The Times and Seasons

Being Fully Aware
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ESV

“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

So, what is this saying here? It is saying that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we should be fully aware of the times and seasons in which we now live. I hope we all get this! We shouldn’t be in the dark. We shouldn’t be ones who are being deceived and manipulated by clever enchanters in their deceitful scheming. We should all be awake spiritually, and we should be able to see the evil that is all about us and recognize the times in which we now live.

I didn’t say that. The Scriptures say that.

So, what does this mean here about people saying, “There is peace and security”? It means they don’t take God’s word to heart. They don’t take his warnings seriously. They think that life is just going to keep on going like it always has, although I do believe some eyes are beginning now to be opened to the truth, which were previously blinded. Amen!

It means that there are teachers, preachers, politicians and news media, etc., who are preaching messages contrary to what the Bible teaches. They are filling people’s minds with lies they made up, and they are filling their minds, too, with false promises and false hopes based on their lies. And, they are leading many people astray with their lies and/or with their feel-good messages.

So many people have been lied to by modern-day churches, and they have been told that faith in Jesus Christ guarantees them heaven, but that they don’t have to repent of their sins or obey the Lord or submit to Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives. For, they feel that God’s grace gives them liberty to keep on in their sins without guilt. But they are in for a rude awakening when Jesus does come like a thief in the night and they are not prepared, for they believed the lie instead of the truth (Gal. 6:7-8).

Now, things are beginning to change, and the messages aren’t all that “feel-good” anymore. Now the messages are largely about being afraid of everything – the air that we breathe, germs, people, and socialization, etc.

And, now the messages are getting more dire with massive predictions of infections and deaths worldwide, which then just pave the way for draconian measures to be instituted. But, does it even make sense? No, it doesn’t! It makes sense in light of prophecy of Scripture, but not in all practicality. But we are not to respond in fear, but in faith in God and in trust in his word.

Children of Light
1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 ESV

“But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

So, we are not of the darkness but of the day. What does that mean? It means that we should not be walking in the flesh, but we should be walking in the Spirit, by the grace of God, in the power of God’s Spirit. For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

We shouldn’t be spiritually asleep just living our lives for ourselves, doing whatever we want to do, entertaining ourselves continuously. But our lives should be given over to our Lord as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him. And, we should no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world. But we should be transformed of the Spirit of God in heart and mind away from sin to fellowship with God.

We should be those who are spiritually discerning of evil, too, and we should be fighting off those evil influences by daily putting on the armor of God. We should walk by faith, we should speak the truth in love, we should always be ready to share the gospel, and we should be living in righteousness. And, daily we should be putting the deeds of the flesh to death and we should be living for our Lord, doing what he says, and going wherever he sends us.

And, if we are walking by the Spirit and we are no longer living to gratify the sinful desires of our flesh, we will have eternal life with God. And, we will also be able to discern evil and the times we live in, because we are listening to our Lord and we are obeying him, and so we will know his voice.

TEST EVERYTHING!
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 ESV

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

When this says to respect and to esteem those who labor among us in the Lord, this is not speaking of every person who claims to be a follower of Jesus and/or who claims to be a prophet, an apostle, a preacher, a teacher, and/or an evangelist, and the like.

This is speaking of people who are walking by the Spirit and not by the flesh, who are living lives above reproach, and who are teaching us the truths of God’s Word, not the cheap grace gospel which coddles people in their sin, and which does not encourage repentance or obedience to Christ.

For, we are to be those who not only teach the truth, but who live the truth, and who test what we hear, and who call out the lies, and who encourage faithfulness to the Lord, and who assist our brothers and sisters to walk in obedience to the Lord and to grow to maturity in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For, we should be people of discernment who are listening to the Spirit’s voice, and who are bathing our minds and hearts in the word of God, and who are walking in obedience to our Lord. We shouldn’t be all caught up in the world, believing whatever we think we see, and trusting in whatever we hear or read. But we should be testing everything in prayer, and in the word of God, studying it in context.

Now we shouldn’t despise prophecies. And, my take on this is that this is not speaking about future telling. This is speaking of those who, by the Spirit, are teaching the word of God in very practical ways which are applicable to our lives and to our world today. The Lord helps them to share the word of God in relation to where we are as a people today, in the time in which we now live. We should not despise these, but we should test everything.

But we need to test everything in prayer, in the study of God’s word (in context), and under the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit.

Abstain from Evil

And, we are to abstain from every form of evil. And, this means EVERY form. For, if we are going to be people of the day, and not of the night, then we need to be aware of the evil that is so prevalent in our societies. And, so we need to seek the Lord to make us aware of the evil and the deceptions and the manipulations so that we don’t fall prey to deceiving spirits, and so we can help others not to fall prey to deceiving spirits, too.

