Be Ready for the Lord's Coming
1 Thessalonians 5.1-11
Good News Translation (GNT)
1 There is no need to write you, friends, about
the times and occasions when these things
2 For you yourselves know very well that the
Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes
3 When people say, "Everything is quiet and
safe," then suddenly destruction will hit them!
It will come as suddenly as the pains that
come upon a woman in labour, and people
will not escape.
4 But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and
the Day should not take you by surprise like
5 All of you are people who belong to
the light, who belong to the day. We do not
belong to the night or to the darkness.
6 So then, we should not be sleeping like
the others; we should be awake and sober.
7 It is at night when people sleep; it is at night
when they get drunk.
8 But we belong to the day, and we should be
sober. We must wear faith and love as a
breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a
9 God did not choose us to suffer his anger,
but to possess salvation through our Lord
10 who died for us in order that we might live
together with him, whether we are alive or
dead when he comes.
11 And so encourage one another and help one
another, just as you are now doing.
Taken from 'word-on-the-web' supplied by the
The end is nigh!
The Thessalonians were desperate
to know how to prepare
for the Christ's return.
They thought that knowing the date
would help them.
Whenever 'prophets' bandy about
times and dates,
we need to return to Jesus'
own teaching, as Paul does here.
There is no point trying
to second-guess God
and pinpoint a date,
because Jesus' return will be
sudden and unexpected.
But those who believe in Him
don't need to fear the future
because his death means
that God will spare us
from judgement (v 9).
What we can do
is to be ready for him,
by living each day in a way
that honours God (v 8).
Having reassured the Thessalonians
about Christians who have
fallen asleep in Jesus,
Paul tackles a less healthy type
of sleeping in the present time.
The expectation of the triumphant
return of the Jesus should
not in seeking to calculate
when he might come,
but in living holy lives now.
Our hope of living
with Jesus for all eternity
should not lessen
our current experience
of living in fellowship with him.
It is the unbeliever,
who may be sleeping in
of the day of judgement,
but we should stay awake and be alert.
Christians may become
like sleepy unbelievers
if we are not positively
living in the light
of the coming of Christ.
We may assume our standing in him,
and not daily put on
love and hope as an armour
to protect us from the
of the world around.
A Christian life
that is not positively affirmed
and developed may swiftly
become one that is falsely
regarded as secure
and fails miserably
when temptation comes.
We probably all know people
who were once keen believers
but now are either completely
outside the Christian community
or leading lives
that have no cutting edge to them.
Decline is much easier than
the steady climb to sanctification.
Paul's focus is on the believers'
but he also reminds us
of the ignorant continuation in sin,
of people around us.
The collapse of security in money,
should make people aware
of how insecure human life can be,
but few recognise the
insecurity of their own life.
It is commonly said
that death and taxes are
the only certainties in life,
but we might add that
standing before God in judgement
is also certain (Romans 14:12).
As Paul has frequently reminded us,
we should focus our lives
and ask about our priorities
and our relationship with him.
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