I Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
A while back we looked at the Old Testament record of the children of Issachar who had understanding of the times. They knew how to help David in the time of his reign. We spent some time looking at that in the light of what is taking place in our time and how we need to have understanding of the times in which we are living.
In today’s text we see that the apostle Paul was encouraging New Testament saints with the fact that true Christians do not walk around in a fog. True Christians have been saved and they have the Holy Spirit indwelling them and they attend a good church faithfully where they can be taught the truth. They do not need to be in a panic state as so many still are today.
Paul was directed to remind the saints that they already knew of the times and the seasons. Paul wrote about these things in several places and now he was giving some concluding words in this epistle.
In verse 2 he reminded them that they had all the information they needed to know that the day of the Lord would come as a thief in the night. Paul used the word “perfectly”here. The Greek word here speaks of “diligent, accurate”. The place where we get this perfect understanding is from the Word of God. We study to meet God’s approval and we do that by rightly dividing the word of truth.
The day of the Lord is a phrase that is used about 30 times. There are other terms used as well to describe this period of time. The time referred to with that phrase includes the Tribulation and the Millennium. We know that the start of the Tribulation will come as a thief in the night. There is no sign we can use to determine the exact time of that event. The Rapture will take place, at which time all the New Testament saints (dead and alive), will be removed from the earth by the Lord Jesus Christ. That event will usher in the beginning of the Tribulation. At that time the man of sin, the antichrist, will be revealed. The world will welcome this man. As our world faces more and more turmoil, this man will be a breath of fresh air to the lost. The world just wants peace. They do not care how it comes or what it entails. We see that now already.
We see how many people have surrendered to the ungodly dictates of the government. They do not care what they need to do just as long as they can live “secure” and be safe. The media has lied about the effects of the virus and the medical profession has gone along with the lie. The governments are propagandists for the lie and the majority of society has blindly accepted the narrative. The few that will not bow are being targeted.
Some of those will be removed at the time of the Rapture. Others, who are lost will enter the Tribulation but the antichrist will quickly establish his order and all will need to submit to that order.
The end of the Tribulation will also come as a thief in the night. The Bible tells us the Tribulation time will be seven years in length. However, it does not set a date. It does not give any specific signs as to that day.
In our text Paul is speaking to born again Christians and thus the information that we need is in reference to the end of this age. Born again Christians of this time will not enter the Tribulation and thus will not need to endure the suffering that will take place in that time. Paul had given enough teaching so that all the saints should have known all there was needed to know about the day of the Lord. Yet there appeared to be some confusion on the matter and thus the Lord directed him to write further about it.
In verse 3 we see that the mantra of that time will be “peace and safety”. Rock musicians have been shouting out that mantra for many years now already. The world is looking for peace and safety. They do not know the meaning of those words, but they have a distorted view of what that means. People want to be able to live without worry. They want to be able to live without concern about food and shelter. According to the WEF by 2030 the citizens of the world will own nothing and be happy. That is the goal that is set. There are steps being taken to bring that goal to fruition.
God warns the reader here that when people have this false sense of hope, then sudden destruction will come. It will be unexpected. It will come as travail upon a woman with child. There is a general sense that the baby is coming. The woman knows she is pregnant, but she does not know the day of the birth. There are babies that are born prematurely and there are babies that are born after the calculated 9 month time frame. However, when that baby decides to come, there is no stopping it. In the midst of that event, the mother knows she is going to deliver a child soon. However even in that event, the baby might come fast or it may take several hours.
God used that analogy to describe the nature of the day of the Lord. That day in our text will bring sudden destruction.
In verse 4 Paul was directed to encourage the saints, the brethren, with the fact that we are not in darkness. As noted in the opening verse, true saints are faithful in a true church where they are learning the truth and they are listening to sound teaching. The past two years have increased the number of splinter groups that have arisen in the realm of religion. With these splinter groups come a greater diversity of ideas. There will be many who will be surprised when the day of the Lord comes. The reason being they are not “brethren”.
Paul does not address the brethren with being associated with some ecumenical movement. In New Testament times there was a clear and decisive division between the brethren and the non-brethren. There was not the confusion we face today because there was a greater conviction of the truthfulness of the Word of God.
There were false teachers around. There were many false teachers. However, the apostles knew the truth and they led the people in the truth.
Today, we have the same absolute truth available to us. II Timothy 3:16-17 tells us:
II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
A true saint will be led by the Holy Spirit into the truth. Thus a true saint will not be content with the perversions. They may be given a perversion by someone or they may be told to purchase one. However, due to the Holy Spirit indwelling them, they will understand they are not being told the truth with the perversion. The true saint will also not be content in a religious group that uses the perversions for the same reason.
The lack of clear teaching today is sad and dangerous. The tolerance for error is unacceptable to the Lord and must be to the saints as well. Paul did not express his opinions. He proclaimed the absolute truth. Through the gift of God, which begins with salvation, and then proceeds with faithful study of God’s Word, the saints can grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The confidence that we must have and can have is in God through His Word. It is not a blind self confidence. It is a confidence in the truth.
That is why the “brethren” are not in darkness. It takes a genuine humility to walk in the light. It does not require gullibility. It does not mean we do not think. It means we take God’s Word as our absolute authority and do not allow our own ideas to supersede what God’s Word says.
We need to know the truth today. We can know the truth today. God’s Word is truth. No thief can overtake the faithful student of God’s Word. True saints are not in darkness. That is what God’s Word says.