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No Sleep Walking! (7 of 9)
Series: No Rest for the Righteous
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
What is the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don't know and I don't care! That's the way a lot of people feel about Christ's return. They don't know and they don't care. Yet, the Bible repeats this theme over and over again. Did you know that 27% of the Bible is prophecy? In the Old Testament there are over 1,800 references to Christ's return. Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are more than 300 references to Christ's return—one out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books give prominence to this subject. For every biblical prophecy concerning Christ's first coming, there are eight prophecies about His second coming. In spite of this biblical data, many of us are so familiar with end-times teaching that we have tuned out. This tendency reminds me of how we treat our alarm clocks. We have grown so accustomed to hearing them sound off that we can press snooze as we sleep right through the alarm warning us to rise from our slumber. In light of our human tendency to forget and ignore God's Word, Paul sounds a red alert: "Don't get caught sleeping!" In 1 Thess 5:1-11, Paul issues three exhortations to live in light of the last days.
1. Wise up to end-times doctrine (5:1-3). In this first section, Paul says we should be well-versed in biblical prophecy. He writes, "Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape" (5:1-3). Paul reminds the Thessalonians that they are well taught when it comes to end-times doctrine. Specifically, Paul has taught them about "the day of the Lord." The day of the Lord is that f ...
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