BECOMING A 4/11 BELIEVER: 1 Thessalonians 4:11 and Revelation 4:11
Dr. Jerry A. Collins
A devoted follower of Jesus lives life from an earthly perspective with an eternal trajectory. A believer lives his earthly life in light of heavenly realties. In one open hand a Christian holds his life, and in the other he points that life toward the heavens. Disciples live in this earthly realm while simultaneously basking in the anticipation of Gods coming kingdom. The priorities of the earthly life are intertwined with the hope and truth of eternal life. This duo thrust should engineer every believer’s responses, reactions, and decisions. This is the essence of a 4/11 believer. A 4/11 Jesus follower is guided by simple principles of living so that the life lived is eternally profitable. First, we must learn to live productively in this life.
A 4/11 BELIEVER ASPIRES TO QUIETLY LIVE A PRODUCTIVE LIFE
and to make it your ambition [to aspire] to lead a quiet [calm] life and attend to your own business [manage yourself] and work with your hands [produce for yourself], just as we commanded you (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
And to make it your ambition is a present tense daily life responsibility along with the nature of the verbs (lead and work). These suggest patterns of life which are to be regular and consistent goals for believers. This ambition introduces the responsibility to lead a quiet life. Literally, “to love honor,” to “consider it an honor” or “strive eagerly for.” Paul is dealing with matters which require self-discipline included in three commands for everyday living.
Lead a Quiet Life
The first command for everyday living is to lead a quiet [calm] life, to be at rest with your surroundings. It’s to strive eagerly toward quietness (metaphor for quiet life). Be active and upsetting with respect to the gospel message and discipleship, not when it comes to your neighbors, society, politics or other things of this world. In those arenas live quietly. The word translated quiet means quiet in the sense of restfulness (cf. Acts 22:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Timothy 2:2, 11). It means be “undisturbed, settled, not noisy,” with respect to your life, its surroundings and situations. Paul was telling the Thessalonians to be less frantic, not less exuberant.
A person who leads a restful rather than a frantic life avoids disturbing the lives of others. One who is constantly on the move is frequently a bother to other people as well as distracted from his own walk with God. The latter can lead to the former. But a Christian who strives to be at peace with himself and God will be a source of peace to his brethren. Such quietude constitutes a practical demonstration of love for others. It is a life that does its best to avoid unnecessary contention and to be at peace with all men insofar as it is humanly possible.
Application: We should make plans, but not set goals. Plans are proposals by which to organize your life. Goals aim at a specific desired result that can consume your life, make you frantic and cause strife and anxiety. You don’t need goals to be biblically productive.
Be Busy with Your Own Business
The second command for everyday living is about accomplishing something business wise. Attend to your own business is literally, “and practice own.” “Attend” is “to do, practice, be engaged in” or “achieve, affect, accomplish, perform.” “Own” means “private, distinct, one’s own.” It refers to what is private and personal, that is, “your own things” in the sense of your own “affairs or business” and to “accomplish what is your own”. Obviously, one of the solutions for restlessness is to tend to your own life and affairs which of course would involve getting one’s spiritual life in order, getting the planks out of one’s own eye that one might have the ability to really help others in their failures.
When our first priority is taking care of our own lives, not in a selfish, self-centered way, but in a truly biblical way, we are less likely to become nosy people who go around bashing others in the name of loving confrontation. one who tends to his own affairs does not meddle in the business of others. The idea is to attend to your own things. One who tends to his/her own affairs does not meddle in the business of others. You have enough of your own to deal with. Stick to it. Do not be a busybody. Don’t meddle in other people’s affairs. Instead, take ownership of your own life.
Application: Determine to walk in a manner worthy of your calling. Commit yourself to walk in the spirit, pray without ceasing, study the Scripture, and love the brethren. If you still have time, then don’t grieve the holy spirit, speak evil of no man, and set your mind on eternal things.
