1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 NLT
But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
We studied previously how not to prepare for the Second Coming by looking at two kinds of persons: the curious person and the careless person. Now we’re going to take a look at a person who’s making the right preparation for the Second Coming.
- THE CONSCIOUS PERSON
A) He is prepared.
“But YOU AREN’T IN THE DARK about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and YOU WON’T BE SURPRISED when the day of the Lord comes like a thief,” (verse 4)
- He no longer belongs to the darkness AND night (Eph. 5:8; Acts 26:17, 18; Col. 1:13).
- He is a child of the light and of the day (John 8:12; 12:35, 36)
The best preparation for the Second Coming is simply to be saved by putting your faith in the light, Jesus Christ! (1 Thess. 1:10; John 5:24)
B) He is different (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:17).
“So be on your guard, NOT asleep LIKE THE OTHERS,” (verse 6).
- Awake not asleep (Rom. 13:11-14). He cares about living a life that pleases God.
- Alert not drunken (1 Cor. 7:29, 31; 1 Pet. 4:7-10). Drunk people are not in their right minds. Sober people are in full possession of their mental faculties. They have a right sense of priorities and they live self-controlled lives. They live in light of what is coming. They realize everything they have is simply on loan, something they have to return when God calls them home and which they can’t take with them. Yes, they have to be good stewards, but they should not be too attached to this world which is passing away. Instead, they should prioritize the Kingdom.
“So be ON YOUR GUARD …. Stay ALERT and be CLEARHEADED,” (verse 6, 8)
“But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, PROTECTED BY THE ARMOR of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation,” (verse 8).Breastplate of righteousness (Eph 6:14)(faith and love). Essential armor as it protects the vital organs.
- Armed not defenseless.
- Faith covers us with the righteousness of Christ, which protects us from the wrath to come (Rom. 1:16-18)
- Love on the other hand produces works that prove the genuineness of our faith (1 Thess. 1:3). It also gives us confidence for the day of judgment 1 John 4:16-18).
- Helmet of the hope of salvation. We’re not perfect. We often stumble and fall. Satan makes use of the times we fail to inject doubts into our minds so that we might become discouraged. But the hope of salvation is a certain hope (Hebrews 6:18-19). God will complete what he has begun in us (Philippians 1:6).
CONCLUSION: Those who have put their faith in Christ are prepared for the Second Coming. Their lives of love prove that they indeed have faith and are prepared. Their hope of sharing in the joy of the Second Coming is strong and secure because of —
A) God’s appointment.
“For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us,” (verse 9)
The fact that God has effected this great change in our lives (he has made us a believing and loving people) means we’re his chosen ones. “We love because he first loved us.” (See also 1 Thessalonians 1: 4, 5). And those whom he’s chosen will be glorified (Romans 8:29-30)
B) Christ’s atonement. “Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever,” (v. 10). If we really believe he died for us then we’re assured he will never forsake us, he’ll never send us away on judgment day (Romans 8:33, 34).
A) Encouragement (inspiring). Once again we learn that doctrine is meant to encourage us and that there is nothing more encouraging than doctrine. The peace and comfort this world can offer can’t compare to the heavenly peace and comfort that doctrine can give.
B) Edification (teaching). Notice that Paul couples encouragement with edification, which is inseparable from the teaching of heavenly truths (1 Corinthians 14:3. 4).
The best way to prepare for the Lord’s coming is first of all to make sure that we are saved. But after that it is simply to love and serve one another (1 Peter 4:7-10).