1. In our previous study we saw where Paul discussed the Comfort of Christ's Coming
a. How we ought to be comforted by the facts and events of His coming
b. Especially as it relates to loved ones who have died in the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
2. Of course, the Preparing For Christ's Coming presumes that we are prepared for it
a. Whether we are among those who have died prior to that great event
b. Or we are among those who will be alive when He comes
3. Are we prepared?
a. Will He find us ready when He comes?
b. Will we be ready should we die before He comes?
A. FOR SOME, BUT NOT FOR OTHERS
2. But for us, who heed the warnings of Scripture, the day will not overtake us as a thief - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, 4
a. Because we will be ready for His coming, though we don't know when it will be
b. Because we will have taken to heart the admonitions we shall consider momentarily
B. FOR SOME, AN INESCAPABLE DESTRUCTION
1. He will come when people are saying Peace and safety! - 1 Thessalonians 5:3
2. When He comes, it will be with sudden destruction - 1 Thessalonians 5:3
a. Just as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman
b. There will be no time or way to escape this destruction, described in more detail in the second epistle to the Thessalonians - 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
3. This day will be one of glory for those who are ready - 2 Thessalonians 1:10
a. For those who now sleep in Jesus - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16
b. For those prepared for His coming before He descends - 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
A. WATCHFUL AND SOBER
1. We are children of light and children of the day - 1 Thessalonians 5:5
c. Because we cast off works of darkness, and seek to walk properly - Romans 13:11-14
2. We are to be watchful for His coming - 1 Thessalonians 5:6
b. Watchfulness includes prayer - 1 Peter 4:7
c. Watchfulness includes repentance and strengthening what we have - Revelation 3:2-3
d. On the other hand, sleep in our text refers to spiritual laxity - 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7
3. We are to be sober - 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8a
a. The word sober means to be temperate or abstinent, especially in regards to wine
b. It usually used in a more general sense to be sober-minded, watchful, circumspect
c. Note how Jesus relates this to watching for His coming in Luke 21:34-36
d. We should certainly take the promise of Jesus' coming seriously, not frivolously
B. ARMED AND WAITING
1. In all soberness (seriousness), putting on the armor of God - 1 Thessalonians 5:8
a. Such as the breastplate of faith and love
1) Faith and love protect our hearts from much evil
b. Such as the hope of salvation as a helmet
1) Our hope of salvation protects our mind from much fear and doubt
2) Hope also comes from the word of God - Romans 15:4
c. Compare this description of armor with one more detailed - Ephesians 6:11-18
2. Encouraged to wait because God has appointed us to salvation - 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
a. He has not appointed us to wrath
1) A day of wrath is coming - Romans 2:4-11
2) Yet Jesus has come to deliver us from that wrath - 1 Thessalonians 1:10
b. He has appointed us to salvation
1) Through the blood of His Son - Romans 5:8-10
C. COMFORTED AND EDIFIED
1. We are to comfort one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
a. With the comfort we each receive from God - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
b. With the comfort of our hope we have in Christ - 1 Thessalonians 4:18
2. We are to edify (build up) one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
b. One of the primary works of the church is edification - Ephesians 4:11-12, 15-16
1. Will we be prepared when Christ comes? It all depends
a. Are we watchful? Are we serious about His coming?
b. Are we putting on the armor of God?
1) With faith and love as a breastplate protecting our hearts?
2) With the hope of salvation as a helmet protecting our minds?
c. Are we actively engaged in comforting and edifying our brethren?
d. If so, then we are truly sons of light and sons of the day!
2. Note what is absolutely necessary for us to be doing these things
a. The Word of God:
1) Which builds faith and hope
2) Which provides comfort
b. The Church of Christ
1) Where love is to be expressed among members
2) Where comfort and edification is to be experienced by members
Preparing for Christ's coming cannot happen without diligent application of God's Word and active participation in the Lord's church. Have you been added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:41, 47)? Are you continuing steadfastly in fellowship with a local church (Acts 2:42)?
-- Don Treadway, October 2009 --