1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Day of the Lord

1 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.

Images for 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 THESSALONIANS 5

In this chapter the apostle discourses concerning the suddenness of Christ's coming, and the necessity of sobriety and watchfulness, and being on our guard with respect unto it, and then proceeds to exhort to several duties of religion, and closes the epistle with prayers for the saints, salutations of them, advice unto them, and with his usual benediction. Having spoken of the coming of Christ in the preceding chapter, the apostle signifies he had no need to write of the time and season of it; since it was a well known thing that it would be sudden, and at an unawares, like the coming of a thief in the night, and the travail of a woman with child, though certain and inevitable; and would bring sure destruction on wicked men, unthought of by them, 1Th 5:1-3 but such was the state and condition of the saints, being not in the night of nature's darkness and unregeneracy, but enlightened by the spirit of God, that they were not ignorant of these things, nor liable to be surprised unawares hereby, 1Th 5:4,5, however, in consideration of their being in the light, and not in darkness, it became them to behave accordingly, and not indulge themselves in sleep and sloth, but be watchful and sober, and on their guard, having on their spiritual armour, 1Th 5:6-8 and the rather, since they were not appointed to the wrath they deserved, but to salvation by Christ; whose end in dying for them was, that they might live together with him, and therefore should exhort and comfort, and edify one another, 1Th 5:9-11 and then follow various exhortations, some, which respect their ministers, their knowledge of them, love to them, and esteem for them, on account of their dignity, office, work, and usefulness, 1Th 5:12,13 others, which concern themselves and one another, as church members, 1Th 5:13,14 others, which regard also them that are without, 1Th 5:14,15 and others which relate to joy and thanksgiving, to prayer and praise; to the gifts of the spirit, and the ministry of the word; and to a trial and examination of what is good, and an abiding by it, and an abstinence from all evil, and every appearance of it, 1Th 5:16-22 and the whole is concluded with prayers for them, for their perfect sanctification, and entire preservation to the coming of Christ; which were put up in faith, grounded upon the faithfulness of God who had called them to grace and glory, 1Th 5:23,24 and with a request to them to pray for him, and other ministers of the Gospel, and to salute all the brethren, 1Th 5:25,26 and with a charge to read this letter to them all, 1Th 5:27 and with his usual benediction, 1Th 5:28.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 In-Context

1 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.
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.
13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Cross References 23

  • 1. Acts 1:7
  • 2. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
  • 3. S 1 Corinthians 1:8
  • 4. S Luke 12:39; 2 Peter 3:10
  • 5. Jeremiah 4:10; Jeremiah 6:14; Ezekiel 13:10
  • 6. Job 15:21; Psalms 35:8; Psalms 55:15; Isaiah 29:5; Isaiah 47:9,11
  • 7. 2 Thessalonians 1:9
  • 8. S Acts 26:18; 1 John 2:8
  • 9. ver 2
  • 10. S Luke 16:8
  • 11. Romans 13:11
  • 12. S Matthew 25:13
  • 13. S Acts 24:25
  • 14. Acts 2:15; Romans 13:13; 2 Peter 2:13
  • 15. ver 5
  • 16. S Ephesians 6:14
  • 17. Romans 8:24
  • 18. Isaiah 59:17; Ephesians 6:17
  • 19. 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  • 20. 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14
  • 21. Romans 14:9; 2 Corinthians 5:15
  • 22. 1 Thessalonians 4:18
  • 23. Ephesians 4:29
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.