(1Thess. 5:19) "Quench (to extinguish) not the Spirit." To extinguish means (to put out a fire; to put an end to; to obscure; and to nullify). (1Thess.5:11-23) In this series of scriptures are instructions concerning Christian conduct. The process of quenching is that a Christian can quench (extinguish) the Holy Spirit’s efforts to instruct a Christian to learn, grow, or do a particular job.
The sad, sorry result of this is that as the process of quenching is repeated over and over the Christian grows colder and colder toward God until the attitude of (Matt. 24:9-14 & Rev. 3:15-16) lukewarmness or even (Heb. 3:8-19) hard heartedness prevails in the Christian life.
The Biblical Greek definition of work is; (an occupation, effort by labor, acts, or deed). Common sense and the scripture tell us you cannot do Christian works to become a Christian. You do not do Christian works to pay God back for what He has done for you or because He saved you. You do Christian works because you already are a Christian.
YOU DO CHRISTIAN WORKS BECAUSE YOU LOVE GOD AND WANT TO PLEASE HIM BECAUSE: (2Cor. 5:17) A Christian is a new creature (creation) through the (1Pet. 1:23) born again (to beget again) event and has become (Eph. 2:19) a fellowcitizen of the household (relative) of God. (2Cor. 4:2-4) You have changed sides, (2Tim. 2:3-4) you have become a soldier in God's army, (1Thess. 5:4-6 then Matt. 5:14-16) you are a soldier of light (Eph. 6:10-12) and your war is with the devil who is the ruler of darkness.
(Eph. 6:13-18) The only place to obtain your weapons of war is in the (John 14:26, 2Tim. 3:16 & esp. 1Cor. 2:9-16 AND follow the directions given!) Holy Spirit operated "bootcamp and training" provided by God's Holy Word and in prayer. SO: Study and pray! I've actually heard Christians stand up in church and ask the congregation to pray for them so they'll be a better Christian! That sounds so righteous and so humble and so seeking. BUT: God will not make you something you won't try to be and no Christian or group of Christians can pray you into being what you won't try to be. SO: Study and pray AND follow the directions given!
Some references concerning Christian work are (2Cor. 9:8; Col. 1:10; 1Thess. 1:3; 1Tim. 5:10; Tit 3:1-2; & Heb.13:21) because (1Pet. 1:17 & Rev. 22:12) Christians, you, will be judged by your works. Examples: You are coming home from work, your lost neighbor is sitting on his porch, you “think” you ought to stop and talk to him about getting saved. That is the Holy Spirit assigning you a job for God. You don’t stop, you go on home and do your own thing in your “spare time”. You just quenched the Holy Spirit.
That week the same thing happens when you “think” about praying, reading the Bible, calling a sick friend, visiting a sick Christian brother, helping the old folks down the street, buying a poor kid a treat or whatever. You never get past the “thinking about it stage” because "your thing" is becoming your idol, you've quenched the Holy Spirit and then you go to church on Sunday and expect to be blessed. Shame on you!
If you do get “blessed” it is you lying to yourself, usually during the singing, because, read this carefully, (Rom. 12:1-21 & Rev. 2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:1, 8 & 15 keyword in all: works) God does not bless the sin of neglect, (Col. 3:2-17 esp. V.5) nor does God bless idolatry in which “doing our own thing” is more important to us than our obedience to God. And don't forget this: (2Cor. 11:14) Satan can transform himself into an angel (spirit) of light and it might be him making you feel blessed for doing nothing for Jesus (1Cor. 12:10) if you cannot discern the spirits (Holy Spirit and -Eph. 6:11-12- unholy spirit) (2Tim. 3:16) and if you don't know the scriptures (Holy Bible).
In reality you should be ashamed and repent of your sins because those “thoughts” was the Holy Spirit telling you what God wants you to do and you flatly refused. You quenched the Holy Spirit. And with that you missed the opportunity to serve God! (Phil. 3:17-19 esp. V.19 keywords: whose god is their belly- defined Strong's #2836: the cavity, figuratively the empty heart and Rev. 3:15-16) As time progresses you become colder and colder. God's voice becomes more and more faint, you have become lukewarm and are in very real danger of going to hell (Rev. 3:19-22) if you don't repent.
Why do all these things? Because it is what Jesus #1) (Rom. 21:1-21) deserves because of what He gave to save you, #2) (Mark 12:30) desires because you are supposed to be on His side and #3) (John 14:15 "if ye love me, keep my commandments" & V.16-26 esp. V.17, 20, 23, 26 key: written to the coming church) God expects you to do Christian works because it is the measure of your love for Him. That really gets a person's attention doesn't it? If you want to backslide exact instructions are given about how to accomplish it or to prevent it in the Backsliding article in the Sin in Church commentary. You may be surprised where you stand with God so please read it.
When you are obedient God will bless you with (Psa. 22:26) satisfaction, (Prov. 14:21) happiness, (John 14:27) peace and (1Tim. 6:6) contentment that only God can give through the Holy Spirit. It is the satisfaction of being in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, doing exactly the right thing.
