ALL THINGS NEW
WEEK 5 DISCUSSION GUIDE "HOPE"
This week we concluded our “All Things New” series reflecting on how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus affects our future. We talked about hope, the hope that we have in the return of Jesus, and how that should affect the way we live today.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-16
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Paul writes to a church in Thessalonica, to encourage them, that all who are in Christ will share in His victory over death. This is a community that was suffering, Paul points them to hope, to have hope in the future return of Christ where all who are in Christ will experience victory and life.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the
light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
The date and time of Jesus’ return is unknown. It will come suddenly. We should not fear the return of Jesus because we are not in darkness. Here Paul uses dark/night and light/day to signify opposing realities. Sin brought darkness into the world, but Jesus came to bring people back into the light. To walk in sin is to live in the darkness, but to be in Christ is to live in the light. As followers of Jesus, we have been forgiven for living in the darkness, but we can’t stay there. We should live lives that honor God, living in the light.
1 Thessalonians 5:8
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
Because we are in Christ we have the hope of salvation, God’s saving work in our lives. In Christ we live with faith and love. When we live in a relationship with Jesus we will experience growing faith and increasing love. Trust in God, believing He is who he says he is, and loving others the way God loves us.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Think about someone you know who is living their life in the light. What characteristics have you seen in them that reflect walking in the light?
How is your life different as a result of living in the light?
Share about an event or season in your life where you have seen your faith in Christ grow.
How does your life look different because of your hope in Christ?
Is there someone in your life who encourages you? How have they impacted your life?
Think about someone you can encourage this week. Brainstorm ideas with your group of how you can encourage someone this week.
PRAY FOR YOUR GROUP
Pray that the hope we have in Christ would impact the way we live, that we would live every day in a way that honors God.
PRAY FOR FCC
Pray that through an intimate relationship with Christ we would experience growing faith and increasing love. Pray that this would be reflected in the way we love others as Jesus loves us.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Please pray for all those serving Jesus in the missionary field, in all countries, especially to those closed to the message of the good news. Praise Jesus for their hearts of service. Pray against the enemy of fear and discouragement that comes to try and steal their joy. Pray that God would strengthen our global field workers. Let us lift them up as God continues to fill them, and as we stay committed to prayer.