I THESSALONIANS 5:4-10: “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. 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.” (ESV)
OBSERVATIONS: Why are Christians alarmed at the signs of the times? Jesus has fully warned us of the coming events that lead to His coming. Jesus said –
““And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-28 ESV
Paul now reminds the Thessalonians, who first thought that they had missed the “Coming” of Christ for His Church (the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:13-18), and now are confused about the “Return” of Christ for Judgment (the Day of the Lord) – “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”
When you put it all together, as a believer you can only come to this conclusion – JESUS IS COMING SOON! – and – THIS SHOULD NOT TAKE US BY SURPRISE!
Now this will seem like nonsense to an unbeliever. The scoffing or ridicule of unbelievers should not dissuade nor bother a true believer. It should motivate us to prayer, readiness, and a new engagement in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others – before it is too late! We are seeing signs in the heavens and in our culture in ever increasing rates. This is not a time to be alarmed – IT IS A TIME TO HEAR THE ALARM! Jesus calls us to “Look Up” – for our “Redemption” draws nigh. The only one who can bring justice to this broken world is preparing to gather His Bride, and return to establish His Kingdom. We are truly living in exciting and unprecedented times!
I am not setting any dates. No one knows that day or the hour. However, Paul makes it clear – we should not be surprised at these turn of events as “children of light”. We should not live in a stupor, or drift off to sleep. We should not be tempted to allow our convictions or our commitment to Christ to waiver. Rather, as children of light we are to – “…be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”
The awesome promise from the Lord is – “…God has not destined us for wrath.” The Day of the Lord is not directed toward to the believer, it is directed toward the ungodly. God is both a loving and just God. He “showed” His love in sending Jesus to die for our sins, and freely pardoning all those who believe in Him. He “confirms” His love in calling His Church into His presence before the great and terrible Day of Judgment. And He “validates” His love by bringing true justice upon all wickedness, only after all of mankind has had every chance to repent. His love is calling us as children of light to engage our faith in these last days and live as lights in our dark world. We are called to walk with our heads held high, our hands lifted up in praise, and our hearts filled with hope – the “Blessed Hope” of His soon coming return!
Jesus Christ is coming soon! Jesus Christ is coming for His Church! Jesus Christ is coming to bring justice upon this earth! Maranatha!
In Jesus Name!