Be Productive in Your Work
The third command for everyday living is work with your hands. The person who works to provide for his or her own needs and the needs of his or her family does not put a burden on others. Christianity brought in a new ethic based on personal responsibility and hard work. Jesus was a carpenter and Paul himself was a tentmaker! It’s important to understand that Paul isn’t being metaphorical here. He literally worked with his hands as a tentmaker whenever he could so as to support himself while he preached the gospel. Even though he was highly educated, he didn’t mind hard work in the least and he didn’t find manual labor embarrassing. Provide for the needs of your own family and not give the gospel a black eye.
He encouraged believers to be good citizens and exemplary members of their families and of their society by producing productively.
Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created (Revelation 4:11).
Verse 11—saying,“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created”—God is presented as the Creator throughout Scripture (Gen 1:1; Exo 20:11; Isa 40:26, 28; Jer 10:10-12; 32:17; Col 1:16). As the Creator, He has the right to judge His creation and take it back from Satan, demons, and sinners (see Rom 8:19-22). • Because of Your will—all things were created and exist because of the will of God. It was His
idea. He desired it, and then He was the agent of it—You created all things.
Praise and worship around the throne 8-11
The four creatures sing praise day and night and worship God’s holiness, omnipotence, and eternality. The 24 elders fall down before the throne casting their crowns before it—this is not believers giving their rewards back to Christ. They say God is worthy because He is the creator. John is brought into this area. It is from here that the tribulation judgments will come.
(1) Give glory and honor to God because he is eternal and holy.
(2) Proclaim that God is worthy of worship because He is the Creator of everything! Evolution is a blatant attempt to take glory away from God. Evolution says survival of the fittest—which says you are fittest—that is, you deserve glory. It is Satan’s idea to be god.
Singers and singing 8-14
The elders and living creatures now bow down before the Lamb. The elders with harps and golden bowls of incense—the prayers of the saints living in Trib who want judgment. In v 9-10 they sing a new song—not to the Father but the Son. He is worthy they sing to break the seals because He purchased with His blood people whom He made to be a kingdom of priests (Rev 20). Now as far as John can see there are angels and with the 4 creatures and 24 elders all sing Worthy…Lamb v 12. Seven qualities the Lamb deserves power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory, blessing. Repetition of ‘and’ emphasis each individually not just a conglomeration. Then looking forward v 13 to end of history when every creature will honor Christ (Phil 2:9-11). All this worship culminates with ‘Amen’ repeatedly and elders prostrating before throne.
We should specifically acknowledge the attributes of Christ that make Him worthy of worship. Focus our worship on father and Son. There is no focus of worship of HS in Rev. John says more about HS than others—HS job point Christ.
Social progressives have an earthy view of life that continually evolves on into the future. This motivates them to fix the world and redeem the culture. Societal resistance to the Bible’s moral and spiritual directives have been a hallmark of the collective sinful heart. Its western, and even global nature, today mirrors that of societies before the Flood and at the Tower of Babel. Like those societies, the heart of man is only evil continually, resisting God morally and spiritually, as currently reflected in the progressive dissent of American society. Antichrist’s kingdom will coalesce this resistance globally in the future.
Followers of Jesus have a heavenly, eternal concentration, while living as pilgrims and strangers on earth. Jesus gave His people a mandate. It is not to redeem culture or participate in social justice. It is to make disciples, as Jesus declared in Matthew 28:19-20.
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
It’s eternally valuable to make disciples. The purpose of disciple making is to prepare believers for the heavenly eternal kingdom to which they are going, by developing their own spiritual maturity. Be compassionate. Be salt and light in your own sphere of influence. However, focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ, not fixing the world or redeeming the culture.
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of his coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
The elders and living creatures praise God as the Creator, Sustainer and Provider of all things. This is the theological emphasis of the name (cf. Genesis 1; Job 38-41; Psalm 104). This chapter uses the theological meaning of the two most used names for God to describe His actions. The progressive revelation of the NT makes it clear that Jesus was the Father's agent of creation (cf. John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16 and Heb. 1:2).