So, this is why we don’t believe everyone, or everyone in some position of power and authority or influence. For there is so much deception out there, and it comes in many different forms, too. And, I am finding more and more that there is so much disinformation out there, and that often it comes from the same source, whether it is to the right or to the left of a subject. For, evildoers like to trick us by playing both sides, opposing each other.

So, it isn’t all that easy to detect what is truth and what is lies if the subject matter is something not related to biblical truth, exactly. So, this is where we need to listen to the Holy Spirit and be people of discernment who are fully aware of the times and seasons in which we live, so that we are not caught in the deception, and so we don’t fall into the tricksters’ trap doors.

Remember, Jesus told his disciples to beware the yeast of the Pharisees. We need to do likewise!

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever

James H. Fillmore

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever,
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.

With my mouth will I make known
Thy faithfulness, Thy faithfulness,
With my mouth will I make known
Thy faithfulness to all generations.

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14 thoughts on “The Times and Seasons

  1. Hi, Sue! It grieves, angers and frustrates my whole being that people, specifically believers will not test what they hear. More and more people want echo chambers when it comes to both agreements and disagreements. People are blindly accepting truth so long as it fits their narrative, agenda, view and that is sad. I am giving God glory along with you that He has gifted you to test, discern, and write on this current time and season. Praying along with you for people to wake up, allowing our Triune God to help believers discern the Truth for all the lies and error that are being pummeled at them. Love, hugs and blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mandy, thank you. Yes, we need to test all sides of issues. We should not blindly accept anything. We should even not blindly accept all interpretations of what the Scriptures teach, either, but we should test those, too. For many liars and deceivers are twisting the Scriptures to make them say what God did not intend.

      Thank you, Mandy, for your encouraging words here. I appreciate them very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen well written. We need to be on our guard. We know our adversary the devil walks around in sheeps clothing seeking whom he can devour.
    Thank God that greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.
    God is good. Praise His holy name forever.
    Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue, this is really good and encouraging. What this passage says and what you wrote encouraged me to look deeper into it to use it as a spotlight and to apply it to my own life.

    Two words used in this translation stood out that I had to look up because I wanted to understand this better for my life. One word was sober (nepho). The usage of this word has to do with one being in his right mind, thinking clearly, and acting accordingly by faith. The opposite would be someone escaping, such as when one might get drunk, as the passage indicates, or using some other mechanism, such as movies, games, drugs, or even sex to medicate the mind and to turn off the pain or boredom – a big problem for many today. Entertainment has become an idol in our society, and being sober – using good sense and walking by the Spirit – should enable us to discern when we are living in this world and need to change. I have a tendency when I am tired to just want to put my mind in neutral and relax. Rest, or sleep, as the passage says, can become a bigger part of our lives in retirement, but it can also become an escape if not regulated using good sense or if consistently done in response to our feelings.

    The other word I looked up is idle (ataktos). This word is speaking of someone who is unruly, disorderly, someone who is going against the appointed order, or who is out of line, such as a soldier that does not follow orders or is insubordinate. As a Christian, it not only means what has just been stated, but also not living by faith, which is what God commands us to do. So while my life might not include outward acts of defiance or disobedience, ataktos includes those times when I slip back into living by my flesh or by my feelings, and when I take control of my life back from God rather than trusting and obeying him. That is one of my bigger battles. God warns us against such living (by our unruly flesh rather than by faith) and even instructs us to admonish each other when we see a brother or sister who seems to be settling down into that kind of lifestyle. But, we are to do so with gentleness and patience, as the context of the passage indicates, using Jesus as our guide and our example to help others back to usefulness and fruitfulness.

    I was especially encouraged by the words in verse 9, where we are told that God has not destined true believers to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. I am not alone in my struggle against sin and selfishness. God is on my side every day, helping me himself and through others to pull me out of my old ways and to encourage me to walk by faith in him, as well as giving me direction when life takes sudden turns and those in authority seem to be out to lunch or following harmful agendas. I don’t deserve God’s love and I cannot do this alone, but he is there every day working in my life to prepare me and all believers for eternal life with him one day. How amazing is that?

    Like

    • Rick, thank you for reading and for commenting. I give all the glory to God, as you know. I am glad that you found encouragement here and that it led you to dig deeper into the word of God. That is a good thing! And, I am glad that you are learning things which you can apply to your own life. That should always be our goal in studying the Scriptures, to apply what we are learning to our lives. So, thank you for sharing what you are learning from your study of this passage.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A post very much in the Berean spirit as given in Acts 17:10-12. For revival to come we desperately need for professing christians to find a Berean thirst for truth in scripture. Too many folk accept every word preached without researching it themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

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