1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 … One of the great characteristics of Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians is his explanation and clarification of the Second Coming. Jesus taught repeatedly that He would come again to gather His elect to be with Him forever. This letter reiterates for us that we cannot know the time of His coming, but we can assuredly know that He is coming again and therefore live in the expectation of His coming. Using the illustration of light and darkness, the exhortation is that believers ought to be alert and living in preparedness.
One of our favorite illustrations, that of being clothed with spiritual preparations, comes from Ephesians 6:13-18 and concerns putting on the full armor of God. That’s partially repeated here in verse 8: “… putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” Incidentally, hope in the Scripture is not an “iffy” thing … it is confident assurance and that’s the way it should be read. The reason for this assurance is given next. Jesus is coming again to gather His elect … for salvation through Him who died for us … so that whether we’re awake (that is, still alive) or asleep (that is, dead and buried) we will live together with Him. That should be a great encouragement to every believer, which is exactly what verse 11 says.
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