Summary: 5th in the series "Left Behind: 1 & 2 Thessalonians." Focus is on Being Ready for the Lord’s Return.

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1 Thes. 5:1-11

Having a baby—Not surprised.

Been preparing for awhile—vitamins, books, nursery, bag packed.

Even though we didn’t know the day nor the hour, we knew the day was coming and we were living our lives looking forward to that day.

In our Scripture this morning, we are instructed that looking forward ton the Lord’s return should be a similar sort of thing. Paul tells us that we should “be” a certain way as we await the Lord’s coming.

We’re going to look at five “be’s”

1. Be Informed

4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

Brothers and sisters, I truly hope that as members or attenders of this church—or even as visitors of this church that we will never fail to teach you this simple truth.

Jesus is coming, Be ready.

As a church we have that responsibility. As parents we have the responsibility to teach our children that Jesus is coming unexpectedly and therefore we should live our lives in a manner consistent with that understanding.

As individual believers, we have a responsibility to understand this key concept of the Christian message. In the Assemblies of God we talk about the four cardinal doctrines of the church, Salvation, Holy Spirit, Healing and The Lord’s Return.

This is not just a minor issue in Chritianity but one of the major truths of the Bible, therefore we should study and understand it.

Secondly knowing the day is coming we should:

2. Be Alert

6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.

3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

On September 11 2001, America was a nation saying “peace and safety.” But in retrospect, it has become clear that we should have understood as clearly as a pregnant woman understands that D-day will come, that a terrorist attack was looming. As has been said many times since that day, On September 11 the terrorists had been at war with us for a very long time, we simply had not been at war with them.

In fact the preoccupation with hindsight has been much in the news lately as the 911 commission has delved deeply into the simple truth that any idiot can see now—“we should’ve seen it coming.”

As we look forward to the day of the Lord’s return, let us not be caught off guard. Let us, as Jesus instructed, watch and pray. let us discern the signs that His coming is near.

Let us not be lulled into a false sense of having “plenty of time.”

Peter warned of those ‘mockers” who would say “everything continues as it always has” deliberately forgetting that the people of Noah’s time had a similar sense of security. Paul and Peter believed that the Lord’s return was near even in their time. So there is no event that must happen before the Lord can fulfill His promise.

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