Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (ESV)
Gary Shogren writes:
There is a slogan that originated with a certain atheist comedian but was picked up by Christians and placed on T-shirts: “Jesus is coming … everyone look busy!” This is an uncouth version of what many Christians have pondered: If you knew Christ was coming this week, what would you change? Holy apprehension about the end has been around ever since the LORD unnerved his followers with a parable about ten virgins.
There are Christians who have sought to remain vigilant by constructing arcane systems that spit out data about when Christ might come. This is not simply misdirected fervor; rather, it is thoroughly antibiblical. In the Scriptures, preparedness is not based on knowing a date but on not knowing a date. It is defined as living as children of the day even when the day of the Lord is unpredictable.
Life in the light of Christ’s return is not some mystical experience. Rather, it reveals itself in concrete, everyday actions as empowered by the Spirit. In this letter, alone, “readiness” includes the following: deeds of love, patience, peace, gentleness, mutual encouragement, hard work, behaving righteously with regard to alcohol use and sexual behavior, treating other believers properly, evangelism, thanksgiving, and prayer.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 43
Q. 43. What is the preface to the ten commandments?
A. The preface to the ten commandments is in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.