Our world is in spiritual darkness – so awesomely predicted in the words we read as we completed our reading of 1st Thessalonians (ch. 5) today. Our thoughts flow on from the ‘inspiration’ the 4th chapter provided yesterday. Paul’s words have been preserved to make us ” fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” [v.2] The next verse tells us it will occur while “people are saying, ‘There is peace and security’ (but) then sudden destruction will come upon them as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
It is understood that these words indicate there will be a final effort to bring real peace into being – lots of ‘talk’ about it. The main focus of such ‘peace’ will surely be the Middle East – trying to resolve the conflict between Islam and the Jews. But now the ‘conflict’ Islam creates is spreading to many more nations – and the minds of their leaders are in “darkness” as to what action to take to counteract the problem – there seems no hope of any solution.
But those who really know God’s prophecies about the climax of this world, heed the words of Paul we read today. “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.” [v.4] God’s word gives us light – the only source of ‘light’ in our world of increasing darkness and ever increasing nervousness about the future. So let us read God’s word with ever greater earnestness and “keep awake and be sober … since we belong to the day” Paul tells us, “having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” [v.6,8]
A spiritual ‘helmet’ protects our minds – the way we think! It prevents us from getting into a ‘panic’ mode. The 9th verse tells us, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are in awe of the “wrath” God will ultimately pour out on our world! Peter in his final letter was inspired to put God’s judgements in perspective, with lessons from history. “For if God … did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah …. if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly … then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials …” [[ch.2 v.5,6,9]
Let us make sure we “are not in darkness” – but have genuine faith so that we will be rescued from the trials our ungodly world deserves more than ever – and which will surely increase – until our Master returns “to cut short the days” or “no human being would be saved.” [Mark 13 v.20] D.Caudery