1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (NRSV)
1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; 5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; 7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
By John Grimm
I cannot count how many times that I have read these verses. Well, to be honest, I have heard only a portion of these verses being emphasized. It appears that in my life I have heard many people only quote verse one and two. What about verses three through eleven, do they matter to us?
Paul is emphasizing how we Christians are to live, remembering that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. Faith, love, and salvation are our themes as we live as children of light and children of the day. It is through our Lord Jesus Christ that we live, now and later. Salvation is ours in Christ now. The day of the Lord is later, and salvation is ours also at that time.
You can be encouraged with this info. You can build up other Christians with this news. Paul says that is “as indeed you are doing.” However, we know what we have been doing. We stopped reading after verse two. God help us! As we live as children of the night or of darkness, we have not been able or willing to encourage one another or to build up each other.
Will you take time today to recognize the salvation you have in Jesus? Will you start encouraging and building up other Christians, even today?
God, as I live in Christ, nothing will surprise me about the day of the Lord. Yet, I have not grasped the salvation I have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive me for my slowness of living as a child of light and a child of the day. In this day, may other Christians find encouragement and be built up in Christ by my words and actions. In the Name of Jesus, I hope to be found on the day of the Lord, amen.