It seems that in the 21st century, ever-growing distractions and temptations manifest themselves, stopping us from living to please God. Conventional television and movies tell us: if you want it, take it. Dating apps like Tinder allow us to be defined by one action: swipe right or swipe left. In this environment, sex has been dehumanised, reduced to something that is not ‘holy or honourable’ (1 Thessalonians 4:4) in any way.
In this chapter, we are reminded that:
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body… for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).
Being holy and set apart for God, we should not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Romans 12:2 tells us that through testing, we can discern what the will of God is, what is “good, acceptable and perfect.” Let’s remember this the next time we are tested, and call on the Holy Spirit to help us live a holy life. The gospel calls us from uncleanliness to holiness.
The second half of this chapter covers the second coming of Christ. When that day comes, we will be with the Lord forever. Even though we might feel sorrow for believes whom have already died, we can have full assurance that we will be reunited one day. What more convincing do we need? This is the ultimate goal – to remain as pure and holy as possible, endeavouring to support each other in times of sorrow and temptation, eagerly awaiting Christ’s return.
How might we practically act in response to this chapter?
- Have an accountability buddy. Find a more mature Christian (a friend, youth leader/pastor) who can hold you accountable for your sins and actions. It helps to have someone to turn to, and an extra person that you don’t want to disappoint.
- Remove temptations from your life. Delete that dating app, or distance yourself from people who have unrighteous intentions.