1Thessalonians 5:4-11 “But you are not in [given up to the power of] darkness, brethren…
For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we do not belong either to the night or to darkness.
Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard)… But we belong to the day; therefore, let us be sober and put on the breastplate (corslet) of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us], but [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)
Who died for us so that whether we are still alive or are dead [at Christ's appearing], we might live together with Him and share His life. Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.”
In this week’s teaching, Dr. Don G. Pickney takes you into a realm of mystery for most Christian believers. Although the gospel of Christ is quite clear, the Church, for the most part has so muddled the question of “death,” until most have just laid down under it and lived with an expectancy that one day they will die. In the above scripture, Paul’s exhortation, however gives us the choice:
“so that whether we are still alive or are dead [at Christ's appearing]… Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard)… Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.”
Apostle Paul had a revelation from God regarding being “alive and remaining” until the coming of the Lord. Unfortunately, for himself, being so far removed from the actual time the rapture was to take place, he reached a point in his old age where he was ready to die and go on to Heaven to be with the Lord Jesus whom he loved so much.
There are many reasons to want to leave this earth and go to heaven. And when that situation arises in the life of a believer, it is their right and privilege to do so. No one can judge another on this issue regarding whether they remain until Christ returns or go on to be with the Lord. The scripture states:
Romans 14:7-10 “None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for] (8) If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. (9) For Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. (10) Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.”
But it is my responsibility to minister to a generation of the Church that may expect to see Christ’s coming for the Church (the rapture). It is to that generation that we have this message:
1Thessalonians 4:15 “For this we declare to you by the Lord's [own] word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death].”
The message? YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIE… YOU ARE NOT UNDER A SENTENCE OF DEATH ANY LONGER!
Ministers have stood for centuries in their pulpits and declared, “Every man has an appointment with death… every one of us have to die!” I’ve seen preacherS point their finger and say, “Every person listening to me will have to meet their appointment with death!”
The amazing thing? Nobody questioned them. As Paul referenced in our opening text, “The church just rolled over on this issue and went to sleep with all of those of the darkness who do still have an appointment with death. We, the children of the day, of the light, just took our place like “sheep for the slaughter” in line with those who had not accepted Christ.
But here is in truth what the scripture declares: man has ONE appointment to death, therefore Christ was ONCE offered up to death in a sacrifice of Himself for us!
1 appointment of man to die (minus) 1 appointment fulfilled for us by Christ = 0 appointments:
Hebrews 9:26-28 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Get ready to receive revelation as you view this Bible teaching by Dr. Don G. Pickney