Let Us Not Sleep Like Others Do (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

Call me crazy, but do you even get the feeling that the world is going to end?

Maybe you’re prepared: you’ve stocked up on all the essentials! But seriously, do you look at the natural disasters and the man-made troubles around and think, ‘It must all be over soon!’?

Christians have always expected the end of the world. When Jesus ascended into heaven, “two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’” (Acts 1:10b-11). And the church at Thessalonica expected that!

One of the reasons Paul wrote was their confusion about why Jesus hadn’t returned yet! In chapter 4, we see that some of them didn’t think they needed to work, because the end was about to come (4:11). And because they all expected to be alive when Jesus returned, they didn’t know what to think about believers who died (4:13-18).

But despite how many toilet rolls you own, most of the time we don’t live like the world is about to end. Or even that it will ever end! We invest our hope in this world. We treasure things here, rather than in heaven.

So, we need to hear again what God says about the end of the world.

Notice that here in 1 Thessalonians 5, the end of the world isn’t caused by a natural disaster. It isn’t a meteorite falling from the skies. It’s not a tsunami. It’s not the extinction of humanity caused by a virus or a war.

The end of the world is the Day of the Lord, the Day when the Lord Jesus returns. We need to believe that the Day is coming (v1-3). Then we need to ask, “Am I in the Darkness or in the light (v4-8)?” And “Am I appointed to wrath or salvation (v9-11)?”

Sunday 22nd March 2020

Review questions:

  • What will cause the end of the world (v1-2)?
  • What happen to the unprepared (v3)?
  • How I react to the end of the world shows who I _______________________ to (v4-5)
  • How I ____________ doesn’t change who I ___________, but who I ___________ should change how I ____________ (v6-8)
  • To be awake means to be _________________ of what is happening around me (v6)
  • To be sober means to stay ____________-_________________ whatever happens (v7)
  • Faith believes God is ___________; Love put’s God’s _________________ first; and Hope is being convinced that whatever God has ________________ will happen (v8)
  • Wrath is God’s fixed ___________________ against all that is not ______________ (v9)
  • Jesus suffered God’s wrath so that I can receive __________________________ (v10)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should change:  

Published by Stephen McDonald

Broadcaster, teacher, bibliophile, armchair political commentator, theologue, Christian (still in beta)