1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Day of the Lord

1 Now as to the 1times and the epochs, brethren, you 2have no need of anything to be written to you.
2 For you yourselves know full well that 3the day of the Lord will come 4just like a thief in the night.
3 While they are saying, "5Peace and safety!" then 6destruction will come upon them suddenly like 7labor pains upon a woman with child *, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brethren, are not in 8darkness, that the day would overtake you 9like a thief;
5 for you are all 10sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of 11darkness;
6 so then let us not 12sleep as 13others do, but let us be alert and 14sober.
7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get 15drunk at night.
8 But since 16we are of the day, let us 17be sober, having put on the 18breastplate of 19faith and love, and as a 20helmet, the 21hope of salvation.
9 For God has not destined us for 22wrath, but for 23obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 24who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
11 Therefore encourage one another and 25build up one another, just as you also are doing.

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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 as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child , and they will not escape.
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;
5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.
8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,
13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

Cross References 25

  • 1. Acts 1:7
  • 2. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
  • 3. 1 Corinthians 1:8
  • 4. Luke 21:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; Revelation 16:15
  • 5. Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:10
  • 6. 2 Thessalonians 1:9
  • 7. John 16:21
  • 8. Acts 26:18; 1 John 2:8
  • 9. Luke 21:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3; Revelation 16:15
  • 10. Luke 16:8
  • 11. Acts 26:18; 1 John 2:8
  • 12. Romans 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:10
  • 13. Ephesians 2:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13
  • 14. 1 Peter 1:13
  • 15. Acts 2:15; 2 Peter 2:13
  • 16. 1 Thessalonians 5:5
  • 17. 1 Peter 1:13
  • 18. Isaiah 59:17; Ephesians 6:14
  • 19. Ephesians 6:23
  • 20. Ephesians 6:17
  • 21. Romans 8:24
  • 22. 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  • 23. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  • 24. Romans 14:9
  • 25. Ephesians 4:29

Footnotes 8

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