Most of us use some sort of alarm or alert to wake up in the morning. An alarm clock is a device that is designed to stimulate our senses in order to awaken out of a deep sleep. When we are asleep we are typically unaware of our surroundings. Of course, some are considered to be what is known as a ‘heavy sleeper’ which means that it is difficult to wake up from a session of sleep. Others are considered to be what is known as a ‘light sleeper’ which means that their pattern of sleeping is easily broken and aroused by any sort of noise or movement.
However, regardless of the type of sleeper you are, the device known as an alarm clock provides the necessary stimulation to be awakened from your sleep. The alarm may or may not result in success because there are some who hear the alarm and either press the snooze button to gain an extra 15 minutes, or they turn the alarm off only to go back to sleep. More often than not, by ignoring the alarm it can cause one to be tardy for their destination because their focus is to sleep rather than to be awakened.
If we look at the world around us, there are many signs of a world that is constantly deteriorating before our eyes. Violence fills just about every nation and lawlessness seems to be abounding. Many forms of sin which God has stated throughout His Word have now become commonplace. So much so that even in some realms of Christianity such sins have either become acceptable or even practiced among those who claim to be in Christ. In the book of 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, the Apostle Paul is writing to believers in the church of Thessalonica.
Throughout this chapter, the Apostle Paul urges Christians to be aware of ‘The End Times’ or essentially Christ’s return. In verses 1-3, Paul says the following:
(NLT) “Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.”
In verse 1 the word ‘this’ is referring to the day of the Lord or Christ’s return. In this short passage, Paul says that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly as a thief in the night. This means that Christ’s return will be sudden and it will catch many who are not ready in an unaware position.
Also, notice that Paul says that many will say, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” which suggests that those who are not in Christ are seeing our world from the unbelieving standpoint. Basically, there are many who hear the truth and yet they do not believe that certain things such as the coming of the Lord will happen. If you look at the chaos that surrounds our world today, there are still those that do not and will not acknowledge the truth concerning the signs of the times.
As Paul says in verses 2-3, many will say that the time that we live in is peaceful and secure and yet those who are unaware will be met with the inevitable which is the return of Jesus Christ. Notice also what Paul says as he continues with this message of urgency:
(NLT) “But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.”
Paul says that those who are truly in Christ are those who will not be caught off guard by Christ’s return. Essentially, this means that if you and I are following after the things of God and we are spiritually in tune with what God wants for our lives then we will be abreast of our changing world.
Paul says in verse 6, “So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.” This is the crucial part of this blog post which is to point to the call that God has given to the body of Christ. God has called each person who is in Christ to not only spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ but to also be aware and fully knowledgeable about the signs of the times. Paul uses the word ‘asleep’ which means that he is stressing the point of maintaining an alert disposition.
The fact is that in our modern time the body of Christ has seemingly lost its focus. Many Pastor’s have lost the true meaning of what it means to be a messenger of the Gospel by adhering to teaching of prosperity and seeking to fill empty church pews. God is concerned with whether or not the Gospel is brought to the masses and preparing the body of Christ for what is to come.
All of the violence and even the weather patterns which have become increasingly worse are pointing to the signs of the times. They are also pointing to the abundance of sinful behavior. However, the question is, is the body of Christ truly awake to what is happening in our world? Or are we passively watching on the sidelines as our world imposes sin and immorality upon us? Those who are truly in Christ must stand up and stand together for the sake of the Gospel.
The call is to those who are serious about Christ and willing to give their very reputation and even their life for the cause of Jesus Christ. The world is seeking answers to the endless cycle of violence and tragedy. They are looking for a remedy by their human hands but you and I who are in Christ, we have the answer which is Jesus Christ. 9/11 was one of the moments in which the world was shaken to its foundation. Many Christians were asleep even at that time. Have we who are in the body fallen asleep again?
It is time for us to be awakened as Paul encourages us. For a final observation, Paul says the following in verses 7-8:
(NLT) “Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.”
These two verses point to the fact that we who are in Christ are to be of the light or the light of Christ. If we are in the light, then it means we cannot be unaware of what is truly occurring within our world. Paul says that we are to be “clearheaded” and that we remain protected by arming ourselves in love, faith, and even the confidence in our salvation. Arming ourselves means that we are spiritually in tune and aware of what is taking place. The fact is that Jesus Christ will return again, but before that happens, we will see more sinfulness and consequences for such sin.
However, the good news is that Jesus Christ died for you and I so that we would be saved from our sin. Safety is only found in Christ which means that if you are not in Christ then you are vulnerable to what will occur as time goes on. If you haven’t accepted Christ, now is the time to do so. Each day that passes seems to grow worse and worse, but the hope that we have is in Jesus Christ. Life in Christ is better than a life lived in the unawareness that comes from being in sin.