SGA 13th. Street I Thessalonians lesson 7

Lesson 7
I Thessalonians 5:1-11

Henry Mahan

The apostle writes about the coming of the Lord – its suddenness and the necessity of watchfulness on the part of believers. He exhorts us concerning our duties and responsibilities to the Lord and to one another and closes with a prayer for all believers.

Vs.1. To write to believers that Christ will come again (John 14:3; Acts 1:10, 11), that the dead will be raised and that living believers will be changed into his likeness is necessary, for this-encourages our faith and hope. It comforts us when we come to die or to bury loved ones and it encourages us in trials. But to write about the time it will occur and the season of the year it will take place is unnecessary, for:

Vs. 2. We do know that the return of Christ will be sudden and unexpected, taking the world of unbelievers by surprise, as a thief surprises those who are asleep (Luke 12:40).

Vs. 3. Unbelievers talk of peace and safety. They promise themselves much ease, peace and good health for years to come – then suddenly death, judgment and the coming of the Lord are upon them, as in the days of Noah (Luke 17: 26, 27), as a woman carries a child in her womb and without any warning or notice her labour begins. Careless, indifferent unbelievers shall be overtaken and shall not escape.

Vs. 4. The natural man's understanding is darkened with respect to the true knowledge of God, the nature of sin, the way of salvation by Christ, the return of Christ, eternal glory and eternal condemnation (Eph. 4:17-19). We have been caned out of darkness and enlightened by the Holy Spirit. We are not in darkness, therefore we live in expectation, looking for his return (I Thess. 1:9, 10).

Vs. 5,6. He calls us children of light (II Cor. 4:3-7). We are enlightened persons, whose understanding has been enlightened by the Holy Spirit concerning the person and work of Christ (Eph. 1:17-19). We are children of the gospel day, in distinction from the religious darkness. Therefore let us not be in a drowsy, indifferent frame of mind and spirit, like the unbeliever. Let us not be taken up with the cares and concerns of this world, but let us set a watch over our hearts, our faith and our fellowship, living as temporary citizens of this world. We are travellers passing through.

Vs. 7, 8. By 'sleep' and 'drunkenness' he does not mean-natural sleep or drunkenness from wine, but a stupor of mind that forgets God and spiritual matters, giving itself to indulging carnal vices and materialism. These things come naturally to unbelievers, since they are children of darkness. But we, who are of the light of understanding and the day of revelation, are in a warfare, constantly on guard against evil within and without. The man who is provided with faith, hope and love will not be found wanting. The believer is pictured as a soldier, prepared to meet the enemy and prepared for his Lord's return!

Vs. 9. The elect of God were not chosen in Christ to be destroyed by his wrath and judgment, but that we might obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3-5; Rom. 8:1; II Thess. 2:13).

Vs. 10. Christ died for us with this purpose in view: that he might make us partakers of his life. There is no reason why we should be in doubt of our salvation if we are in Christ by faith (Matt. l:21). Whether we are alive when he comes or whether we are dead, we shall, because of his life and death, live forever with him.

Vs. 11. 'Therefore, comfort one another, encourage one another, communicate to one another the things revealed to you. Edify, strengthen and build up one another in the faith of Christ.' This can be done by continual fellowship, worship, prayer, teaching and preaching, bearing, one another's trials and sincere love.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.