The Second Advent and its Issues
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
But of the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you.…

I. THE APOSTLE TELLS THE THESSALONIANS IT WAS USELESS TO INQUIRE ABOUT THE PARTICULAR TIME OF CHRIST'S COMING (ver. 1). The event is certain — Christ will come, and there is a certain time divinely appointed for Christ's coming; but there was no need that St. Paul should write about that specially, and he had no revelation from heaven concerning it. Nor should we inquire into this secret "which the Father hath reserved in His own power." Christ Himself did not reveal "that day and hour" while on earth; for it was not included in His commission as the great Prophet of the Church; nor is it in that of His apostles. A vain curiosity desireth to know many things which there is no need soever of our knowing, and which if we knew them thoroughly would do us no good, but perhaps harm.

II. THE APOSTLE TELLS THEM THE COMING OF CHRIST WOULD BE A GREAT SURPRISE TO MOST MEN (ver. 2). And this is what they knew perfectly, or might know, because the Lord Himself had so said (Matthew 24:44). As the thief usually cometh in the dead time of the night, when he is least expected, such a surprise will the day of the Lord be — so sudden and surprising His appearance. And the knowledge of this fact will prove more useful than to know the exact time, because this will lead us to watch, that we may be ready whenever He cometh.

III. THE APOSTLE TELLS THEM HOW TERRIBLE WILL BE THE COMING OF CHRIST TO THE UNGODLY (ver. 3). It will be to their destruction. It will overtake and fall upon them in the midst of their carnal security and jollity; when they dream of felicity, and please themselves with vain amusements of their fancies or their senses, and think not of it. And it will be unavoidable destruction, too. "They shall not escape:" there will be no means possible for them to avoid the terror or the punishment of that day; no shelter from the storm, nor shadow from the burning heat that shall consume the wicked.

IV. THE APOSTLE TELLS THEM HOW COMFORTABLE THE COMING OF CHRIST WILL BE TO THE GODLY (vers. 4, 5). And here he sketches their character and privilege. They are "children of light." They were "sometime darkness, but were made light in the Lord." They were "the children of the day," for "the Sun of Righteousness had risen upon them with healing in His beams." They were not under the dark shadows of the law, but under the bright sunshine of the gospel, which brings life and immortality to light. But this, great as it is, is not all: the day of Christ will not overtake them as a thief, but will be "a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord." They "look for Him, and His appearance to them will be their full salvation."

(R. Fergusson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

WEB: But concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that anything be written to you.

The Profanity of Attempting to Determine the Time
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