Roberts’s ears were not happy with what his eyes were also seeing. There were a half of a dozen young men, college students. Five were laughing together by the steps of one of the entrances to the library. A friend, at least it looked like they knew each other came walking up with a cheerful disposition. Obviously he, like Robert, was heading into the library.
The group of guys had a louder-than-the-others boisterous type. You have heard them before you have seen them in your lifetime. He was calling the strolling student by name and gesturing for him to come over. Almost anticipating some friendly interchange, Robert’s mind sneered as the five berated the supposed friend, mocking him because of his appearance, size and pedigree. It was not funny no matter how much they laughed.
Robert called his name only because he had heard the bullies use it. “It is great to connect with you. We are chemistry lab partners. Are you ready to get started on the assignment?” Without even slowing down, Robert snatched this total stranger’s arm and led him into the library.
“Thanks,” whoever you are, “I did not know how to get out that mess. Are we really chemistry lab partners?”
“Nope,” Robert chuckled, “you would not want me for a Chem part. I don’t know one end of a test tube from the other.”
“Well, then,” smiled the victim of the bullies, “get ready to get your first A in the class because this is one my specialties.”
Do you remember being surprised by very bad circumstances that did not seem to have a way out? Have you experienced a surprise solution that was a total relief? Prophecy for Christians will be like that.
Not all people on the earth are the same. Some are of the darkness while others are of the light. Those who are in darkness are lost in sin. They have no knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior or they may have even rejected the news of Jesus’ death and Resurrection as personal gifts to them. Without a redeemed soul they live in sin, hurt other people, take advantage of others for their own gain or in this story their own sport. They are dastardly types. These are people of darkness.
Paul distinguishes the Thessalonian believers as in total contrast to them. They will not be shocked or surprised when the Day of Lord comes. Instead, as sons of light, we who belong to the Lord will be alert not asleep.
Linked closely with those who are of the light and those who are in contrast with those who are in the darkness is the characteristic of self-control. Selfish people, like bullies and those who insult others are not of God. Those who are of the light control the self-absorbed.
Unbelievers are in trouble when it comes to the Day of the Lord. Like those who are asleep and not sensing any personal dangers that are about to consume them, they are in a pitiful situation. It is not a set of circumstances which they are just innocent victims. Rather, their spiritual choices, personal pride and unbelief are the reasons that they cannot see any spiritual truth.
Getting drunk is a metaphor that describes their lives. Something external pushes closer to spiritual disaster. Yet, they chose that life just as those who get drunk choose to imbibe in excess. They do this habitually. The solution is spiritual but they do not move in that direction but chose to dull their senses temporarily rather than consider eternal options and solutions through Jesus Christ.
People do not have to wonder if they are in the light if they so desire to be prepared for the Day of the Lord. Lives in Christ are in the light. Their lives validate truth by the faith, hope and love that they live
The solution for being prepared for the inevitable Day of the Lord is to enter into a permanent and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When a person does that by faith God appoints him to enjoy the benefits of salvation forever. That appointment includes a bypass of the suffering to come.
The suffering does not seem to be general difficulties that all humans experience. Instead, the context suggests that this is Tribulation that is introduced by the Day of the Lord. Those who are believers are not appointed to experience this horror on earth.
Salvation has one objective. It is about life. Life is gained by Jesus giving Himself as our substitute. He died for us so that we could live. That new life will be forever with Him.
Christians who know this truth about prophecy should live their lives encouraging each other. Tearing each other down is not an option for those who are Sons of the Day. Building each other up is the way that true believers live.
What would happen if everyone who wrote books in the Christian community only encouraged others? What if there were no print wars on controversial issues within the church? This exploration is not to be at all Pollyannaish but to wonder realistically about this amazing passage of Scripture.
Have you heard enough gossip, slander and sanctified bullying in the church? We all have, right? Let’s live like the Bible says. Let us be all about encouraging one another and building each other up. The Thessalonians were doing it. They are a great example to all of us.
LAPP (Life Application): We cannot change the bullies or stop those who use words or circumstances to demean others. However, we can take the initiative to step into the lives of others and press courage into their souls. Find someone every week to build up with genuine and sincere encouragement.
Thanks for joining me on this journey of living the Scriptures.