A Reminder – You Know

Yesterday at Saar Fellowship our text was 1 Thessalonians 5.1-11. Paul has said in this part of his letter, look: here’s an answer to your question about which is preferable when Jesus returns, to be alive or to have died already (4.13-18). Now he’s getting wider, almost like: “Ok, here’s your answer, and, whilst we’re on the subject, don’t forget that, here’s a reminder that:

When He comes it will be sudden… 

You might know the general time and season, which is good…

But not the precise hour so, basically, get to living as if it is happening in the next hour…

Be watchful, be vigilant, be alert, be sober…

Encourage one another and build one another up because of the Gospel, because of the Good News that Jesus died in your place…

I know you’re doing it, but do it more…

On this reminder then, what about you?

Consider what you do and what it says about what you believe:

…we must not sleep (be lazy, lax, morally questionable) as the rest, 

but must stay alert and sober…

1 Thessalonians 5.6, explanation added

If you believe that Jesus is coming back, if you believe that it will be sudden and without warning, if you can look at the world and what is happening and think, “Ah, mmm, maybe sooner rather than later, but I don’t know when exactly…“, if you believe that He has called you to live in His light and not in darkness, then just think:

Are you keeping an eye on the world through the lens of the Word? (v.2)

Are you staying alert and sober? (v.6)

Are you staying sober by putting on faith, hope, and love? (v.8)

Are you living of the day, not of the night? (v.8)

Do you know that God has called you to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and does your life reflect that? (v.9)

Because, if you do, if you know all that, then no matter what is happening in your life –  whether you were a Thessalonian believer 2000 years ago being persecuted by the same people that ran Paul out of town, or whether you’re a believer now in 2021 living in the midst of a global pandemic with all the trials and tribulations that that brings – you know the truth, and you’re called to do your best to live out that truth, no matter what is going on around you.

With things as they are at the moment, there is so much uncertainty in our lives, isn’t there? What Paul was reminding the Thessalonians – and what I’m reminding you now – is that the world and everything in it may promise you peace (v.3) but whilst this promises high, it always delivers low. You’re not like everyone that has no idea what the future will hold, you do know what the future will hold (v.1). You are living in the glorious light that Jesus brought into the world (v.5, John 1.9, 1 John 2.8) and so you must keep moving towards this goal with faith, with hope, and with love (v.8). You know the truth that God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him (vv.9-10). You know this, so whatever is happening around you, encourage one another and build up each other (v.11).

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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