A. Read 1 Thess. 5:1-11
B. Paul had just unfolded the truth of the Rapture - "A time when the Lord rises from His seat beside His Father’s Throne; Descends in the air; and shouts, ‘Come Up Hither,’ and all of Christians rise to meet in the air to be with the Lord forever to be with Him."
C. Following the catching away of the saints will come the "Darkest Day" the world has ever known - "The Day of the Lord".
D. In the Scriptures this day is also known as "The Day of God’s Wrath".
E. In 1 Thess. 5:1-2 we have Three (3) Important Aspects that I would like to discuss concerning The Future WRATH of God upon this world:
1. "Times and Seasons"
2. "The Day of the Lord"
3. "A Thief in the Night"
II. What Are the "Times and Seasons"?
A. "But of the Times & Seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so cometh as a Thief in the Night."
B. The "Times and Seasons" are NOT the property of the Church - They belong to this earth and to an earthly people - Both to Israel and the Gentiles that will be saved in that day.
C. The Church should be listening for a Sound, not looking for a Sign- The Church should be looking for a Person, not for "Times and Seasons.".
D. Today, many ministers "predict" or "set dates" for the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ - This only leads to confusion!
E. There have never been any "signs" which point to the "Imminent Return of Christ for His Bride - The Church"!
F. The Lord Jesus Christ does not come for His Church "Like a Thief in the Night!" - But to an UNBELIEVING WORLD His 2nd Coming will be Sudden & Without Warning - "Like a Thief in the Night."
G. Notice how that Paul changes Pronouns in the verses of this Chapter - He goes from talking to "Brethren" to discussing "They" (Those Outside of the Body of Christ).
H. Only 3 Times in Scriptures do we find this expression - "Times & Seasons" (Dan. 2:19-22; Acts:1:7-8; 1 Thess. 5:1)
I. Dan. 2:19-22 - Here we find that Daniel is given a vision of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar - He says that it is God who changes the way in which God chooses to deal with nations or individuals on earth.
J. Illustration - God withheld judgment upon Ninevah 200 years because they Repented after hearing the Word of God.
K. "Times and Seasons" have to do with how the Lord deals with mankind on this earth!
L. Acts 1:7-8 - Here in the N.T. we find that Jesus Himself told His disciples that it is not their business to KNOW the times and the seasons. They wanted to know when He would set up His earthly Kingdom, but He told them their business was to "preach the WORD" to a lost and dying world.
M. 1 Thess. 5:1-2 - Paul now reminds his readers that they should already KNOW this fact - The Lord’s Wrath will come upon this world as a "Thief in the Night!"
N. If this is true, and it is, Paul reminds them that it is impossible for the Day of the Lord to occur so long as the Church is still on earth. (1 Thess. 5:3-5; 9)
III. What Is the Day of the Lord?
A. The Day of the Lord refers to the events that occur between the Rapture & the End of the Millennial Kingdom.
B. There are many Old Testament passages that discuss this awesome day of judgment of God’s Wrath!
C. Isa. 13:9-11 (Time of God’s Wrath & Anger Upon Sinners)
D. Joel 1:15; 2:1-2; 30-31; 3:9-17 (Time of Judgment of Gentiles and Purging of the Nation of Israel)
E. Zeph. 1:14-18 (Time of Wrath & Judgment)
F. Amos 5:18-20 (Time NOT to Be Desired)
1. There were those who hoped to be out of persecution, captivity, and troubles by the Day of the Lord.
2. However, this is NOT a day desired for those that are YET in their SIN - There will not be a day when everything will just become a utopia upon the earth.
A. There are also many references to The Day of the Lord found in the New Testament:
B. Matt. 3:7 - "…O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the WRATH TO COME?"
C. Matt. 24:21-22 (Time of Tribulation)
D. Rev. 6:1-8 (4 Horsemen of the Apocolypse)
1. White Horseman - Antichrist Overthrows World Gov’t.
2. Red Horseman - Bring World-Wide War
3. Black Horsemen - Brings Famine
4. Pale Horsemen - Brings Death