The Day of the Lord: 5:1-11.
Paul points out that the Thessalonians have no need for him to write about the day of the Lord. For they know that it will come like a thief in the night unexpectedly. Paul identifies the Old Testament “Day of the Lord “with the second coming of Christ. Paul first focuses on the negative aspects of the Day of the Lord. It will be a time of judgment and destruction. The time of His coming is unknown to the angels and to Christ himself (Mat 24:36). It will surprise the unbelievers and will be like the day of Noah. Paul also compares this to a woman’s labor pain. People are saying, there is peace and security, then suddenly destruction will come upon them as labor pain come upon a pregnant woman. There were slogans of peace and safety in the Roman Empire. Paul says that the destruction of the Day of the Lord will be sudden and certain, and there will be no escape. But for believers, the Day of the Lord will not scare them. The former example of thief does to apply to them because they are children of light and of the day (5:5). Paul admonishes them to be on their guard and be sober minded . Meanwhile Christians should take advantage of every opportunity to serve Jesus Christ. God who saved us is not destined us for the wrath to come but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (5:9). Christ died to save us and his resurrection is the basis of our glorious hope (5:10). Christ’s death and His resurrection guarantee that we will live with him forever (John 14:19). Paul exhorts Thessalonians to continue to encourage one another and build one another up in the faith (Rom 14:19). This happens only through prayer, fellowship and worship among the believers. Ask God to give you a hunger for His word.
Paul’ final Exhortations; 5:12-15.
Paul ends his epistle with several instructions. He calls believers the term “brethren” indicating his affection for them. Ministry not motivated by love and affection is ineffective. Paul asks readers to know and appreciate the leadership in the church. They should be esteemed highly and loved for their work among them. They are worthy of double honor (1 Tim 5:17). Paul sums up the Christian responsibility in verses 14 and 15. They should warn the idle and encourage the fainthearted. They are discouraged and depressed people. It is their responsibility to help the weak and to show patience to all (5:14). They should warn those who are unruly and lazy. Unruly believers are disorderly and follow their own traditions and selfish ideas (2 Thess 3:6, 11). The spiritually weak should be encouraged and be supported. And be patient towards all people. Never pay back evil with evil but always seek to do good to each other and to everyone (5:14-15). Overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21). God's is the foundation for our obedience.
Have an Attitude of Gratitude: 5:16-18.
Paul encourages believers to have a Christ-like attitude. Christians should rejoice always. No matter what happens, God wants us to rejoice recognizing that He is in control of all our circumstances. He is our Lord and nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:38-39). God works all things for his glory and our good (Rom 8:28). We can rejoice that God has a purpose in mind for whatever we are going through (2 Cor 12:10). God has given His Word so that our joy may be full (John 15:11; 1 John 1:4). Apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ (Acts 5:41). They were sorrowful, yet always rejoicing and making many spiritually rich (2 Cor 6:10). We are commanded to rejoice always in the Lord (Phil 4:4). Christians should pray without ceasing (5:17). Prayer is our lifeline to God. God is not indifferent towards the object or manner of our prayer. We should pray to God through Christ in the Spirit (Mat 6:9; John 14:13-14; Jude 20). God’s ears are opened to our prayers (Palms 34:15). Christians should be a thankful people for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus (5:16-18). Give thanks in all circumstances. No matter what happens, God wants us to be thankful. It is the highest exercises of memory (Psalms 103:1-3). Thankful people are joyful people. It is the antidote for worry (Psalms 50:23; Phi 4:6). It is a sin not to be thankful (Rom 1:21). Praising God is the music of our soul. Thanksgiving does exalt and adore God for who he is and what he has done. It encourages and energizes believers (Psalms 147). One of the marks of last days is ingratitude (2 Tim 3:2). God does not merely tell us what to do; he also change our will so that we want to do what he desires. Pray that God would increase our desire to serve him.
Paul’s Warnings: 5:19-22.
God does not merely save our souls to take us to heaven but he changes us inside out by his Spirit to do his will on earth. Paul warns the Thessalonians about their responsibilities. Do not quench the Spirit. God has given us spiritual gifts. When we fail to use these gifts for the edification of believers, we are quenching the Spirit. It is parallel to despising prophecies. A clean hand and pure heart is a prerequisite to stir our gifts for God’s glory (Psalms 24:3). When we grieve the Holy Spirit by living in sin, God can’t use us (Ephesians 4:30). Those who scoff or belittle the prophecies
( Word ministry) can’t be blessed. Prophecy refers to sound teaching of the Word of God. Paul encourages to test all things and to hold on to what is good. We are told to test the spirit (1 John 4:1). This is done by applying the spiritual principles already given in the Bible. Christians should keep away from every kind of evil (5:22; Rom 16:19). We should not hinder the work of the Lord but test the spirit of those who claim to be religious to influence people by their teaching. Gospel is indeed the message of salvation and transformation!
Paul concludes the epistle with prayer for Thessalonians. He commits Thessalonians to the God of peace, who alone can make them holy. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul had the confidence that the God of peace is faithful to make them holy and their spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (5:23). He prays that God would preserve them wholly from shame at the coming of Christ. Paul was confident that God who called them is faithful and He will surely do it (5:24). Body gives physical consciousness, soul gives self consciousness and spirit gives God consciousness. God who saves us is faithful to keeps us from falling and present us blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy (1 Pet 1:5; Jude 24). The believers are responsible to live the Christian life depending upon the faithfulness of God. Paul requests prayer from the brethren. There is an endearment in his request. He greets the brethren with a holy kiss. Paul commands them to read this letter to all the brethren. Paul ends the epistle by wishing them the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s grace is the saving, sustaining, strengthening, restraining and restoring grace. May God bless my readers with His grace, peace and hope!