1 Thessalonians 5:6-10
1 Th 5:6 (KJB)
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
Sleep - Figurative for being unaware, oblivious, ignorant, or unconscious to the subject or situation at hand
Watch - Be alert or be vigilant
Sober - Self-controlled or well-balanced
Here Paul is stating that since the Christians are people of the day, we must never sleep during the day. We are to remain vigilant, alert, and watching. Not only those things but while we are being vigilant, we do not be vigilant in a mode of rest, instead the Christian continues to work until the Lord returns or He takes us home through physical death. (Luke 19:13 KJV) And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. This means we are to be involved with the work of the Lord and not to put on white robes and sit on a mountain top and wait for the Lord to return. Our responsibility is to get the Gospel out to the entire world as we are commanded in the Great Commission. Many Christians are sleeping today by thinking that going to church is all that is required. That is false, we are to be involved seven days a week in sending forth the Gospel. There are some today who have believed they figured out the day of the Lordís return and they have stopped evangelizing and have focused on that date. They are, in essence, sleeping because they are not sending out the Gospel and the one who just goes to church are sleeping. If you have no involvement in sending forth the Gospel, then you are sleeping.
1 Th 5:7 (KJB)
For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
Drunken - Drunk to Intoxication
The world behaves toward the second of coming of Christ as the drunkard behaves toward reality. The drunkard will have all kinds of fantasies and plans but when they sober up, they do nothing but seek to get drunk again. They do not exist in reality because everything they say or do, it is not them that are making the big plans but the alcohol. It is the same with the unbeliever. They look at this world and think that it is a permanent reality but soon it will come to an end and then the permanent reality will manifest itself. Those who sleep, that is, avoid the second coming and those who are drunk, that is, those who see this life through their created philosophies which create a fantasy, will soon come face to face with reality when the Lord returns.
1 Th 5:8 (KJB)
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
(2 Tim 2:4 KJV) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. Here the Apostle Paul likens the vigilant Christian to a soldier. In 2 Timothy 2:4, the Christian is called a soldier because we are in the army of the Lord. A soldier has both defensive and offensive weapons. The defensive weapons mentioned here are the breastplate and helmet.
Helmet - The helmet was made of thick leather or brass and was designed to protect the head from blows received from an axe, sword, or even a club. This piece of armor protects the physical head but is likened to those who are truly saved. The helmet of the hope of salvation is there to protect the mind which is the new mind of Christ which we have received upon salvation. When Satan comes at us with false teachings and philosophies, it is like being attacked with a blunt instrument. When we wear that helmet of the hope of salvation, those false teachings will be unable to penetrate the renewed mind that we now possess. It is in our mind where we begin to ponder thoughts which could be detrimental to the Christian walk but when our mind is protected by that helmet, they will have no effect upon us nor will they affect our thinking concerning spiritual things. (Titus 2:13 KJV) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; One of the greatest areas of attack is the return of the Lord on the last day. Satan has convinced many that there will be no second coming. In fact, many Christians believe that the Lord comes for us in death. Just because the Lord has not returned yet, does not mean that He will not return. We must keep in mind that it is in His timing and not ours. This is why the helmet here is called the hope of salvation because we must keep our mind on the Lord and believing that He will return precisely on time. If we allow false teachings to penetrate our minds, it will cause us to sleep rather than stay vigilant. The helmet of the hope of salvation is designed to keep our minds stayed upon the Lord. (Isa 26:3 KJV) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Breastplate - The breastplate protected all the vital organs. To modernize it, you could compare it to a Kevlar vest which Police use to stop bullets. The breastplate of faith and love is one that the Christian wears as a result of becoming saved. The physical breastplate guarded the heart, lungs, and the other organs from sword, arrows, or even spear penetration. When the soldier was in battle, he would have been able to concentrate on winning the battle rather than worrying about being pierced, which would divide the mind and maybe cause him to lose concentration, and thus his life. It gave him a certain confidence to be able to give the extra strength to defeat his opponent. When we put on the breastplate of faith and love, we too, may also have the confidence that when we go into spiritual battle we need not worry that we will be pierced with whatever Satan is sending our way. Normally, the physical temptation will be easy to spot but it is the spiritual temptation, the accepting of unbiblical ideas, is what we have to be on our guard about. If we are wearing the breastplate, no matter how many times we are hit with false teachings, we will be unharmed. That is how we are able to stand in the presence of the enemyís attacks.
Now these are the offensive weapons that is mentioned here which the Christian possesses: Faith, love and hope
Faith - This is the ability to believe God when the conditions say donít. Faith is what we build our ministries on. (1 Th 1:3 KJV) Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; All the believers works are based on faith which is given to us as a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Love - This is the Agape love of God which is the unconditional, self-giving, and self-sacrificial love. We see this first and foremost in the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for the salvation of the Elect. Then we see this love in missionaries who give everything they have to bring the gospel to foreign lands at the risk of their own lives. This is the love that all Christians should be exuding toward the unsaved knowing their fate if they do not become saved and it should be given especially to other Christians, regardless of denomination.
Hope - Hope is the spiritual foresight given to each believer to realize the promises of God today, as if they already came to pass. Our hope is in the Lord and nothing in this world can engender hope. Since the world is passing away, what hope could we possibly have in it or in it systems?
When the believer builds their ministry on the faith which is given to us at salvation, we have the ability to assault the kingdom of Satan by bringing the Gospel to unbelievers. We do this with the love of God instilled in us because we want to see the best for others as we do for ourselves. (Mat 22:39 KJV) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. This is fulfilling the second great command. Then when we live in hope, no one can take that away from us because we believe that the promises of God are as if they are already fulfilled. These offensive weapons can be used as great evangelistic tools.
1 Th 5:9 (KJB)
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Hath appointed - Set, place, or put
Verse 9 is a continuation of the statement in the Greek. We are to live sober in the day with love, hope, and faith because these have been given to the believer upon salvation. This means that a person is saved who has the Holy Spirit living in them. Those whom the Lord has saved have not been appointed to wrath, which is Hell. The believer has obtained salvation from the Lord and Heaven is our destiny. This verse is not talking about bad situations here on earth because every believer has gone through them but is speaking about eternal damnation in Hell.
1 Th 5:10 (KJB)
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
(Heb 9:26 KJV) For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth and died for His people on Calvary and no matter what their condition is, that is, physically dead or alive, they will be with the Lord forever. (John 11:25 KJV) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: The Apostle Paul even wrote a similar encouragement to the church at Rome. (Rom 8:38-39 KJV) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. No matter what condition we are in, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. If a believer lives on the earth, they are in the presence of the Lord. If they physically die, they go to be in the presence of the Lord in Heaven. The fact is that since Christ died for His people, nothing can separate us from Him for all eternity.