Summary: A sermon that encourages Christians about the need to be alert.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11New International Version (NIV)
The Day of the Lord
5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 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.
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 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. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
New International Version (NIV)
Do you remember that time in the garden of Gethsemene when Jesus is in the most intense prayer perhaps of his whole earthly life – what we wouldn’t have given to be there with him to support him to just be part of this grand moment in human history but Luke tells us 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
They missed it!
One thing I have noticed as a Grandfather and that is if you pretend that you are asleep and your little Grandchild is next to you they will yell in your ear at full volume – Wake up Granddad!!!
If you pretend to still be asleep it is possible that you may increase the need for hearing aids in New Zealand by one.
The scripture this morning screams at us – Wake up!!! Wake up Christian!
Recently when New Zealand was defeated by Peru in Peru the seismic measuring equipment employed to record earthquakes recorded an earthquake, it wasn’t - it was simply the peoples reactions to the victory. If New Zealand only had a medium interest in the events in Peru this week the Peruvians were off the scale to the degree of causing seismic sized celebrations.
The scripture this morning has passion and intensity beyond most normal modern Christian reaction!
1 Thessalonians chapter 5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 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.
This scripture looks forward to a day – a day that will change everything.
This day will be a day for both celebration and mourning.
A day is coming when there are massive changes coming on earth that will completely change everything.
To the sceptical we can say – Who would have thought that God would part a sea to rescue a nation – or who would have thought that God himself would come to earth in the person of Jesus simply to rescue his people. Who would have thought that all of world history would have been changed by Jesus – forever – God “wrote” hope in history and nothing has ever erased it neither the philosophies of men nor the blood of wars.
The Bible declares that there is a day coming and nobody knows when the day will come like a thief in the night. So guessing and speculation simply will not work – The seventh day Adventists tried that in 1844 with predictable results. Jesus didn’t return at that time.
But one thing we do know – Just as the coming of Jesus was prophesied in scripture and eventually happened exactly as the Bible predicted – so a day is coming when Jesus will return coming on the clouds in a way that is both awe inspiring and totally changing the paradigm of life itself.