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Lesson XV - Of the Times and the Seasons

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Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, read through 11, Isaiah 13:9-11

Subject: Times

Title: Of The Times And The Seasons


Biblical Orientation:

It seems that this section of Scripture we know as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 through 5:11 would have made a great chapter by itself. Verses 13-18 of chapter four deals with Jesus’ return and its effect upon the “dead in Christ” or those who “sleep in Jesus.” Verses 1-11 of the fifth chapter give words to those who are here and alive and presently expecting the coming of Jesus

Once again, we can see that Paul is giving instruction that has already been given by him when he was personally present. Therefore, what he is about to tell them is not new information to them. He is simply giving them instruction as to what to do with the information they have

Sermon Orientation:

In this sermon, we will clarify a little bit about the phrase “the day of the Lord” and then talk primarily about the practical response to its “any time” coming. In the next sermon (God willing), we will answer the question of whether the believer will experience the tribulation and wrath of the day of the Lord



A. The Thessalonians Truly Believed Jesus Would Return

1. We saw already that they believed it so strongly; some were living as if there was no tomorrow

2. They believed so strongly that they would depart, that they worried for the deceased who were saved

3. Would they miss out on all the good associated with His return?

a. It appears that they thought it would be most helpful if they knew the time and date (season)

b. That way, they would be sure and be ready

4. It was a little naïve, but they are not the only ones who have been obsessed with a desire to know the precise time and day of Jesus’ return

5. Many have been proven foolish by their desires to know and their false predictions

B. What Is “The Day Of The Lord”?

1. The Day of the Lord is the end time period that begins with the rapture of the believers and culminates with the final put down of Satan and the Great White Throne Judgment

2. According to most of the references in the Bible

a. It is a time period, not just one day

b. It is a time of God exercising His wrath on mankind and the earth

ü TT Isaiah 13:9-11

c. We call it the Great Tribulation and the Millennial reign of Christ

3. Understanding this allows us to understand…


A. Jesus’ Coming (Which Inaugurates The Day Of The Lord) Will Come Like A Thief: Without Warning

1. Does a thief send a note that says, “I will be to your house at 1:30 a.m. during Thursday night. Thank you” No!

2. Likewise, with regard to the date and time, we no more know about that, than when the thief will hit our house or business

3. Jesus said He would come as a thief

a. Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up

ü Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee

ü Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame

b. What is the exact time?

ü Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only

4. It will be without warning

B. Jesus’ Coming Will Be As The Travail Comes On A Woman With Child: Without Escape V 3

1. An expectant mother knows she will have labor pains and sure enough, suddenly they start

2. Paul does not go into great detail about the punishment of man, but, he does teach a very important point

a. The punishment of the unsaved man is sudden

i. As in without warning
ii. One of those moments where everything gets surreal and you cannot stop events

b. The punishment of the unsaved man is sure

i. The word destruction here means that which is ruined, beyond hope of being fixed
ii. The verb “cometh” is a passive verb meaning it will happen to them and there is no way to avoid it
iii. In Matthew 25:46 speaking of this day, Jesus said, And these shall go away into everlasting punishment

c. The punishment of the unsaved man is eternal

i. Many events in life that start cannot be undone
ii. Sin has such a devastating affect that things are never the same
iii. One who faces the destruction of the day of the Lord will eternally abide in this state
iv. They will have no hope of things ever changing or being fixed

C. Jesus Is Coming And His Coming Will Set In Motion The Day Of The Lord

1. The date and time we do not know

2. That it is sudden and inescapable, we do know

3. Now, Paul tells us what to do and how to live knowing of Jesus’ sudden and unavoidable coming

a. What a blessing, God loves you so much that He tells you He is coming

b. Yet, He does not stop there, He also teaches you to be ready and how to be ready


(Note: There are three types of people dealt with in our text, when Jesus comes without warning and without escape)

A. “They” Who Say Peace And Safety, But Who Will Experience Sudden Destruction V 3

1. “They” = the unbeliever, the one who has rejected Christ

a. Catch the contrast of verse 4

b. Paul has an intention to this sharp contrast

c. He is pointedly revealing the differences between believers and unbelievers

d. If it is scary to you; it should be!

2. Verses 4, 5b, & 7b all refer to darkness

a. The unbelievers are indeed children of darkness

b. They are the ones who say, “no worries,” they have bumper stickers that say “no fear”

c. They are secure and not concerned about God’s intervention

3. They are illustrated for us clearly in Scripture

a. Those who heard Noah preach, but expected no flood

b. Lot’s family (sons-in-law) that he warned of impending judgment and he was as one who mocked

i. There is some preaching here
ii. If we fail to teach our children the fear of the Lord, they will not
iii. When God begins judging, our words will seem as one who mocks!

c. Zephaniah 1:12 warned of coming wrath and the men lived relaxed, they say the Lord will do neither good nor evil

i. They think if God were real He would be intervening in this day
ii. Today has been like yesterday, God did not intervene yesterday; therefore, He will not intervene tomorrow

4. In every congregation, there are some who hear but do not hear; who have a false sense of security and continue on in darkness and making themselves drunken on the things of this life

a. Suddenly, Jesus will come

b. Destruction waits and there will be no place to hide nor escape

B. Brethren; Children Of The Day; The Expectant Believer V 4-5, 6b, & 8

1. Verse 8 describes the believer that has faith, love, and hope of salvation

a. They are sure of salvation

b. They are living by faith

c. They are exercising brotherly love for all men

d. They have hope (a glad expectation)

2. Verse 6b teaches this produces a sober (temperate, self-controlled) life, truly believing Jesus will come

a. They have eyes wide open

b. They are looking for that blessed hope; they love His appearing

c. They are ready mentally

d. They are not drunk by booze, pleasure, and worldly pursuit; they are happily expecting Jesus to come

3. Verses 9-10 When we do not walk in darkness, we need not dread the Day of the Lord

a. We are not appointed to the wrath of that day!

b. We are appointed to salvation or deliverance! That is happy stuff!

C. Believers Who Sleep V 6-7

1. This is not the sleep of death, as in the previous chapter

a. There are three primary words in the New Testament used for sleep

i. ὕπνος- hypnotic
ii. κοιμάω- to sleep, be calm, be quiet
iii. καθεύδω- one who is indifferent towards their salvation

b. “Asleep” here is a metaphor it means those that are spiritually asleep

c. This type of sleep is because of indifference towards what Jesus has done for you

2. This is not difficult to understand

a. Let us say you must make a trip through western Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and into Colorado

b. A winter storm watch is out

c. You wear a T-shirt and windbreaker; you have slick tires on your car; you ignore checking the anti-freeze. No! Wake up!

d. Having been warned, you pack extra warm protection, put on mud and snow tires, get a set of tire chains, and do a thorough check for anti-freeze and de-icer and windshield scrapers. You are ready!

3. A “storm warning” is out

a. The Day of the Lord is coming

b. The believer is watching and waiting and warning others of the storm


Do Not Be Spiritually Asleep At The Return Of The Lord

1. We know the signs of sleep

a. Fatigue- I am tired of going to church, I am tired of reading my Bible, or I am tired of praying

b. A depressed level of alertness- not paying attention to sermons and not hearing the Holy Spirit speaking to you

2. These ought to be warning signs that we can be caught off guard

Be Alert And In The Light

1. Light chases away darkness

2. Be involved in church, read your Bible, pray, study, and soul win

3. Ask God to help you be prepared and be ready for the Lord’s return

4. Put on your armor and be ready as a warrior


I cannot tell you when Jesus will come. I do not know the day or hour. I do know He is coming. I know we can be ready

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