Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video

August 18, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Living God’s Destiny Today

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9, Page 1850

       I talk with homeless men at the beach almost every day.  One man I met told me that he planned on going to hell, and he could not change his destiny.  He thought of himself as a good man, who helped others often.  He said he did not have much himself, but he got along with his friends and did the best he could in life.  Everything about this man personifies the spiritual blindness that so many unbelievers use to view the future.  As believers, we must understand our destiny in Christ and how it must influence our daily life.  Jesus as Savior offers salvation to all men, and does not wish for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9, page 1902).

        Every unbeliever lives under the wrath of God (John 3:36, page 1659) and the judgment of God (John 3:18, page 1658).  Believers have the assurance that God does not pour His wrath out upon them, because we have salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ.

       In 1 Thessalonians 5:9, page 1850, Paul has just finished detailing how wrath will come upon the world for their unbelief.  While they proclaim “Peace and Safety,” destruction will come suddenly upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3, page 1850). 

       Notice the words “God destined.”  This word destined (“ἔθετο“) means a deliberate act of God, with the idea of placing, setting, or positioning something.  In this case, God positions us for salvation, not wrath.    The verb emphasizes that God does it Himself, and the work has been completed already.  In other words, God has already fixed your destiny, and it is to obtain salvation when everyone else suffers from His wrath.  All humanity looks forward to just two destinies: (1) the wrath of God for eternity; or (2) deliverance from the wrath of God by receiving forgiveness from Jesus Christ, resulting in eternal life and eternal salvation.

        When you become concerned that no one looks after your personal welfare, think again.  God has fixed your life by His power.  He keeps you in the palm of His hand and knows how everything will turn out.  While the earth suffers wrath at the day of the Lord, you will be obtaining the salvation you have longed for.  The Lord Jesus Christ will exercise His full regal authority to save you from destruction, and keep you in His love forever.

       As a passing note, one of the reasons we hope in the coming of Christ to the clouds centers upon this verse.  God has not determined that His Church should go through the tribulation period, when God pours out His wrath upon the earth.  Instead, God gathers believers in Christ to Himself first, and then then He begins the earnest judgment of the earth for its unbelief and other evil actions.  But for the believers, he destined us for obtaining salvation.  What a great blessing for us.   

       So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we live according to our destiny of salvation. 

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when  we encourage our friends in Christ to realize our unbelieving friends and families are destined for wrath and so we should speak to them now. 

    ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we let live in denial of our destiny in Christ: salvation and deliverance from wrath.    

Application for Today

        Today, I want to remember my destiny, and the destiny of all my friends in Christ.  Together, we will escape God’s wrath and enjoy His salvation for eternity.  God has destined each man to eternal salvation or eternal wrath.  I want to live before my friends according to the destiny of salvation, showing everyone the long-ball picture of life and hope.  Will your destiny influence your actions in Christ today?


 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.