FINAL EVENTS . (1 THESS. 5:1-11 ). Lesson 9 for September 1, 2012. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-11 OUTLINE. The Second Coming of Jesus ( 1-5) Sudden (1-2 ) Unexpected for the unbelievers ( 3) Expected for the believers ( 4-5) An active waiting ( 6-8) Appeal to watch ( 6-7)
Lesson 9 for September 1, 2012
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2)
Both in the Old and New Testament the “day of the Lord” –that is, the Second Coming of Christ– is something sudden and unexpected.
“For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
The Scriptures teach that the time immediately before the Coming of Christ will bring widespread anguish. Nevertheless, the unbelievers will refuge in a feeling of peace and safety.
But they won’t be able to escape from the destruction, just like the pregnant woman cannot escape from the labor.
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5)
“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into” (Luke 12:39)
Jesus’ words are very clear: Nothing excuses us from not being watching for His Coming.
Preparation for the Second Coming involves:
Investing serious time in the Word of God.
The act of laying up treasure in heaven. Preparation is about a daily surrender to the Lord.
There are many distractions in today’s world, from jobs to e-mail, entertainment, a cornucopia of drugs, and other mood enhancers.
Paul’s appeal comes down to us through the corridors of time. Set distractions aside. Put the Word of God first in your life, and you will not be overtaken by events, no matter how unexpected their timing may be.
“Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-7)
Paul remembers us that we are from day and not from night (verse 5); then he urges us to live according to that truth.
Let’s not imitate those who are in darkness. We are the day. We’ve been illuminated by the light and we must reflect it in our lives.
The Coming of Jesus will not awake anybody. Therefore, we must be awaken and ready today (Ephesians 5:14)
“It is a time now when we cannot for a moment take the spiritual eye from Christ Jesus. His admonition to us is, “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Is there one professed Christian who needs not the warning, and whose heart will not bear watching? The heart must be kept with all diligence, under constant watchfulness.
Watch the stealthy approach of the enemy, watch against old habits and natural inclinations lest they exert themselves; force them back, and watch; force them back if need be a hundred times. Watch the thoughts, watch the plans, lest they become selfish and self-centered. Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation”
E.G.W. (That I may know Him, December 11)
“But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation”
(1 Thessalonians 5:8)
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul presents the whole armor of the Christian; we may “be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” with it.
Paul emphasizes the three main Christian virtues (faith, hope and love) as the main weapons of the Christian.
The breastplate protects our heart and the helmet protects our brain; we will keep our feelings and our thoughts pure with them.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
The “day of the Lord” (1Ths. 5:2) has two sides:
It will be day of wrath for the unbelievers(Revelation 6:16-17)
It will be day of salvation for the believers (Isaiah 25:9)
The two-sided nature of judgment is evident in the earliest narratives of the Bible. In the Garden of Eden, God judges the sin of Adam and Eve negatively. There are consequences of sin in relation to childbirth, farming, and where they are allowed to live. At the same time, God judges them positively. He creates enmity between them and Satan and mercifully clothes them with skins so they will not suffer unduly in the changing environment. Even more important, those skins symbolize the righteousness of Christ that will cover their sin, as well.
In Christ, we never need to face God’s wrath because, on the cross, Jesus faced it for us.
“who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing”
(1 Thessalonians 5:10-11)
Paul ends the instructions about the preparation for the Coming of Jesus by repeating the thought he used to end the instructions about the resurrection (1 Thess. 4:17-18)
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18)
Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus, both those who died in Christ and those who will be awake when He’ll return will live forever with Him.
This “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) must help us in encouraging and edifying one another.
“Now is the time to prepare for the coming of our Lord. Readiness to meet Him cannot be attained in a moment’s time. Preparatory to that solemn scene there must be vigilant waiting and watching, combined with earnest work. So God’s children glorify Him. Amid the busy scenes of life their voices will be heard speaking words of encouragement, faith, and hope. All they have and are is consecrated to the Master’s service”
E.G.W. (Our Father cares, August 29)