Faithlife Sermons

A Pattern for Living in Expectation of Christ's Return

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Introduction

Text -

1 Thessalonians 5:4–11 NASB95
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Two Events

Paul mentioned two events in chapters 4 and 5:
the coming of the Lord
1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 NASB95
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
the day of the Lord
1 Thessalonians 5.1-
1 Thessalonians 5:1–3 NASB95
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
Comparison of the 2 events
The Coming of the Lord
will be announced
will have resurrection
the main event is the gathering of the living and the sleeping saints
The Day of the Lord
will arrive suddenly
will have no resurrection
the main event is the destruction

Main Points

How should Christians behave in connection with these 2 major events in the last days?

Do not be uninformed

1 Thessalonians 4:13 NASB95
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4.13
about those who are asleep
Be informed with
about how the Lord will come
about the times and seasons of the Day of the Lord
Ignorance takes us to the Day of the Lord
about God-ordained destiny
1 Thessalonians 5:9–10 NASB95
For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
The uninformed will be surprised by the Day of the Lord
The informed will be prepared for the Coming of the Lord

Be Alert and Sober

1 Thessalonians 5:4–6 NASB95
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
1 Thessalonians 5.
Our behavior determines whether we are sons of darkness or sons day.
the sons of darkness are either sleeping or drunk
the sons of day are awake and alert
1 Thessalonians 5:7–8 NASB95
For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
1 Thessalonians 5.7-8
Alert - grk. gregoreo, to watch, to stay awake
Mark 13:35–37 NASB95
“Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”
Conclusion
Revelation 3:2–3 NASB95
‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
“wake up”
“if you do not wake up”
Revelation 16:13–16 NASB95
And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.
Revelation 16:13–15 NASB95
And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”)
The “alert” or watchful will not be surprised by the Day of the Lord because he/she will be caught up in the Rapture.
Revelation 1
Be Sober - grk. nepho, to get self-control, to be sober-minded; to curb the controlling influence of inordinate emotions or desires
1 Peter 1:13 NASB95
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1.13
1 Peter 4:7 NASB95
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
soberness should lead us to prayer
1 Peter 5:8 NASB95
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5.8
1 Timothy 4:5 NASB95
for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
2 Timothy 4:5 NASB95
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
1 Timothy 4.5
be sober in all things - have self-control in all things in this life; curb your emotions and desires about things
The sober will not be distracted by the attractions and distractions of worldly things and affairs.

Mind Your Brothers and Sisters

Comfort Them
1 Thessalonians 5
1 Thessalonians 4:18 NASB95
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Comfort and Build them up
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB95
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5.

Conclusion

Every true believer of Christ should live under expectation of Christ’s return, daily.
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