April 4th, 2007
It’s strange that something which has a great capacity to bring pleasure also has a great capacity to bring hurt and trauma and pain. So many lives are ruined by rape and incest and all forms of sexual abuse. Something intended for the most intimate situations can go horribly wrong when taken outside of those settings. Like every other aspect of human existence, God designed sexuality as something good, something to be enjoyed in the proper context. But like many other human functions, it can be manipulated and abused to produce evil rather than good.
Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians — Chapter 4
4:1 Finally, friends, we beg and urge you in the Lord Jesus to live more and more according to the lifestyle which we showed you and which pleases God, as you are doing already. 4:2 You will recall the instructions we gave you in the name of the Lord Jesus. 4:3 God’s will is for you to become holy, staying away from sexual immorality. 4:4 Each of you should know how to treat your own body in a holy and honourable way, 4:5 not indulging in unbridled passions like Gentiles who do not know God. 4:6 No one should take advantage of or exploit a fellow-believer in such matters, because the Lord punishes such wrongs, as we have previously told you and warned you. 4:7 God called us not for impurity but for holiness. 4:8 Anyone who rejects this does not reject human authority, but God, the one who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
4:9 You do not need anyone to write to you about brotherly love, because you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 4:10 You show this love towards all the believers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, friends, to go even further. 4:11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to look after your own business, and to work with your own hands, just as we instructed you to do, 4:12 so that you can relate to outsiders in a helpful manner, and not be dependent on anyone.
4:13 Friends, we do not want you to be ignorant about people who have died, so that you do not grieve like other people who have no hope. 4:14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and God will bring with him those people who have died in Jesus. 4:15 We can tell you on the Lord’s authority that those of us who remain alive when the Lord comes will not go before those who have died. 4:16 The Lord himself will descend from heaven when the signal is given by the archangel’s voice and God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 4:17 then those of us who remain alive will be taken up together with them into the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever. 4:18 Encourage each other with these words.
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