Peace of mind before God is priceless. You are not supposed to work to get blessings. (James 2:14-26 esp. V.20 keywords: faith without works is dead and our example is: V.23 keywords: Abraham was called the Friend of God) You are supposed to work because you love God, you are a Christian, that’s what Christians do and you are supposed to want to do things that please God. Jesus said to the disciples (Acts 1:1 thru 2:46 and on) who would originate the church (John 14:15) "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (Mark 12:30-31) The message has not changed.
(Gen. 11:31 thru 22:18) (Gen. 12:1-5) Abraham's first failure was when God told him to "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred (relatives), and from thy father's house, into a land I will show thee:" but Abraham took his nephew Lot with him and that would cost Abraham dearly. There were other failures; God would tell Abraham (Abram) to go to a certain location and Abraham would keep right on going and etc. Have you ever done that? Yes, me to!
Please read (Gen. 11:31 thru 22:18) if you wish to read Abraham's exciting journey, trials, tribulations, and failures to the point that twice pagan kings chastised him for lying, but Abraham did the best he could with what faith he had as he grew in faith through his relationship with God to the point of swinging his blade high to kill his only son Isaac because God had told him to do it. It had been Abraham's (Zech. 13:9 keywords: through the fire and refine them) time of refining, Abraham had come through the fire and God had tested Abraham's faith every step of the way! Have you ever been there? Yes, me too!
If you wish to read some of my personal me too times please click on the commentary Sin in Church and read the seven article series Growth as a Christian: The Survival Principal.
(2Cor. 5:20 keywords: we are ambassadors for Christ: ambassadors is defined: act as a representative) Doing nice things for people attract people to you and when you tell them you are a Christian it automatically sets the stage for you to witness to them and they are attracted to God and His Church. Always give God the credit for saving you and guiding you to be the kind of person you are. That opens the door for you to explain spiritual growth, sin by Christians, God’s love and forgiveness and etc. You do know all those things so you can explain them to people, don’t you?
Christian Judgment: (Rev. 22:12) Jesus briefly mentioned that He would come with rewards to give every man according to his works. There are several places in scripture that mention a Christian judgment, rather briefly. (1Cor. 3:10-15) Paul very briefly describes what will be a Christian judgment. (V.10-11) The only foundation upon which Christian works can possibly be built is the foundation (John 15:1-5 esp. V.5 keywords: without me ye can do nothing) which is Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.
(V.12-15 esp. V.15 keywords: yet so as by fire) This is obviously a judgment of a Christian’s daily life throughout his Christian life on earth. There are instructions for Christian relationships with wife, children and parents. Instructions are given as to how a Christian works a job, interacts with people, treats his neighbors, conducts himself and keeps up their home. Of course all that will be judged.
What works we do on the cornerstone foundation is either precious as represented by precious metal and precious stones or it is useless and useless works will be burned as represented by the fuel items wood, hay, or stubble. This hasn’t got anything to do with sins as they are set forth in scripture; it has to do with laziness, uselessness and wasted spare time Christian lives.
These works will be burned but the man himself will be saved, “yet so as by fire” (Rev. 3: 2-5 & 15-16) if you haven't backslid to the point you will go to hell! Do you really want to "gamble" with your forever destination? The Bible doesn’t say what "yet so by fire" means or is but it is sure to be bad. The embarrassment and humiliation of being exposed as useless and worthless would be bad enough.
(1Cor 9:24-27; 1Thess 2:19; 2Tim. 4:8; James 1:12; & 1Pet 5:4) The Christian whose works stand the fire test will receive rewards as denoted by the crowns. A clue is given as to the severity of this works trial by fire (1Cor. 9:27 keyword: castaway: defined: rejected, reprobate: Titus 1:16 reprobate defined is: unapproved, by implication: worthless) is when the apostle Paul said he worried he might be a castaway. Wow, we had all better get ourselves in order if that Scripture writing, fasting, local church organizing, preaching, praying, firebrand for God was worried he might be a castaway!
(Rev. 3:15-16 keywords: spue thee out) If a person’s life is so far away from pleasing God that his works will be burned how much further from God will he have to go to be considered lukewarm and gets spued out at the judgment? Spue means projectile vomiting SO do you think lukewarm Christians make Jesus sick to His stomach? Do you think Jesus will spue (puke) a lukewarm Christian out on some back corner of heaven to stink, rot and fester there like a boil? QUENCH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIND OUT!
Are you willing to risk (gamble) being lukewarm in the light of (1Pet. 4:18) “And if the righteous scarcely be saved where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” This scripture obviously describes three types of people and their standing with God. The first two are obviously Christian and you will have to decide about the third when you next pray; #1 the righteous, #2 the ungodly and #3 the sinner.
#1 Are you a righteous (innocent, holy) Christian? #2 Are you an ungodly (impious, wicked) Christian? #3 Are you a sinner (to miss the mark and not share the prize)? We might as well ask this one too; are you a lukewarm (tepid) Christian?
