Faith in Uncertain Times – Part 7
The Day of The Lord – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – March 7th, 2021
- Over the course of human history, there has been great interest in the end of the world and the day of the Lord. We, by nature, are curious creators who, by not knowing, are afraid. People who claim to know when the end is coming sell a lot of books and can gather quite a following. Even fictional depictions of the end have been quite popular, like the “Left Behind” series.
- I remember watching a movie called, “A Thief in the Night,” back in the late 70’s/early 80’s that totally freaked me out. These movies were not like your typical fictional monster movies because this could actually be the case. After all, it was talked about in the Bible. I knew a kid in my school who played a prank on his siblings by laying out his pajamas and the pajamas of his parents on their bed. When they woke up, the other kids were in hysterics as he was laughing, hiding in the basement, and after years of therapy, I think they are okay now.
- Now the good news is by God’s grace, we can know some things about the last days and the day of the Lord, and by knowing these things, we can be aware, be prepared, be secure and we can encourage and build each other up and not live in fear.
- Last Sunday, we talked about the return of the Lord and that we are to “encourage one another with these words.” Paul then moves back from the moment of His return to the Day of the Lord, informing us as to what is true and what to do. In 2 Thessalonians, Paul focuses on the Judgment at Christ’s coming and “the man of lawlessness” (which we will get to after Easter).
Be aware of what is to come
1 Thess 5:1-3 ESV
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 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.
- The day of the Lord will come suddenly, swiftly, and unexpectedly to those in which that day means destruction upon them (unbelievers – those living in “darkness”).
- The day of the Lord will not come during crisis or catastrophe, but when it is calm. When people are saying, “There is peace and security.” The day of the Lord will not come through or because of a war, plague, or famine; these things are just “birth pains” (see. Matt. 24:3-14).
- There will be no escape from the day of the Lord. There is no hiding place, defense system, or legal loophole for anyone. No one will be exempt from this day.
1 Thess 5:4-5 ESV
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
- Believers will not be surprised when the day of the Lord comes. We will know it is coming- the “times” and the “season” – even though we will not know the day or the hour.
Matt 24:32-33; 36 ESV
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates . . . 36 But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
- Some things must happen before the day of the Lord, and we are to be aware of them. We can know the season, but we will not know the day and hour. Do not believe anyone who says they know the day or the hour when Christ will come back.
Be prepared for what is to come
1 Thess 5:6-8 ESV
So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 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.
- Continue to live in and walk in the light (we belong to the day).
John 12:35-36 ESV
“The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
1 John 1:7-8 ESV
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
- Keep awake – being active in your faith and doing what God has called us to do. Be sober, be self-controlled, don’t let anything capture you, and take control of your life.
- Put on the breastplate of faith and love. This is something that you live within, but also when someone encounters you, they encounter faith and love.
- Put on for a helmet the hope of salvation: this is the “all ready – not yet.” We are already saved, but not yet saved (like a ticket). These things protect your heart and protect your mind. They both protect you and reflect you.
Be secure in your salvation
1 Thess 5:9-10 ESV
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
- For those who believe, God has not destined for wrath. How do you know if you are not destined for wrath? Because you believe! The wrath and destruction that comes will not come upon those who are in Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ received by grace through faith is the only thing that will save us from the wrath of God. God saves us for Himself, by Himself, from Himself.
- The day of the Lord will bring both destruction and deliverance. To those outside the faith, there will be destruction, but from those within, there will be salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us that we might live with him.
- So those who have confessed Jesus as their Savior and Lord do not have to be afraid. Be secure in your salvation.
Be encouraging one another
1 Thess 5:11 ESV
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
- Why should we be encouraging? Because there are things in this world that are discouraging.
- Why should we build one another up? Because there are things in this world that tear us down.
- How do we encourage one another and build one another up? By reminding each other that the day of the Lord is coming. It will not always be like this; salvation will come, His enemies will be defeated, He will make everything new. This will give you the strength to continue to move forward in the faith. What gave Christ the strength to endure the cross? The joy set before Him (Heb. 12:2-3). Fix your eyes upon Him; He will be faithful to His promise.
- Encourage one another and build each other up with these things.
- Be aware of what is to come. Be prepared for what is to come. Be secure in your salvation and encourage and build each other up. You do not have to be afraid of the Day of the Lord but “speed its coming” (by communicating the gospel to the ends of the earth – see 1 Peter 3:11-13; Matt. 24:14).
- Call for people to make this their “Day of Salvation” and for those to renew their faith in Christ.
- Close in prayer