1 Thessalonians 5:1-5
But of the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you.…
There is a natural curiosity to know "the times and the seasons" connected with an event so transcendently important to the human race. "But of the times and the seasons ye have no need that I write unto you."
I. GOD HAS TIMES AND SEASONS IN HIS OWN POWER. It is solemnly true that "to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). God has "determined the times before appointed" (Acts 17:26). His Son came "in the fullness of time" (Galatians 4:4). There is often a curious periodicity in the great time-intervals marked in sacred history.
II. GOD HAS HID FROM MAN THE PRECISE DATE OF THE SECOND COMING. "Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32); "It is not for you to know the times and the seasons the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:7).
III. THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL BE PERFECTLY UNEXPECTED. "The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
1. It is the day of the Lord, as it is "the day of the Son of man. The day of God;" "the day of redemption," involving that of the body as well as the soul; "the last day," the day which winds up the destinies of the universe.
2. It will be sudden and unexpected. It will be "as a thief in the night," who comes without previous warning at such an hour as we are not looking for him. This is true, even though there may be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and distress of nations, and men's hearts failing them for fear (Luke 21.). These will be the first signs to break up the calm, but the wicked will not see them in their true light. There is nothing in the simile of the thief to justify the opinion that Jesus will come in the night.
IV. THE SECURITY OF THE WICKED. "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
1. Their condition is one of " peace," inner quiet, and "safety," external tranquility.
2. Their fate. "They shall not escape." It will be with them as with the men in the days of Noah and Lot (Matthew 24:36-39). The catastrophe will be as inevitable and as full of fear as in the case of a "woman in travail."
V. THE PREPAREDNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS. This lies in their character. "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
1. They were "not in darkness. They were sons of light, sons of the day." Darkness is the characteristic of the wicked.
(1) There is darkness in their understanding.
(2) There is darkness in their hearts. "Their foolish hearts are darkened."
(3) They walk in darkness, and therefore stumble and go astray.
(4) They live in darkness (Psalm 107:10), they belong to "the kingdom of darkness" (Colossians 1:13); they are under "the world-rulers of this darkness" (Ephesians 6:12).
(5) But the darkness does not hide them from God's vengeance.
2. Believers are "sons of light. Sons of the day."
(1) They walk in the light (1 John 1:7); for "he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
(2) They are in fellowship with God, for they cannot have it and walk in darkness (1 John 1:6, 7).
(3) They "have cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12).
(4) They are in fellowship with all believers; for "he that walketh in darkness hateth his brother" (1 John 2:9) - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.