“The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5.2) for people who have rejected God’s grace.
However, there will be no surprises for followers of Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5.4-5 – But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
For you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
When Jesus heard about Lazarus’ death, his disciples were concerned for his safety. What Jesus said to them is relevant to all people who follow Jesus.
— John 11.9-10 – “Those who walk during the day do not stumble because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble because the light is not in them.”
People who follow Jesus are identified as “children of light and children of the day” (verse 5). They don’t stumble, because they are following the Light of the World.
The day of the Lord will not overtake them, because they are “day people.”
Become What You Are!
One of Paul’s persuasive techniques involves two Greek moods, the indicative and the imperative.
The indicative mood describes the reality of a Christian’s status and position. The imperative is a command or exhortation.
Paul often combines the indicative and the imperative that states, “become what you are.”
The indicative is present in verses 4 and 5. Verses 6 and 7 stress the imperative.
1 Thessalonians 5.6-7 – So, then, let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober, for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.
Paul is saying in essence, “You are ‘day people.’ Become what you are. You are different from the world. Live like it.”
Both here and in the Letter to the Romans, Paul called believers to live in stark contrast to those who have rejected God’s grace.
— Romans 13:11-12 – Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is already the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers;
The night is far gone; the day is near. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
“Be sober” is a literal message that many of my friends strive to obey every day.
Paul called the church to sober living in more ways than abstaining from alcohol or drugs.
1 Thessalonians 5.8 – But since we belong to the day, let us be sober and put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
Followers of Jesus take a serious or sober approach to life. They are lively and joyful, but they are not slack in following Jesus.
“Day people” suit up for a battle against the world’s system with the armor of faith, hope, and love.
Rudy Ross has excellent thoughts about love in today’s YouTube video. His thoughts are both insightful and motivating.
Please note, hope is not some vague “hope so” about life. Hope is the absolute certainty of the believer’s future.
Our hope is based on what Jesus has done for us.
1 Thessalonians 5.9-10 – For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.
We do well to emphasize the magnificent gift that God has given to his children. What God has done for us can be described in a series of bullet points.
— The Goal – Obtaining salvation
— The Agent – Through Jesus
— The Means – Who died for us
— The Purpose – That we may live with him.
Put This To Work
“Day people” should put to work these truths.
1 Thessalonians 5.11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
Now that Paul has cleared up “the day of the Lord” question, let’s respond with encouragement.
Let’s take the basics of Paul’s message and build up the faith, love, and hope of others.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.