Are you sure? Lukewarm is “cold fire”. All Christians like to consider themselves “on fire” for Jesus but how hot is your fire? Remember: your situation and condition are private between God and you; your thoughts are between God and you; and your prayers are between God and you. But think about this: Your visible Christian works and your obedience to God, based on the Bible, through the Holy Spirit “tell” what kind of Christian you are.
Have you ever been under preaching where the Pastor hit your sin right on the head but there was no way possible for him to know what you had done? The Holy Spirit was inspiring him and condemning you. The preacher was saying the words but he was only the “mouthpiece” for God. Pastors sometimes take the “heat” for the Holy Spirit’s work. Pastors are tough though! They have to be; with all the wagging tongues, sorry advise, cold hearts and condemning questions in every congregation!
Have you ever wondered about your Pastor’s emotions? What is it like to be preaching your heart out while looking out over the congregation; one dozing off here and another over there; this one yawning, there’s one texting on his cellphone, over there are two or three in animated, whisper conversation, another two or three are staring out the window or at the ceiling, there’s one reading a songbook, many faces are blank, there’s one carefully picking lint from his sleeves------.
“Oh Lord please show me one face that is animated, please let me see a smile of comprehension, let me see just one little nod of agreement from somebody! Oh Lord; it’s been forty-five minutes since the service began and they are starting to fidget. I know they are quenching the Holy Spirit by their inattention. DON’T THEY EVEN CARE?”
Have you considered how your Pastor feels just before he leaves home before that weak little Wednesday night, Saturday night, or Sunday night service? He’s prayed, studied and groomed himself. Now he’s at the sink in the bathroom, his hands are gripping the edges of the sink and his face is a foot from the mirror. He is studying his own eyes. “Will the piano player show up? Will there be any singers?” A picture of all the empty seats that will be there floats into his brain and blazes there like a hot coal.
The devil quietly jeers; “Boy, you ain’t much of a Pastor. They don’t love you! They don’t care! You can’t even preach good enough to get your congregation to come to Church! Are you sure you are even called to preach? Is it all a big joke and it’s on you!” Your Pastor’s hands curl into hard fists, his eyes draw down and his jaw muscles clench tight. Anger briefly flares through his soul and he thinks about (Ex. 17:8-16) when; “Amalek came to destroy Israel.
Joshua and the Israelites fought Amalek and the Amalekites there in Rephidim. Moses stood on the hill top with the rod of God in his hands. When Moses held the rod of God high the Israelites won in the face to face battle of sword, spear and shield. When Moses’ arms grew tired and he lowered the rod of God the tide of battle turned against Israel and it did not matter how skillfully or courageously the Israelites fought they still died on the bloody blades of the Amalekites. When Moses raised the rod of God the tables turned and Israel prevailed.”
Your Pastor sees Moses struggling so alone there. His neck muscles are corded, sweat is pouring as he strains and heaves to hold the rod of God high. Aaron and Hur see the awful struggle Moses is engaged in to assure victory for his congregation there in the wilderness. They see and they understand, they rush to Moses and roll a stone behind him, they sit Moses on the stone and grab his forearms, they hold Moses arms up and Joshua discomfited (wasted) Amalek and his army.
Your Pastor leans a little closer to his reflection and whispers to the face in the mirror; “Why won’t somebody hold my hands up?” The Holy Spirit whispers the words of God from (1Cor. 12:9) My grace is sufficient for thee: by my power I will hold thine hands up. AND: (John 12: 48) I will tell thee what to say and My Words shall judge them in the last day.
Your Pastor stares at the face in the mirror for a few more seconds, the face in the mirror smiles a wry smile with no humor in it, he turns away into the rest of the house, picks up his sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and strides firmly out the door carrying his shield of faith high on his way into the valley of Rephidim to wreck slaughter on Amalek the devil and bring God’s judgment upon his own flock; either good or bad.
"I'll preach 'em the truth, its up to each individual to do what they will with it. I'll be judged for what I preach so it'll be outta the Bible inspired by the Holy Spirit. Thank you dear Lord."
Ask yourself this question: "If I feel like I ought to go to church and I don't, even though I am able to go, am I going to be responsible for what God wanted to tell me through the preached sermon or Bible study I didn't care enough about to go listen to? DID I QUENCH THE HOLY SPIRIT?" OF COURSE YOU DID!
Are you afraid to ask it because you already know the answer? (Heb. 2:1-3 esp. V.3) tells about the sin of neglect. (1Pet. 1:10-14 esp. V.1) tells about the danger of not being diligent. (Rom. 10:15-17) Since faith cometh by hearing and you don't want to go hear do you already have all the faith you need? ARE YOU A PRACTICING CHRISTIAN, A LUKEWARM CHRISTIAN, OR A BACKSLID CHRISTIAN?
There are only three positions on the scale of the individual Christian's life; going forward, standing still, or going backward! (Rev. 2:4-5) Are you as excited about being a Christian as you used to be? (Rev. 3:13-16) Are you more willing to please God right now than you've ever been? (Rev. 3:2-5) Think about it because it is YOUR ETERNITY! You don't have to answer FOR anyone else, nobody else CAN answer for you, (Rom. 14:10 & 2Cor.5:10) but you will be judged by Jesus!