I Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Later today my wife and I will be heading back to Saskatchewan in preparation for the funeral of my wife’s brother, which will take place tomorrow. We are asking for journeying mercies as well as for the opportunity to share the Gospel with those in attendance. There will be a family service in the morning and a public service in the afternoon. We want to be a blessing to those who will be there. It will be a difficult time for our sister-in-law and her children. For those who are saved, please pray that they might know the comfort of the Lord in their hearts.
In our text we see that God wants His children to be informed of what is going on. He does not want us to be asleep. Yesterday, I mentioned that Alberta seemed to be doing more to fix the illegal acts of the past three years. Since then I have learned more about that and it seems that Alberta is not actually fixing the problem. It is actually making it easier for the system to act illegally in the future. This is not surprising for the time in which we are currently living.
We are being lied to so much through the left wing media in this country. We are led by a man who does not know how to speak the truth. His supporters are also not able to identify truth. Sadly, all the parties are in the same position. What is even worse, is that most religions are willing to pedal the ungodly governmental lines, rather than proclaim the truth as found in God’s Word.
As we witness the corruption in our country and across the world, we need to be reminded of the importance of not being side tracked. We need to keep in mind that the Lord’s return is imminent. We need to be watching and we need to be sober. We need to understand that we are to be harvesters if we are saved. We need to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks us for the reason of the hope that is in us. We need to be listening to what people are saying and be ready to give a right answer to their needs. We need Godly boldness to speak the truth in the midst of a society that increasingly hates the truth.
We noted yesterday that those who are saved are not of the night. We are of the day. In verse 7 God tells us that those who sleep, sleep in the night. Those who are asleep are those who are not saved. Christians have been made alive. The Holy Spirit indwells every born again Christian. Christians need to be students of God’s Word. We need to be instructed. We need to be willing to receive instruction. There are far too many gullible people in our country and in the world. They are willing to believe fiction, but very hesitant to believe the truth.
II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Paul was directed to exhort Timothy to study God’s Word. That is imperative for every born again Christian. The true local church will preach and teach God’s Word in a manner that demonstrates Its relevance to today. We can make application to today as we study God’s Word carefully and truthfully. Those who claim to be saved and aspire to be leaders need to be taught the importance of having a backbone. We do not need wet noodles leading us. We need people who will stand like Paul, or Daniel or Joseph. We need men who will put God first in their lives and speak the truth boldly, regardless of whether others want to hear the truth or not.
Jesus did not do polling before He went from one city to another. He knew He would face opposition everywhere He went. He knew that opposition was growing more violent over the 3 1/2 years He preached publicly. He knew that before He left heaven. He knew that as He prepared to go to the cross and die for wicked lost sinners. We were all born as wicked lost sinners. We needed a Saviour. Jesus Christ went to the cross for each person reading this and for the whole world. He was buried and He rose again. He is seated on the right hand of His Father today. The hope of man is to know the truth.
Drunkenness is also for those who are lost. We have talked of alcoholic drink before. God forbids the use of alcoholic drink for the saved person. It is a poison for all. Lost people don’t care, but saved people need to care about what God says.
In verse 9 we are challenged to be sober. We need to put on the breastplate of faith and love. We need to grow in our faith in God. As we grow in faith, we will be more faithful to the Lord in anticipation of the Lord’s soon return.
God is reminding us that we are in a war. We need our armour on and we need to walk with boldness into enemy territory. We walk by faith trusting that God’s Word is still just as powerful as it ever was. We know that God’s Word is the answer to man’s need. We learn how to speak the truth in love and with boldness.
We also need the helmet of salvation on. God does not make empty promises. He promises salvation for all. Those who turn to Him in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation have eternal life. We have a living hope. We know that we are saved. Recently we heard of a person who has been taught that a person who claims to know they are saved is proud. That is the teaching of some of the old order Mennonites. The Bible is clear that we can know if we are saved or not. This is not something we need to guess at. It is not something we need to wonder about. We can live with confidence if our hope and trust is in the Lord.
In verse 9 we are reminded that God has not appointed His children to wrath. The Tribulation time is a time of God’s wrath. His wrath will be poured out upon this earth.
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
We do not need to go through that time of wrath. God has made it possible for His children to avoid that time. No true Christian will enter the time of the Tribulation. That is what the Bible declares. It is important to believe what God says.
It is true that we do not deserve to miss that time. Salvation is a gift of God. No one is saved because they deserve it. All that are saved, are saved because of God’s grace and mercy. God has declared that His children will not enter into the Tribulation. The Tribulation time is a time when God will focus His attention on the nation of Israel. His desire is for Israel to be saved. There will be Jews who will be saved during that awful time. Many of them will suffer greatly due to the wickedness of the antichrist. Some will be protected by God for the last 3 1/2 years of that time. The 144,000 virgin Jewish men will be faithful witnesses during that time. They will be in heaven during the last half of that time.
In our text, Paul was directed to write to New Testament saints. That is who the “we” are. The salvation spoken of here is in the context of this subject. Paul is writing to those who are saved. The salvation here refers to being saved from the time of the Tribulation. As we noted in chapter 4, the saints will be caught up to be with the Lord.
In verse 10 we are reminded that Jesus Christ died for us. He is our hope. Whether we have died prior to His return or if we are alive at His return, we will all live together with Him. That is our hope.
Again we are reminded to comfort one another with these words. We are to encourage one another with the truth. Paul noted that the saints in Thessalonica were doing this and yet there was a need to encourage them further in this regard.
We need to be encouraged in the truth today as well. We live in a wicked world. That wickedness does not need to drag us down. We do not expect our world to get better. We are on a collision course. However for those who are saved, we have a hope beyond this world. This is not our final destination. We are just here for a short time. During that short time, we, those who are saved, need to hone our spiritual ability to make God’s Word known to the lost. We can do this and we must do this.