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But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. And they shall not escape. Concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you : The Thessalonians were well taught about the return of Jesus and other prophetic matters. Paul taught them about the times and the seasons regarding the return of Jesus. They had an idea of the prophetic times they lived in, and they could discern the seasons of the present culture.

Again, we are impressed that Paul was with the Thessalonians only for a few weeks Acts In that time, he taught them about the prophetic times and seasons regarding the return of Jesus. Paul would be surprised that some people today consider the return of Jesus an unimportant teaching.

Jesus criticized the religious leaders of His day because they could not discern the signs of the times Matthew We should also study the Scriptures, and look to the world around us, so we can be aware of the times and the seasons. The first deals with the measurement of time, the second with the suitable or critical nature of the time. In the ultimate sense, the day of the Lord is fulfilled with Jesus judging the earth and returning in glory.

It does not refer to a single day, but to a season when God rapidly advances His agenda to the end of the age. It denotes the day when God intervenes in history to judge His enemies, deliver His people, and establish His kingdom.

Thessalonians, Paul’s letters to the - Oxford Biblical Studies Online

That day would remain unknown, and come as a surprise, as a thief in the night. A thief does not announce the exact time of his arrival. Yet Paul indicated that they definitely knew that the time could not be definitely known. Paul certainly was not one to set dates in regard to prophecy, and Jesus forbade setting dates when He said of that day and hour no one knows Matthew God wants this day to be unexpected, but He wants His people to be prepared for the unexpected.

They will be lulled to sleep by political and economic conditions, but they will be rudely awakened.

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As labor pains upon a pregnant woman : The phrase labor pains suggest both inevitability and unexpectedness. Jesus used the same idea in Matthew , when He spoke of calamities preceding the end times as the beginning of sorrows , which is literally the beginning of labor pains. The idea is both of giving birth to a new age, and implying an increase of intensity and frequency in these calamities. Certainly; 2. Suddenly; 3. Irresistibly, inevitably. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. But you, brethren, are not in darkness : In addressing their behavior, Paul first simply told the Thessalonian Christians that they should be who they are. God has made us sons of the light and sons of the day.

Second Thessalonians and Redemptive History

The time when we were of the night or of the darkness is in the past. So now we simply have to live up to what God has made us. That this Day should over take you as a thief : Paul means that this should not happen for the believer who lives according to their nature as a son of light and son of the day. They will be ready for the return of Jesus Christ.

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This leads to the further thought that their lives should be in harmony with all that that day stands for. In some respect, the coming of Jesus will be a surprise for everybody , because no one knows the day or the hour Matthew But for Christians who know the times and the seasons , it will not be a complete surprise.

No one knows the exact hour a thief will come, but some live in a general preparation against thieves. Those who are not in darkness , who live as they are all sons of light and sons of the day , these are ready for the return of Jesus. But if we are in darkness — perhaps caught up in some of the sin Paul warned against previously in this letter — then we are not ready, and need to make ourselves ready for the return of Jesus. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians

But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. Therefore let us not sleep : Because we do not belong to the night nor of darkness 1 Thessalonians , our spiritual condition should never be marked by sleep. Spiritually speaking, we need to be active and aware, to watch and be sober. Not sleep : Paul used a different word here than for the sleep of death mentioned in 1 Thessalonians It is a different word than that in 1Th for the sleep of death. It covers all sorts of moral and spiritual laxity or insensibility.

Sleep speaks of so much that belongs to the world the others , but should not belong to Christians:. In a sermon on this text titled, Awake! Spurgeon showed the folly and tragedy of the sleeping Christian with three powerful pictures:. Paul himself was an enthusiastic follower of Jesus, and accused of religious fanaticism. The Roman official Festus thought Paul was mad Acts , and the Corinthians thought he was beside himself 2 Corinthians For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night : The opposite of spiritual watchfulness is spiritual sleep.

The opposite of spiritual sobriety is to be spiritually drunk. As Christians we are of the day , and so we must watch and be sober. A soldier is a good example of someone who must watch and be sober , and he is equipped to do that with his armor. When one compares this description of spiritual armor with that found in Ephesians 6 , there is not an exact correlation.

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This indicates that Paul saw the idea of spiritual armor as a helpful picture, not something rigid in its particular details. Faith and love are represented by the breastplate because the breastplate covers the vital organs. No solider would ever go to battle without his breastplate , and no Christian is equipped to live the Christian life without faith and love.

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  5. The hope of salvation is represented as a helmet , because the helmet protects the head, which is just as essential as the breastplate. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. For God did not appoint us to wrath : Before we had the hope of salvation 1 Thessalonians , we had an appointment to wrath. We no longer have an appointment to wrath , but now to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Wrath : It is important to understand that Paul means the wrath of God.

    Introduction to the Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

    We are saved from the world, the flesh, and the devil. But first and foremost, we are rescued from the wrath of God, the wrath that we deserve. Our appointment to wrath was appointed in two ways. First, because of what Adam did to us and the whole human race, we are appointed to wrath Romans Second, because of our own sin, we are appointed to wrath. When Jesus died on the cross, He stood in our place in our appointment to wrath , and reschedules us with an appointment to obtain salvation. As believers, when we think we are appointed to wrath , we show up for an appointment that was cancelled by Jesus.

    Who died for us : The idea is that Jesus died in our place. Not simply that Jesus died for us in the sense as a favor for us; but that He died as a substitute for us. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation : Paul put two interested ideas side-by-side here. Together, they show that the full scope of salvation involves both divine initiative and human effort. Whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him : Having obtained salvation through our Lord Jesus , we will always live together with Him.

    He died for us His death was death , so that ours would only be sleep. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. Therefore comfort each other : Paul again tells us not to take comfort, but to give comfort. If all Christians have a heart to comfort each other , then all will be comforted.

    And edify one another : To edify means to build up.