Dealing with the Board of Misinformation

Reading 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 it reads just like they are in a socialistic society. People are saying “There is peace and security” when such is not the case. Paul says for them there will be sudden destruction. In Acts 17 (the background of 1 Thessalonians) Rome was saying they are acting against the decrees of Ceasar and saying there is another king and that these Christians were turning the world upside down. So, the civil government is saying, fix this, keep the peace, or at least make it appear to be the case.

Paul says all of this is nonsense. He warned destruction is coming upon these people and it will be sudden (v.3) and a surprise (v.4). The contrast is that you are children of light, you are aware! So, be sober! Whether speaking of alcohol or not with those words, being aware of surroundings with clarity is quite the opposite of those under the influence of something. Paul is saying—Don’t be like them! Spiritual warfare is taking place and you need faith, hope, and love (v.8, comp. Ephesians 6:10–20). If you want to see a description of non-love, just take a look at 1 Corinthians 13 and read the opposites. It’s really what we see today, and evidently what the Thessalonians were seeing in a greater measure in their day. Spiritual people however (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:1 ESV footnote 10) are different. And they are, according to Paul not destined for wrath (v.9; compare 1:10; 2:16). Whether you live through this or die, at Christ’s coming you will be saved. Therefore, Paul says encourage one another and build each other up (v.11).

We mustn’t be caught off guard in our day either, by sudden destruction of those saying peace. The main thing is to stay awake, be patient and loving each other, and be in the truth, lest you be beguiled! The greatest security we have against governmental overreach on free speech and press is that of staying in the truth. So beloved, read your bibles and practice them with total dependence on the Holy Spirit.