We are anxious about many things at the moment. Our anxieties are overwhelming many people – yet Paul writes to the Thessalonians who were anxious in their day, that Christ has the future. Advent means that Christ is coming again into this world and for those who are prepared this is the welcoming of a friend. [Audio | Notes]
1 Thessalonians 5.1-11 | Learning to wait for Christ
We expect the end
– apocalypse and false prophecies
The day of the Lord (1-3)
Living waiting (4-8)
– be alert not alarmed
We are what we hope (9-10)
– Christ, our death and our life
Encourage each other (11)
– Speak true teaching
For further thought
Q: ‘The day of the Lord’ is an idea from the Old Testament (Amos 5.18; Joel 2.31; Malachi 4.5) that Jesus and the rest of the New Testament applies to Jesus (e.g. Matthew 25.1-13; the day of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2.2; 1 Corinthians 5.5; 2 Peter 3:10) the day of Christ (Philippians 1.10; 2.16), the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1.16) ). What does the New Testament use of this Old Testament idea say about who Jesus is? Using the references above, what would you say are the marks of the day of the Lord?
Q: The Thessalonians are anxious to know when Christ will return so they can prepare but Paul teaches them that knowing the date is the wrong solution to their anxiety (verses 2 & 3), rather, being ready at all times is the right solution (verses 4-8). Why?
Q: What does being ready for Christ’s return look like in our lives? How does this protect us spiritually like armour (verse 8)?
Q: ‘He [Christ] died for us so that… we may live together with him.’ Here is Paul’s explanation of God’s purpose for us in Christ, that by his death (instead of our permanent alienation from God) we may live with him. How do we encourage each other’s Christian lives with this teaching today (verse 11)? Why should speaking theological truth and not only offering friendship be a mark of all in our churches?