1 Thessalonians 5:1-22

1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you.
2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 When they say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!
4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober;
7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
9 For God has destined us not 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 may live with him.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you;
13 esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.
15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise the words of prophets,
21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good;
22 abstain from every form of evil.

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1 Thessalonians 5:1-22 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 5:1-22 In-Context

1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you.
2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
3 When they say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!
4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;
5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.
6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober;
7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
9 For God has destined us not 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 may live with him.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you;
13 esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.
15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise the words of prophets,
21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good;
22 abstain from every form of evil.
23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
25 Beloved, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss.

Footnotes 5

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.