People of the Day
People of the Day
Words of Faith 4-2-19
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Thessalonians 5
 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.  You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.  So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
As believers, the Thessalonians would not be surprised by the Day of the Lord. They were not "in the dark" concerning these things. Paul’s readers were not in the same group as those who would be surprised by the arrival of this day. Their sphere of life was not in the darkness but in the light. "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves" (Col. 1:13).
Paul instructed that Christians should not be surprised by the dawning of this day of the Lord because they have been told it is coming. It will not take believers by surprise because they will, by then, be with the Lord (1 Thes. 4:13-18). Christians live in a different sphere of life from non-Christians, and this is like the difference between day and night. "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light" (Ephes. 5:8).
Christians are children of the light and children of the day. That is, they have illumination, and they also live in a realm characterized by light, warmth, and growth. Paul exhorted his readers to behave in keeping with their enlightened condition and to be prepared in view of the Day of the Lord. He presented this appeal as a logical conclusion from what preceded. Besides being logical to behave this way, it is also a necessary duty.
Christians should not be indifferent to the reality of the Lord's return. They should not be asleep on the job. The word for "asleep" is different from the one used to describe those who have died physically (4:13-15). Here, it means spiritual lethargy and insensitivity. This is the condition of the unsaved. Christians, on the other hand, should be watchful and soberly waiting for the Lord's return (1 Cor. 1:7; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 2 Peter 3:12). Christians should be self-controlled, maintaining self-discipline given the great events to come.
Unbelievers are neither awake nor alert to these spiritual realities. Instead, they are asleep and controlled by forces outside themselves. Some are drunk. They are unable to respond as they should. These are the usual characteristics of those who live in the sphere of night.
In contrast, Paul suggests the image of a soldier, one of his favorite metaphors for the Christian. He based his appeal on the Christians' position. Because they belong to the day, they should live accordingly. Standing on the threshold of an event that will mean sudden translation for some and sudden destruction for others, Christians should arm themselves for action with self-control.
A Roman breastplate covered a soldier from his neck to his waist and protected most of his vital organs (Eph. 6:14). That is what a Christians' faith and love do. Faith in God protects inwardly, and love for people protects outwardly. These two graces cannot be separated. If one believes in God, he will also love other people. These attitudes equip Christians to stand ready for the Rapture.
Also, the hope of salvation guards their heads from attacks on their thinking. The salvation they look forward to is deliverance from the wrath to come when the Lord returns. This is clear from the context. This is not a wishful longing that someday we might be saved eternally. Such a thought is entirely foreign to the New Testament. Followers of Christ have a sure hope. They are not as others who have no hope.
Are you living in readiness as a person of the Day? Are you living in the illumination of God with the readiness of a soldier on the eve of a great battle? Are you ready for Jesus?
Father God, make me into the soldier that You want me to be. Protect with the breastplate of faith and love. Protect me with the helmet of hope. Prepare me for the events that are to transpire. Give me a love for You and love for others. In Jesus' name.