? I once said this. I had a small group of guys. It was high school guys, young guys. And for two years we did a small group every Tuesday night and we started really doing the one another's me in this group of guys.

[00:50:39] And we actually saw when you started practicing the one another's with each other. Something started happening at their school where kids started getting saved. And it was like this little mini revival was breaking out at this high school.

[00:50:50] And it started with like eight of us really learning how to love one another and encourage one another.

[00:50:55] And I said to him one night at small group on a Tuesday night, I said to him, hey, guys, the rapture is going to happen in two days, two days from right now. I tell you and we can't ever do this, because if you predict the rapture, that just shows you don't understand it. Right. But let's just say for the theory of this conversation that in two days the rapture is going to happen.

[00:51:13] What would you do? And the things these young men said were were just amazing. I would just go right now. That guy guy like stands up in small groups. I would go right now to Disneyland and I wouldn't leave. That's what he says. I would just stay there. I'd stay there. I'd hide all night like he's thinking about how he's gonna do it right. This other kids like that, so unspiritual how God he's like, I would get a big sign and I would write on it. The end is near and I'd start running down the streets of our city. Right.

[00:51:41] And they came up with all these sensational things that we would do if we knew we only had 48 hours left to live on the planet. Here's what we should go and do. Go to first, Peter, chapter four, verse seven. It actually tells you what you should do if the end of all things is at hand. First, Peter. Chapter four. Verse seven. Look at what it says. Peter here actually throws it out like the Telos. The end. The climax is upon us. It could happen at any moment. The end is coming. That's what you're supposed to think about. Returning. It could happen today. It could happen right now. You have to always be ready. And so he says that's how we should live. First, Peter four, verse seven. He says the end of all things is at hand. So therefore, how should you live, we'll get self controlled, get sober minded for the sake of your prayers. And above all, man, if the world was going to end in 48 hours. Above all, here's what you should do. Keep loving one another earnestly.

[00:52:41] Since love covers a multitude of sins, in fact show hospitality, maybe in those last 48 hours you might meet somebody, a stranger you don't even know.

[00:52:51] Love that person without grumbling.

[00:52:54] Is it, guys? No, really. If the world was gonna end in 48 hours, you know, what we should do is we should come here to our small group where we always go every Tuesday night and we should look each other in the eyes because we really know each other now and we really care about each other. And we should say, are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to meet Jesus? Who here is ready right now to meet Jesus? I love you. I want you to be ready. That's what a small group does. No, if it's the night before Jesus is coming back, who do I want to be with my small group. I might call my dad. I might send a text to my bro, but I'd want to be with the people right here. And I'd want us to be holding hands and saying, who's ready to go and meet the Lord? See?

[00:53:36] I love you, wants you to be ready to go. And I don't give you enough, I don't know you. There's enough time right now. Let's get to know each other. Let's get ready for Jesus Christ. If there's one thing we're supposed to do on this planet in God's name, it's love. Other Christian people like a family. Let's make sure that we're doing that here at CompassHB Bible Church. Let me pray for us right now. God, we thank you so much for this often forgotten passage. And God, I know that this is a message that can make us feel uncomfortable. It could step on our toes. It definitely calls us out, God, because it reminds us that there are people that are more important than ourselves.

[00:54:17] And that's basically everyone. Everybody here at this church, we're supposed to love one another, we're supposed to get to know each other, even strangers. We would welcome them in as if they were our own brothers and sisters. Got this kind of love does not come naturally. So I pray that you will pour it out in our hearts, that you will give it to us, and that we will love your love. We will know that you have loved us. So we also are to love one another and get. I'm thankful for people who love other people here at this church. I'm thankful for people here who will will put the needs of their brothers and sisters as more important than their own. God, I pray that they'll abound even more, that you'll encourage them, that they'll see there's no better way to live than this. And God, for those who are here this morning but haven't really gotten plugged in here at the church. Maybe they're coming on the service, but not at the one another level. Gotta pray that they'll do that maybe even this week, that they'll just say, I want to obey that command.

[00:55:16] I want to love I have that love in my heart. And I want to share it. And God, maybe if there's somebody here this morning and they're thinking, I don't care about other people like that, I can't think about other people like that.

[00:55:26] God help them to experience your love. Help them to see. They need to know you because you are love. And when they know you, then they'll be able to love one another.

[00:55:36] God. Thank you for your word. Work it now powerfully in our church. We pray this in Jesus. Name a man.

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