1 Thessalonians 5:4

Verse of the Day Devotion.  1 Thessalonians 5:4.

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:4     

Paul continues his discourse regarding the end when Christ returns. “Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1. His first point is that they really need no instruction about the time. He had spoken of this when he was with them and he evidently counted on their having learned well what he was teaching, for he had no need to write on the topic. They should have everything they need to understand and be ready. They know it will happen, but not when it will happen. “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2. In essence, He will come when He said He would, and which he, Paul, had taught them. And like a thief coming to steal your property, He will come when they least expect Him. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.” Matthew 24:43. He has not told us exactly when He will come back, but we know He is coming back.

Therefore, “While they are saying, peace and safety! then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3. While the wicked and unbelievers declare there is peace and safety abounding; that all things are going well, suddenly unforeseen destruction will happen. This is reminiscent of Noah and the flood, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.” Luke 17:26. And this day and time will come suddenly, like a woman with birth pangs. We know it is coming, but we do not know when.

But we have the information we need for it was given to us. As our focus verse states, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5. Those who do not believe do not see the truth of this occurrence and thus will not look for it, for they walk in darkness. But we who truly believe are not in darkness, but we are in the light. We are sons of light and the day. Theologian John Gill puts it this way, “We are the children of the day; of the Gospel day, in distinction from the night of Jewish darkness; and of the day of grace which was come upon their souls, in opposition to the night of ignorance and infidelity, which was past; and of the everlasting day of glory, being heirs of, and having a right unto, and a meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light:” We as true Christians will be the ones who will benefit when this day arrives. Those in darkness will not.

Then he tells us not to sleep. “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.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8. We are all called to stay awake while keeping our spiritual senses intact. We must always be alert because we know this time is coming. We do not know when, but we know it will. We must continue to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God, and one that unbelievers can see and possibly turn to God. We must keep focused. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11. God has called us to, in these difficult times, encourage our brothers and sisters, helping them to stay true and positive. Many need this, and we are the ones who can provide it. Let us shine our light so that unbelievers see it and can be saved, while believers can be encouraged knowing tough times will soon end.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.