Lectionary Year A
November 17, 2002

I Thessalonians 5:1-11
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals

(JFC) This pericope might help people put in proper perspective the current evil in today's headlines and on radio and/or TV newscasts and in news magazines, relative to God's hope for Gospel and Good News to prevail for faithful believers.

B. Describing the Audience
(JFC) Any congregation worrying about where God is, has been and will be in the contexts of today's tragedies might appreciate a proclamation from this text.

C. Address
(JFC) A sermon entitled for this working draft, "Where is God and What Time Is It?"

Scripture declares that we know not the time or the season of Christ's Parousia, yet we who have faith do and can believe that Christ's Parousia has begun, at least, in us.

I. Destinations
A. God destines us "to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ", rather than for wrath.

B. We, being of the day, rather than of the dark night, remain awake, sober and dressed for appropriate celebrations of the Parousia.

II. Suddenness and Surprises
A. We do not know times for such things as Jesus' full second coming. We might be confident, though, it could surprise us by its magnitude and/or by its timing. And, most surprises have happy endings, like Surprise Birthday Parties, for example.

B. Still, we can believe that part of Jesus' Second Coming comes in us when we behave faithfully and show and tell others about our savior who reveals a Good God.

III. Jesus Died
A. Jesus' death proves His humanity.
B. Jesus' death for us and to bring us to be with Him proves His divinity.

The Epistle Lection concludes with great Good News. It declares that whether we sleep or stay awake and sober, Christ's death opens the gates of eternity for us. We can never close the doors Christ's death opened for us to come in to join Him forever.

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