Journal – April 18, 2021
2 Samuel 1:19
19 The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!
THE DAY OF THE LORD
1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-11
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and besober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him11Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
Vs. 1, 2 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. Paul had preached on the duty of the Son of God coming, the Second Coming, from heaven and we have the Lord’s own words regarding the times and the seasons, brethren; but of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Mark 13:32). You have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. Paul had already instructed during his stay with them, and as he had taught them orally there was no need to write to them now. The day of the Lord is Jesus Christ returning to earth on the Second Coming.
Vs. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. Mortal man desires peace and safety, but where they are not reconciled to God through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ then sudden destruction comes upon them. A pregnant woman may know her time is approaching for delivering her child, but those labor pains on a pregnant woman come studently and without warning. It is not the result or product of the birth that is here presented, it is the unexpectedness of the Second Advent to all who are not prepared. It is the sudden rush of destruction upon those who are lulled into a false and carnal security. And they shall not escape.
Vs. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. This Day—the period of light, the day spring from on high—should not surprise them like a thief stealing suddenly upon them, for they are not in darkness, they were already sons of light and sons of the day familiar with it and prepared for the fuller light of that day. We believers are not belonging to the night nor of darkness; night being that period of darkness, it is not our sphere of origin or action. The night has passed away; the darkness is gone; and we are light in the Lord.
Vs. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and besober. As we are sons of the day, and not sons of the night, let us not sleep, sleep and night go together, but sleep and day are incompatible. Sleep is the image of spiritual lethargy and indifference without earnestness or activity. The others are the unbelieving world around them, that cares for none of these things, wrapped in a profound slumber, never awakened to the reality of the soul’s condition and prospects, and the spiritual consciousness so wholly sunk into lifelessness and death as to be unsusceptible of saving impressions. The apostle says but let us watch and besober including himself along with the Thessalonians.
Vs. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. Times have not changed since Paul penned these words to the Thessalonians, those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. The drunkenness Paul writes about is not from alcohol alone, but that which comes from all sins. The lust for wealth and possessions is a drunkenness of the soul along with every sin you can name. Sleep is a sin when man becomes inactive with regard to virtue and when he sees everything as a vision viewing nothing in its true light but is full of dreams. Of course, we take the words in a natural sense too, in ordinary experience night is the common time for sleep and drunkenness. Believers are to be awake and sober and not like the rest who are of the night in every sense. What is true of sleepers and drunkards is literally true in a more awful sense of those who seek spiritual illumination. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are . . . drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21) and the like; of which beforehand, just as I told in times past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Vs. 8. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. Again, Paul identifies himself with those reading his epistle let us who are of the day be sober. This sobriety in which the mental powers are preserved is strict discipline and necessary, and yet it is not enough to be on our guard, there must be the putting on and wearing armor, a breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. Sobriety is self-restraint, self-discipline, which is of the utmost importance to our getting the benefit of the armor which we are to wear. An armed man not watchful, an armed man without discipline will suddenly be eliminated from the ongoing battle. His breastplate of faith and love will not enable a man under the influence of alcohol to walk or fight. Even with a helmet of protection for his brain his mental faculties are so clouded, he is unable to stand his ground against the attacks of the wicked ones. Therefore, we should avoid that which involve us in the guilt of this tendency, Christian, we are not to walk as children of the night, we must wear our armor constantly and be sober and clearheaded.
Vs. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul is speaking very forcefully, the Greek for God did not appoint us to wrath, the wrath is divine wrath and God did not appoint us to suffer His displeasure. No, we (Christians) are to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The Christians at Thessalonica were not appointed to wrath, to be the victims of it, or to suffer under it. Though they have sinned against Him, and were by nature children of wrath, the believers are going to escape the awful penalty of wrath. In sending the gospel and giving believers His Spirit, God did not set them out for wrath. Divine wrath is the opposite of divine love, love implies favor to the sinner, the ones that Jesus Christ suffered their hell and justified them by His resurrection from the dead. God wills not our destruction, but our salvation. It is God’s purpose that there is nothing to harm us and there will be nothing in the Second Advent when He appears for our salvation. Therefore, we daily experience the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification which will continue as long as we dwell in these natural bodies.
Vs. 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Here is the foundation of our hope, He died for us for our benefit or on our account, which is the final aim of Christ’s redemptive work. It gives us the only way salvation is obtained, it is through Christ Jesus death—not His teaching or example, but by his death. In order that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. The Greek is that whether we are awake, in these bodies, or we have fell asleep (death) we are still alive and should be living with the Lord Jesus Christ. The words are to be taken in their figurative sense, first we have the description of physical life (we wake), followed by sleep (death). The final cause of Christ’s death is uninfluenced by these two states, living or dying; those of us who are alive here and now have no advantage over those who sleep, those who sleep have woke up to a higher life. The waking and sleeping have immediate reference to the Second Coming, and the life purposed for us is in connection with the same period. The scriptures point to this grand destiny, it accentuates the teaching from verse thirteen and fourteen of chapter four, the dead rise and the living are changed when the Lord descends, and both together shall be forever with the Lord. The starting point was the relation of the dead and the living to Christ’s Second Coming, ignorance or misconception of that relation had filled the Thessalonian Church with sorrow over departed friends and relatives, and the scripture now closes with an announcement of the comforting truth that the dead and the living, though severed in the meantime, are so comprised in the final purpose of our Lord’s atoning death that both of them at His return are united, live as one company, and in fellowship with Him. As the result of His death for them they live, life in every form and in sphere of their nature being secured for them by the surrender of His life for them, they shall live together forever with Him in His presence, and in communion with Him. Of that life, so blessed and unending, His presence is the primal element and the chiefest joy.
Vs. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. The discussion of these momentous themes was brought on by the perplexity and sorrow of the Thessalonian Church; they were not to grieve over departed fellow believers, and the grounds of comfort are then set before them. Our text reads: Therefore comfort each other and edify one another. True comfort lies in these utterances of the apostle and they are now passing on comfort to one another just as you also are doing.
Catechism Question 60
Q. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbids all profaning or abusing of any thing whereby God makes himself known.
6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? 7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.