The Day of the Lord
5 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 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. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Final Instructions and Benediction
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Brothers, pray for us.
Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
1 Thessalonians 5 Commentary
by Hank Workman
When a runner comes toward the end of a race, their entire body screams in pain. Muscles ache, your throat burns and everything within wants to stop. With the finish line in sight you want to push on but sometimes feel like you almost can’t. This is where the bystanders cheer people on, friends even in the race are so important to egg you on to not give up but make it to the end. These on the sidelines and also alongside bring an encouragement to finish what was started.
In this race we have joined of following Christ, encouragement is so important. Paul writes elsewhere to keep our eyes on the prize and continue faithfully toward completion. We need invigoration from others to continue the sprint toward the finish. We as runners also need to run alongside those in the race and offer the same.
As Paul closes out his letter he gives a checklist of sorts with encouragement. His words enliven the readers in the race but also sets up a checklist of the many things we can and should be doing for those running alongside that will help push them through. Our presence and words are so important.
Build one another up; respect leaders; hold leaders in highest regard; live in peace; encourage the timid; warn the idle; help the weak; be patient; resist revenge; be joyful; pray continually; give thanks; do not quench the Spirit of God; don’t treat prophecies with contempt; avoid any kind of evil; count on God’s constant help.
We are in the race of our lives. We need encouragement to finish what was started. Don’t give up. Keep your eyes on the prize. Consider as well those who are running beside you. Offer up today a word of encouragement, a random text or email; a face to face conversation that will give these who are possibly so worn out from the race an extra oomph to keep on keeping on. “Encourage the timid; help the weak; be patient with everyone.”
Let the cheering roar as we all continue to strive toward the prize of which we run.
1 Thessalonians 5 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
I want to follow up on what I wrote yesterday from 1 Thessalonians 4 with some similar thoughts here in Chapter 5. In the previous chapter, Paul encourages believers to not fear death, but recognize that we will be resurrected with Christ either at death or when He returns. Now, in Chapter 5, Paul outlines for us The Day of The Lord.
The Day of the Lord is mentioned 19 times in the Old Testament and 4 times in the New Testament. It is also referred to as the ‘day of doom’ and centers around judgment. By studying the sweep of Scripture, we know it to be the end of the Tribulation period when Christ comes like a thief in the night to judge the ungodly.
Similar to what Paul writes here in Thessalonians, Peter outlines what the Day of the Lord will be like…
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.2 Peter 3:10 NASB
However, the most important theme of these verses is not the timing or order of these events! Paul warns the Thessalonians (and us) against this type of thinking in his opening verse.
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.1 Thessalonians 5:1 NASB
What was the point? Many people read these passages and try to figure them out instead of reading what comes after these statements. In both Thessalonians and 2 Peter, there is a response that should occur from this knowledge. And no, it’s not figuring out the timeline of events. Here it is…
so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.1 Thessalonians 5:6 NASB
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness2 Peter 3:11 NASB
Let’s all be honest. We’re all guilty of neglecting our own conduct in favor of dissecting a timeline of events.
We have the comfort of Christ and do not fear death, therefore, how are we living? Are you wasting time speculating conspiracy theories, or are you actually living a sober, holy, and righteous life? Are you worried about things that God’s already taken care of? Are you sharing the good news with others through both word and action? Paul also mentions putting on spiritual armor and encouraging one another. If we are mature Christians, when the Holy Spirit speaks these mysteries to us, how does our conduct change? That is the real question.
We know how the story ends. We have our mission in front of us. God help us to read your Word and respond in sober-minded worship through our daily lives!