1 Thessalonians 5

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Read 1 Thessalonians 5

The Day of the Lord

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong,but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Go Deeper

The Good News of the Gospel assures us that through the death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our sins have been forgiven; we have been reconciled with God and receive the promise of eternal life in Jesus. This promise of living forever with Christ allows Christ-followers to live with hope. When our time on earth comes to an end, heaven and eternity with Christ await. Paul taught this truth to the Thessalonians, and this chapter reminds them that the date on which Jesus will return is unknown. It could be tomorrow; it could be next year; it could be in 1,000 years. We do not know. We do know, however, His return will be unexpected like a “thief in the night.”

So, as we await Christ’s return, Paul instructs the church to be awake and sober. When we are awake, we are alert and ready. Wakefulness aligns with daytime and light. God is light. Jesus-followers have the light of life (John 8:12). We are called to let our light shine before others (Matt 5:16). Having this light and being “awake” requires that we live each day aware of God’s presence with the readiness to welcome Christ’s return. “Be on guard, keep awake.” These are Jesus’ words (Matt 13:33). 

To be sober means “free from intoxicating influences.” Any influences that drive us away from God inhibit our ability to be sober. Instead, we are to think and act on whatever is honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). Just as the sun brings us light each morning, we must be vigilant and unwavering in our effort to be sober-minded. Let us fix our thoughts on truth and not be lulled into earthly ways of living and thinking.

Paul’s final instructions to the Thessalonians address how to treat various groups of people, ranging from hard-working leaders to disruptive and difficult individuals. He encourages believers to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. These verses should be written on our hearts, reminding ourselves with each sunrise. And while we do not know the day of Jesus’ return, we know with confidence that He will return. May we be faith-filled and put our trust in God until that day comes. 


  1. If Christ returned tomorrow, would you have any regrets?
  2. Are you awake, in the spiritual sense? Romans 13:11 provides additional insight. It may be helpful to read different translations of the Bible.
  3. Is there anything drawing you away from God today?

Listen Here

Listen to Hillsong Worship’s song “King of Kings.” The link is the lyric video, which is helpful as we pay close attention to the words of this powerful worship song. 

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5 thoughts on “1 Thessalonians 5”

  1. What sweet encouragement is received through Paul’s words as we live in the tension of this broken world. He carefully lays out a checklist of how we are to love and support one another. We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus and partner with him in encouraging each other. When we do our lives will be marked by respect, peace, patience, joy and gratitude as we interact with one another. We will avoid laziness, revenge, grumbling, and evil like a plague. I needed this reminder today as truthfully I’m weary and needed the reminder to stay alert and press on knowing I’m protected with the armor of Christ and the Holy Spirit. I noted in V12 we are instructed to honor our church leaders with our support and love. At HCBC, God has placed and is raising up gifted people to lead us, and how grateful I am to be under their teaching and leadership. They are God’s favor to us, and I deeply appreciate them.

  2. Yes! Amen!

    8 “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.“

    Lord, let me “belong to the day”!

  3. I love verse 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I hear all the time what is God’s will? Well there it is. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks in ALL circumstances!!!! Then we have these things we can and should be doing. Build one another up; respect leaders; hold leaders in highest regard; live in peace; encourage the timid; warn the idle; help the weak; be patient; resist revenge; be joyful; pray continually; give thanks; do not quench the Spirit of God; don’t treat prophecies with contempt; avoid any kind of evil; count on God’s constant help. I am so thankful for HC, leadership, Godly people in my life, my family and my job.

    Thank You God for Your will. Thank You for You as my Shepherd. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit. God thank You for these minutes of this day to praise You, rejoice in You, to pray for my world and Your prompting of the Holy Spirit in what to pray for in Jesus name amen

  4. Diane Frances Rogers

    5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on FAITH and LOVE as a breastplate, and the HOPE of salvation as a helmet. The armor of Christ. My Re-gen leader prayed this over us often and it gave me encouragement to push through to the finish line. I agree with the above comments on the leadership of HC. Their example of Christ-like living is authentic, humble, kind and genuinely honest. Their transparency teaches me to trust and know that this is a safe place. I am grateful, Abba that the path I prayed for led me here and this community. Thank you, sweet and precious Father, for pouring your love on me through these leaders. Bless them with your favor, In Jesus name, Amen.

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