Monday, August 22, 2011

Exhortations on Holy Living-Then & Now...

I enjoy reading quotes from revivalists and theologians of past years. More often than not, their advice is very timely and applicable to our world today. I presented a Bible Study recently from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22. Sometimes the Bible does some "hard preachin'" Here are some parts of that presentation with some additional quotes of others from past years. First, let us look at the Scripture text:

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies.* 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. NKJV

*20 Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages,CEB

Rejoice Always: This can be a difficult one when going through trials and temptation. John Wesley stated that in the book of Job,"There are many things hard to be understood." Others have noted that Job's "patience" only lasted two chapters out of a forty-two chapter book!

Pray without ceasing: "The evangelization of the world depends first of all upon a revival of prayer."- Charles G. Finney, in Revival letters

Quench not the Spirit: "Catch on fire and others will come to watch you burn." -John Wesley

Despise not prophesyings (Preaching) The original Greek word here was analogia, meaning "according to the proportion of faith" This actually meant preaching, and not predicting the future. However, the early "evangelists" were spiritually in tune with God. Most preaching in the 1700's and later was expository in nature, much different than many of today's user "friendly" and topical sermons.

"Sermonettes make Christianettes."- Jack van Impe

"What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace." -John Wesley

Abstain from all appearance of evil: In today's "Grey" world, this rings more true now than ever! There are several quotes herewith a humorous one by the late George Carlin.

"Vice does not lose its character becoming fashionable."- John Wesley

"Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself."

Susanna Wesley, Mother of John and Charles

"The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse:
You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment." George Carlin