1 Thessalonians 5:1-9(selected) But as to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night . . . But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; . . . since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
There are times and seasons we regularly live with. We know that you don’t send Christmas Cards in February. We know you don’t send in your taxes late. We know that if we send a belated birthday card, we better have a pretty good excuse. We are pretty good about observing the times and seasons of the world – but when it comes to God, often we are uncertain.
There are a lot of people out there who claim to be able to tell us more about God’s times and seasons – and as there are a lot of pages in the bible, sometimes we doubt that we know all we should – our doubt says – maybe you missed something important, or didn’t understand what it really meant. What about Y2K, mideast peace, all the wars, and disasters, and major accidents? Some people wonder if the good times can really go on forever – others wonder when the good times will begin. There is even something called the FUD factor – an equation which will help guide you on the effects of fear uncertainty and doubt on certain events.
So in the midst of all this, what do you do? You listen to God’s Word! When you listen to God’s Word, you find out that God has already done everything necessary, he has even told us how to be ready, and prepared – how to know the seasons – but most of all, how to avoid the pitfall of fear, uncertainty and doubt. It is a simple word – FAITH. Faith isn’t something we do, and much as it is something God gives and creates. Faith knows God will, and trusts God word, for it is through faith that we see God, and know he is trustworthy, know that he has created everything, know that he will preserve creation, know that His salvation is complete. So as God gives faith, he also gives the fuel to keep faith going – and that is His Word, the Bible. The Bible builds us up, and keeps us going – the Word guides our way and brings us to our destination.
When we drive, we usually check our gas gauge, to see if we have enough fuel to reach our destination, if not we get some. In life, when our bodies need fuel, they let us know it in a variety of ways. Do you know the signal when your soul is calling for more fuel? Of course you know where to find the fuel, and how to put it in.
Now, here is the reason why we won’t be surprised by the day of the Lord. Its something that the Gospel lesson suggests – for when we were called by the gospel, we were each given the opportunity to work with God to advance his kingdom, telling others about the salvation which is by grace through faith in Christ. These opportunities have been given us based on the gifts God has given us, and there are enough to keep us busy all the days of our life. Those people who use what God has given them, don’t have time to sit and worry about when the end will come, because each day, they are busy doing what God gives them to do, and they enjoy it. When they times comes, they will be ready, because they have been ready all along – and because they have been busy, it will seem like a very short time. However, those who have received God’s gifts and buried them, and ignored the opportunities to serve God – they are the ones who wonder how much longer – they are not ready now, although they say they will get ready later, as they don’t know the time – they will most certainly never get around to it – don’t be a round tuit – use the gifts God has given you, make the most of the opportunities that present themselves each day.
There are 3 things that remain until the end – faith, hope, and love. This is the armor God has given us that we might be prepared always.