Latter-Day Checklist

     As we near the Lord's return, we need a checklist of things that we ought to make sure that we are doing.  I Thessalonians Chapter five gives us such a checklist.

     When the Lord Jesus Christ returns for us at the rapture, every believer will be raptured or caught up with the Lord (I Thessalonians 5:14-18).  So, if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour (your only hope for heaven), you not only KNOW (I John 5:13) that you HAVE eternal life, but are also certain that you will be raptured out before the tribulation (I Thessalonians 5:9,10).  This is not based upon OUR WORKS but rather upon the FINISHED WORK of Christ upon the cross (Ephesians 2:8,9).  See also Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

     In addition, at the rapture we (believers) will be judged according to OUR WORKS, not for salvation (which we have already received), but for degree of reward or loss of reward in heaven (see I Corinthians 3:11-15).  II Timothy 4:1 tells us, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living-who are raptured) and the dead (believers who have gone to heaven ahead of us) at his appearing and his kingdom.”  In view of this judgment we are charged to “Preach the Word” and “do the work of an evangelist (II Timothy 4:2,5).”

     Certainly at the top of our checklist should be soul-winning.  Soul-winning is not an option of the Christian life, but it is a command of Christ.  “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).”  This same truth is given to us in I Thessalonians 2:4, “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”  In addition, I Thessalonians Chapter five gives us twenty-six more points in our believer's checklist.  There are twenty-seven points altogether.

1.     “Soul-winning”-witnessing     (I Thessalonians 2:4)
2.     “Let us not sleep”     (I Thessalonians 5:6)
3.     “Let us watch” and “be sober”      (I Thessalonians 5:6)
4.     “Be sober putting on the breastplate of faith and love”     (I Thessalonians 5:8)
5.     “Putting on the helmet, the hope of salvation”     (I Thessalonians 5:8)
6.     “Comfort yourselves together”     (I Thessalonians 5:11)
7.     “Edify one another”     (I Thessalonians 5:11)
8.     “Know them which”
     a) “Labour among you”     (I Thessalonians 5:12)
     b) “Are over you in the Lord”     (I Thessalonians 5:12)
     c) “Admonish you”     (I Thessalonians 5:12)
9.     “Esteem them very highly in love”     (I Thessalonians 5:13)
10.     “Be at peace among yourselves”     (I Thessalonians 5:13)
11.     “Warn them that are unruly”     (I Thessalonians 5:14)
12.     “Comfort the feebleminded” (easily discouraged)     (I Thessalonians 5:14)
13.     “Support the weak” (spiritually)     (I Thessalonians 5:14)
14.     “Be patient toward all men”     (I Thessalonians 5:14)
15.     “None render evil for evil”     (I Thessalonians 5:15)
16.     “Follow that which is good”     (I Thessalonians 5:15)
17.     “Rejoice evermore”     (I Thessalonians 5:16)
18.     “Pray without ceasing”     (I Thessalonians 5:17)
19.     “In everything give thanks”     (I Thessalonians 5:18)
20.     “Quench not the spirit”     (I Thessalonians 5:19)
21.     “Despise not prophesyings”     (I Thessalonians 5:20)
22.     “Prove all things”     (I Thessalonians 5:21)
23.     “Hold fast that which is good”     (I Thessalonians 5:21)
24.     “Abstain from all appearance of evil”     (I Thessalonians 5:22)
25.     “Pray for us”     (I Thessalonians 5:25)
26.     “Greet all the brethren”     (I Thessalonians 5:26)
27.     “Read the epistles”     (I Thessalonians 5:27)

     Twenty-seven points!  What a marvelous checklist for Christians.  These points cover a wide range of relationships…our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, with unbelievers, with church leaders and pastors, with other believers, and so on.  Although the list is not complete, because we have only gleaned a list from one chapter of the Bible, it gives an idea of the variety of things that we are held accountable for, and for which we will be judged at the rapture, at the judgment seat of Christ.

     We are living in the latter-days according to Hosea 3:5,6.  When the Jews would return to Israel, God says that time is the latter-days.  Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:1, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.”  The Bible so clearly sets forth the “signs of the times” of the Lord's return that Paul did not need to write any further concerning the Lord's coming, to the people at Thessalonica.  In view of this imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are given this checklist of a minimum of twenty-seven points.  How will you do when God matches up your life against this list at the judgment seat of Christ?  (II Corinthians 5:10).

     Why not post this checklist?  Read this portion of Scripture many times over until you are thoroughly familiar with it.  Study each point until you know what God is expecting of you.  Apply it to your daily Christian life.  God's blessing will follow!