1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 NIV
“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
“Peace and Safety”
What is the “peace and safety” message that is being given today? Regarding the teachings of Christ’s gospel, what is being taught is that you can “believe” in Jesus, be forgiven your sins, and be bound for heaven, but your lifestyle doesn’t have to change drastically, or at all.
They are teaching that if you “believe” in Jesus, God no longer sees when you sin, for he only sees Jesus when he looks at you. So, even though you may be deep in sin, they will tell you that God delights in you, he is always pleased with you, and if you feel guilty, just “claim who you are in Christ.”
They are also teaching that if you “believe” in Jesus, heaven is guaranteed you when you die, no matter how you live while you are on this earth, and that nothing can ever take that away from you. Some even say repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ are not required.
They teach that God will never judge you, that nothing bad will happen to you, and that, as an added bonus, God will rapture you out of this evil world before things get bad so that you won’t have to suffer persecution, hardship, famine, or sword, even if you are living in sin.
Destruction Will Come
Yet, while people are giving out these false messages of “peace and safety,” destruction will come on them, and they will not escape. Why? Because these are people who mock God, who refuse to listen to him, who think they know better, and who think God will not judge them.
And some or many of them are those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who have convinced themselves that they can continue in their sinful addictions without consequence. They have believed the lies that a mere profession of faith will keep them from hell.
But what does God’s word teach on that subject? It teaches us that we must surrender our lives to Jesus, submit to his Lordship, leave our lives of sin behind us, and follow our Lord in obedience to his commands to have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
And it teaches us that if we walk in darkness, in sin, as a matter of practice, that we don’t have eternal life with God, no matter what we confess or profess with our lips or have convinced ourselves that we believe in our hearts (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).
And God’s word teaches us that we are not to be deceived, for God is not mocked. For what we sow in this life, that shall we reap. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 NIV
“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
When we walk in the light as Jesus/God is in the light, we are not only walking in righteousness and holiness, but we are walking in truth, and we are rejecting the lies. And when we walk in truth, we face the reality that we, as followers of Jesus, will have to suffer for righteousness’ sake.
We will study the Scriptures in their context, and we will accept that being a follower of Jesus will mean that we will be hated, rejected, falsely accused, ostracized, called all sorts of things, abandoned, and possibly also be beaten, falsely imprisoned, and even put to death for our faith.
We will not refuse to face the truth or to try to hide behind a lie. We won’t live in a fantasy world, denying what the Scriptures teach, holding on to what is false in order to appease our own consciences or to try to assure ourselves that God will not judge us if we continue living in sin.
But we will accept the teachings of Scripture that say that if we walk in darkness (in habitual sinful practices) that we don’t have eternal life with God, but it will end in death, and God will indeed judge us. We will accept that God’s word is true and that we need to take it seriously.
And we will be those who walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to our flesh. We will walk in obedience to our Lord, spend time with him every day in prayer and in his word, and we will surrender our lives to him, thereby having the hope of eternal life with God.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 NIV
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
I hear many people quote this passage of Scripture to teach that we won’t have to suffer any consequences of sin, or that we won’t have to face any kind of judgment from God which he may pour out on the wayward church or on our nation.
But in context, that is not what this is teaching. The wrath being spoken of here is the opposite of salvation. When the Lord comes back to take his bride to be with him and to judge, those who sowed to please the flesh will face the wrath of God, whereas those who sowed to please the Spirit, will have eternal life with God.
But just because God did not appoint us to suffer his wrath but to receive salvation through Jesus Christ does not mean none of us will suffer his wrath. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, but not everyone will repent.
For, if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, it will end in death, not in life eternal with God. For we will be judged by our deeds (works). If we make sin our practice and not righteousness our practice, we will not inherit eternal life. We will face God’s wrath. So, we need to take that seriously.
And this is why we need to encourage (exhort) one another, because many are buying into the lies, and they will face God’s wrath when they expected to have salvation from their sins and eternal life. So, we need to tell them the truth so that they don’t go on living in sin, but so they live for the Lord.
If you are buying into the “peace and safety” messages, and if you are convinced you can continue living in your sinful practices and still have heaven secured you, then study the Scriptures. Therein you will find the truth that we are all going to reap what we sow (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.