Temple Baptist Church - 12-27-2015
1 Thessalonians 5:4-11
A. I find it interesting that, while preaching through 1 Thessalonians, that we look at these verses tonight.
1. They follow perfectly the line of thinking that I preached this morning. They are not redundant but re-enforcement of the morning message! Many years ago, I learned that preaching is timely. When you come to church with great spiritual need, you get just what you need.
2. That is what makes the Bible so real in our hearts. The Bible is both timely and for all ages. It’s truth never fades nor grows old. That is what makes the Bible different from every other book in the world. It is God made, not man made! God uses men to bring us the Bible but the Bible belongs to God.
B. Paul has been writing to the Thessalonians concerning the impending Rapture of the Church in chapter 4 and follows, in chapter 5, with the potential sleepiness of the saints in the end time.
1. He introduces this chapter with the mention of “children of the night” and “children of the day.” Saved and lost who live in the same time frame but in different worlds. We often hear people say that somethings or some people are as different as “night and day.”
2. Last Sunday, we saw that day means warmth or illumination while night means to twist or to turn away. When we get to 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, we will find the phrase “falling away.” Twisting and turning away from the light of God’s Word to the spiritual darkness of the world.
C. Paul, in this chapter, gives admonition to God’s children as how to handle the impending darkness that preceded the First Advent and is prophesied to occur just prior to the Second Advent.
1. The children of darkness. “The people which sat in darkness saw great light.” (Matthew 4:16) Why do people who have seen great light sit in darkness? One, because they have chosen to turn the light off. Two, why do men sit in darkness? Because they can no longer see where they are going! Only they can turn the light back on. Spiritual darkness is a personal choice that is made.
2. Let me give you a personal illustration. When I worked in the mines, I once played a little game. I wondered if I could find my way out of the mines in total darkness. I am not talking about from the end of the track as anyone could follow the tracks to the portal. I am talking about from the face of the coal (where the coal is actually being mined) or from the “old works” where the coal has been mined and sealed off. As a Fire Boss, I once walked every air course, both intake and return, in the mines each week and made the seals (inspected them). I got alone, turned my cap light off, and preceded to “find my way out.” I went in circles!
3. Naturally, when I knew that I was confused, I simply turned my cap light back on and went on about my business. When lost in the mines, you just need to sit! That is what the world is doing: sitting in darkness! When you have a cap light, just turn it back on and you can see clearly again.
D. Now, what are we to do?
1. Keep your spiritual eyes open. Vs. 6. “let us not sleep … let us watch” The “god of this world” has blinded the minds of the lost “lest they see” the glorious gospel of Christ and be saved. Look at this world and every influence of this world through the eyes of the Bible.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
2. Keep your minds girded! Vs. 6. “and be sober” Be sober! This is not a game; it is a battle with eternal results. People of our day who claim to be Christian have little fear of God or the devil! There is a real God, a real devil, and a real eternity! There is a battle for your mind going on as the world tries to prove that God does not exist. It amazes me that they worry about disproving someone who is not even there. They try to disprove God because He is there and, therefore, authoritative! Man wants no accountability.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
3. Keep your hearts for out of the heart are the issues of life. Vs. 8. “putting on the breastplate of faith and love” Christian faith and love are two of the issues that the world battles. The breastplate protects the vitals! A right heart is vital to standing for the Lord in these times. I use a verse written below to illustrate. Your heart is not broken and needs to be repaired, though that may sometimes be the case. Your heart needs to be fixed or focused upon something. There are three gifts now available for you: faith, hope, and charity or Christian love. We need all three but I will deal with the middle one later. Hope and love are to be the heart of the child of God.
Psalms 57:7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
4. Keep your hope in Christ Jesus. Vs. 8. “and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” Our hope is called the “blessed hope.” It is not that we hope that God is there; it is not that we hope that we are saved; it is not that we hope that we are going to heaven; it is our expectancy! Our Saviour is not the government or mankind. Our Saviour is Jesus Christ, our soon coming King! Keep your eyes on Christ and keep your hope in the skies!
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
5. Continue to exhort and encourage. Vs. 11. “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” Keep yourself in perfect peace through faithfulness.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.