3 Christian Responses to the End Times, Pt.2
April 22, 2012 Speaker: Brent Small
Topic: End Times Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:1–5:11
In this sermon podcast on First Thessalonians 5:1-11, Pastor Brent delivers the final two of three responses to every Christian’s anticipation of the coming Day of the Lord.
The Thessalonian believers were suffering not only from persecution but also from fear. The Thessalonians were fearful that they had missed the coming of Christ for them. False teachers who were coming against the church were trying to disturb and confuse them by telling them that the persecutions they were experiencing were a part of God’s judgment being poured out, a judgment known as the Day of the Lord. Therefore, they were fearful. Had they missed the coming of Christ in the rapture for them? Were they experiencing the Day of the Lord? Had it taken them by surprise? They were fearful and concerned, and desired to know when the great “Day of the Lord” judgment of the Lord was going to take place.
Timothy brings this question and concern back to Paul, and Paul addresses that concern in chapter 5. However, Paul uses an interesting approach to answer the question. First, he tells them that they need no further information concerning the timing of the Day of the Lord. He had in fact taught them concerning this day when he was with them (2 Thess. 2:5). After that shocking announcement, Paul then proceeds to teach the Thessalonians that they would not be surprised or overtaken by the Day of the Lord. Why? They were now sons of God. Paul taught the Thessalonians that they were no longer in darkness but now sons of light. They had a new identity in Christ as a son of God; therefore, they would not experience the wrath of God for sin. The wrath for their sin and every believer’s sin fell on Christ on His cross.
The Thessalonians did not need to know the timing because they were prepared. Their new identity in Christ assured that Christ would come for them and they would escape the Day of the Lord. However, in light of this knowledge, they were to respond a certain way. Paul not only assures them of their identity, he also calls them to respond to it. The Thessalonians were to know who they were in Christ, to be preparing for His coming and to rest in the comfort of their salvation.
In part 2 of this series, Pastor Brent finishes his explanation of 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 by calling us to respond in two additional ways in light of our identity as sons of God and our knowledge that Christ is coming for us. We must be in preparation and we must rest in the comfort of our salvation.