Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video

August 10, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Times and Epochs Today

“Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:1, Page 1850

          The church at Thessalonica knew about the times and epochs of the future.  Paul uses the word “times” (“χρόνων“) to describe the particular date or time when certain events would take place.  The term “epochs” (“καιρῶν“) refers to the quality or circumstances of a particular event, and so means what signs would be present (see Acts 3:19-20, page 1704, for the same use of the same terms “times of refreshing” (“καιροὶ“) and “period of restoration” (“χρόνων“); also compare Acts 1:7, page 1699)). Therefore, Paul reminds the Thessalonians that they know not only about the course of events, but also the particular events that will come in the future.

          Paul also refers to the Thessalonians as brethren.  I always like the way Paul considers himself a believer with the Thessalonians, and he does not lord it over them.  Just as the messenger Timothy had reported about the condition of Thessalonians, so also Paul acknowledges their understanding the future, notwithstanding their ignorance about the specific events associated with the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13, page 1849).  Paul now will focus upon both the sweep of the future, and certain special events in the future.  In America today, many believers rarely read their Bible, and pay little attention to understanding the future as God revealed it the Bible.  Compared to most Americans, the Thessalonians were far advanced concerning their knowledge of the future.

       Paul says that the Thessalonians had “no need” for further instruction regarding the future times and epochs.  Paul, will, however make applications in the next verses about how we ought to live as believers in light of the knowledge we have about future.  So often, we read the Bible, but fail to grasp how it impacts our lives.  We do not see applications of how the prophetic aspects of the Bible influence our daily activities, like working, exercising, thinking, paying bills, and doing all the normal things we do.  Furthermore, we rarely think about how the future should impact our present friendships and other relationships.  But, you can count on Paul to bring out the connection about knowledge of the future and present living.  In fact, Paul has already moved past his discussion of the Rapture, and now says the Thessalonians have a very good handle on the future.   They do not need further information about “times” and “epochs,” but rather they need to know how to use their knowledge.  Revelation from God should also impact our relationships with God and our neighbors.

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

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we relate to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, and recognize the knowledge of our friends.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when  we allow our knowledge of the future impact how we live together today.  The “times” and “epochs” of tomorrow directly impact what we do today, especially with our friends in Christ.

       ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we fail to recognize that some of friends already have plenty of knowledge about “times” and “epochs,” but need further help in applying revelation to our lives today.  Remember, Paul discussed the Rapture from the standpoint of comforting believers today.     

Application for Today

        Today, I want to remember that some of my friends know about “times” and “epochs.”  I want to encourage them in their knowledge, and let that knowledge impact our lives today.  Will your knowledge of times and epochs influence your life 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.