1 Thessalonians 5:8-22
Last Sunday the Lord shined His light for our hearts on passages of gratitude and thanksgiving. One of those we enjoyed is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. That encouraging passage rests in the midst of a larger one, where the hope of the rapture, the Blessed Hope, is set in sharp contrast with the dark pall of suffocating spiritual and moral blindness and stumbling that people will find themselves in when God pours out His wrath on them in the Great Tribulation – known as The Day of the Lord.
In verses 1-7, the state of humanity is darkly and miserably portrayed in its shock and dismay during that period. Then in verses 8-22 Paul the prophet breaks out into bright sunlight and shows what it means to live in the bright and beautiful daylight of the Son of God. The contrast between the status and the joy of those who are in the sunlight versus those caught in the darkness and gloom couldn’t be sharper!
All of this leads us as the Lord’s own children of light, into to that light, to be illuminated and warmed by it, to be instructed by it so we can lead hopeful and happy lives in Christ our Lord. Lives that are spiritually and morally fruitful, meaningful and enduringly rewardable. Paul here raises and answers the question: What does it mean to live in light of the rapture of the church?