1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ESV
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
If we are genuinely in Christ, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and if we are students of the Scriptures, and if we are tuned into the voice of the Holy Spirit within us, we should be aware of the times we live in. We should see the lies and the deceptions that are going on all around us, and within the gatherings of what is called “church.” And we should see all the immorality and the decline of morals and truth, which are going on within our societies.
And we should know that one day our Lord is going to return in judgment, and he is going to take his faithful ones to be with him for eternity. But those who are not faithful to him, who think they know better than God, who have continued living in sin and for self, and who ignore our Lord’s commands, so that they can keep on in their sinful practices, they are going to be surprised when sudden destruction comes upon them.
For they have been believing the lies which tell them that their sins do not matter, or that God can’t even see when they sin, or that they will not face punishment for their continued sins. And they will be told to just “claim who you are in Christ” if they begin to feel guilty about their sin, for the guilt is what they are trying to avoid, not the habitual sinning against God and against other humans. For they are being convinced that all is well.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 ESV
“But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”
But we who truly believe in Jesus should not be taken captive to those lies, but we should be those who believe the truth of what Jesus taught, and of what his New Testament apostles taught. And we should be those who are following that truth, and who have surrendered our lives to Christ, and who are walking in his truth and righteousness, in practice, by his grace and in his strength and power. For to this purpose we are saved by God’s grace.
So, this is a warning to us to not be like those who are spiritually asleep and who are walking in the darkness. But we are to be children of light who are shining the light of the gospel to others. We are to be people who are spiritually sober and alert and who are following the Lord and who are not being taken captive to lies. So we are not to be like the ungodly who are still following the passions of their own flesh. But we are to be holy.
So, we are not to be among those who are drunkards and adulterers, who are sexually immoral and who are liars and thieves. We are not to be the unfaithful who go after “other lovers.” And we are not to be those who are deliberately and habitually sinning against our Lord and against other humans, but we are to be children of God who love one another and who care for the needs of others, and who do good to them, and not evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 ESV
“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ so that we might live with him and for him. So we need to be those who are encouraging (exhorting, urging, provoking) our fellow Christians to walk in holiness and righteousness, and not in sin, and to follow our Lord in obedience, so that we are not hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and so that we do not fall back into sin and fall away from God.
For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, he said we will lose them for eternity. But if for his sake we die to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, then we have eternal life in him. So, please take this to heart, for this is the essence of the message of our salvation.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
By Ann Aschauer
Children of the Kingdom, you are called by God to shine His light,
In the day of small beginnings, trust in Him, trust in Him.
On this firm foundation build your lives to bring Him glory;
People need Him in a world where hope is dim.
So shine on through the darkness;
Be the salt and light for all your world.
Live for Jesus, ’til you see Him,
And your faith has its reward;
Shine on through the darkness;
Let His love shine through you all your days.
Go and win your generation for the Lord.
c 1990 Ann Aschauer