1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 | Children of the Day
1Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
- God will bring about the day of the Lord in the right ‘season’ (proper/opportune time). It will not be random but come at the right time
- God is waiting for all things to come to a head and reach their fulfilment and then the end will come
2For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While 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.
- The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night, unexpectedly for those that are asleep. This and the next verse show that the ‘suddenness’ of the day of the Lord is only for the unsaved who are spiritual asleep and cannot discern the times and seasons
- The spiritual sleep will be partnered with ‘peace and security’ for the unsaved. There will be no sense of concern or anxiety but a naive ignorance of the times and seasons. Generally, most societies are becoming more at peace and secure over time, beckoning the day of the Lord
- The day or the Lord will come like labour pains to a pregnant woman, transferring her from long term pregnancy to painful and irreversible labour. Just as a pregnant woman waits for the inevitable painful birth of her baby, so the world waits for the inevitable judgement
4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
- As we are children of the day, the day of the Lord will not come as a surprise to us. We belong to the light and so will see things happening in the light
- This suggests that the day of the Lord will not come so suddenly as we often think, there is a sense that we should be able to discern and expect it’s arrival
6So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8But 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.
- Since we belong to the day and have a spiritual awareness of the times and seasons, it is fitting that we remain awake and sober, being spiritually sensitive and aware of what God is doing in the world.
- Sleep and drunkenness are symbols of spiritual insensitivity. Drunkenness is like a living symbol of the spiritual dullness in the world. People dull their senses through drink, just as they are also dulled to the person and plans of God.
- Paul mentions elements of the armour of God (ref Isaiah 59), as we identify ourselves as children of the light and day. To be spiritually sober is to express faith, hope and love. These things characterise our lives, make us sensitive to the person and plans of God, and identify us as children of the day.
9For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
- People who are in darkness are destined for darkness, just as those who are in light are destined for greater light. This is not of our own doing or making, but because Jesus tasted the darkness of death for us.
- As children of the day, whether we are asleep or awake (dead or alive) we will live in light with him.
- To be spiritually awake and sober is not something we can just assume, but something we must persevere in through the strength of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, we must encourage and build each other up to remain awake and sober.