A Little Background

In order to understand what I Thess. 5 is about, we need to know a couple of other things.  First, it is a continuation of the passage in chapter 4: 13-18  that we love so much for its promise that we need not sorrow at the death of a loved believer because we have the sure hope that we will see that person again.  The passage goes on to describe what we refer to as the Rapture of the Church, when all believers, both dead and alive,  will be snatched away to meet Jesus in the air, to remain with Him forever. 

Second, we need to understand eschatology.  The word itself comes from the Greek word for last, or final.  So eschatology is the study of last things, or the end times in relation to prophecy in God’s Word.  The Thessalonian Christians believed that Christ would return in their lifetime, and were becoming restless and confused as time passed and the great event did not happen. They believed that only those who were alive at the time of Christ’s return would enjoy that amazing experience, and all that was to follow. Paul is writing here to reassure them that everything is in God’s control.

Part of Paul’s purpose was to remind believers that, since the time of His coming is not revealed, we need to be ready at any moment.  That would include the readiness to meet Him with a pure heart, having lived godly in Christ Jesus as they had been taught. They were to be diligent  to be morally and spiritually ready. 

My mom was a wonderful hostess.  She was always prepared for “drop-in” company; always had something delicious she could serve up with coffee or iced tea.  Her house was always in order.  She was ready, prepared, and looking forward to the coming of her guests, whether they were expected or unexpected. That is how we are to look for the coming of Jesus.  We are to go about our daily tasks with the idea in mind that He could come at any time, and we must not be found unprepared. 

So now the scene is set, and we are ready to dig into I Thess. 5. 




3 thoughts on “A Little Background

  1. Kim Laird

    Love the personal touch, about your mother having her house always ready. What a good thing to keep in mind for all aspects of our lives.


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