Get Ready For Take Off   Part 4

1 Thessalonians 5:4-11


Today is our final study in this series on the rapture Get ready for take off!

A) Studying thru 1 Thessalonians – stopped here to take an in-depth look at the Rapture !


Part1 Why the rapture is a Biblical concept.

Part 2 Why the rapture will take place before the tribulation starts.

Part 3 How we are to be aware of the times and the seasons leading up to the rapture.


Today part 4 – How we should be living in light of these things.            RD v.1-11


We noted in our study last time that the rapture is going to occur like a thief who comes in the night.

A) In other words – It is going to happen at an unexpected time.   { Saying peace and safety


B) That is how it is going to occur to those who are unbelievers – it will catch them totally off guard

1) Rapture is the beginning of that time period known as the day of the Lord


C) 7 yrs of Tribulation – 1,000 yr reign of Christ –


D) But it starts with the rapture – catches an unbelieving world off guard

1) But not us who know the Lord – why? 

Because we are aware of the times and the seasons – We see what is happening in our World today

A) Signs in Israel / signs in Technology / Signs in Europe – signs in the world.


B) So Paul says: v.4


But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.


C) Our world is a diverse mixture of ethnic groups, cultures, languages, religions, and political systems.

1) Yet despite all of those distinctions, there are only two kinds of people in the world.


D) There are believers and unbelievers; the redeemed and the unredeemed; the saved & the lost;

1)  those in the kingdom of God and those in the kingdom of darkness;


2)  Or as someone humorously put it, the saints and the ain'ts.


Col.1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,”



That is an incredible picture that Paul paints there in Colossians.

A) We were a part of one Kingdom  - darkness – who’s king is Satan – Goal is to Kill, rob, Destroy!


B) But we have been rescued out of that horrible Kingdom delivered out of the dark night of sin, ignorance, rebellion, and unbelief.


C) AND brought into the kingdom of God !

1) Delivered = rescued and drawn to himself


D) God took us out that He might take us in!


So Paul’s exhortation here is live like you are of the day!

A) Beginning in v.6 He gives us some practical insight into what that looks like.  RD v. 6-8


Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.


But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the

breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.


#1 Wake up !   Therefore let us not sleep, as others do!


The word Sleep here spiritually  speaks of having a Careless  Indifference.

A) I don’t care type of attitude! - 


B) Drowsy Christians are Drowning Christians!


C) It is time to be awake! 


Rom 13:11

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.


I heard about an old farmer that had a grandfather clock that went haywire and chimed fourteen times one midnight.

He jumped up and said, “Wake up, Nellie, it’s later than it’s ever been before.”


PEOPLE:  it’s later than it’s ever been before.  Time to wake up


Causes of Spiritual Drowsiness?

1) Sin – Samson


A) Samson great potential – But he lived in a world of compromise – touching unclean


B) Ungodly women – Result: He lost his sensitivity to the Lord.


Judges 16:20

So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!" But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.


There was but one crack in the lantern, and the wind found it and blew out the candle. How great a mischief one unguarded point of character may cause us!

One spark blew up the ammunition and shook the whole country for miles around. One leak sank the vessel and drowned all on board. One wound may kill the body, one sin destroy the soul. -   Charles Haddon Spurgeon,


2) Lack of Fellowship:

John Bunyan, in Pilgrims Progress, tells of Christian & Hopeful journeying to the Celestial city.


He said,

“To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.”


Christians who isolate themselves & walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy.


Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


Fellowship is meant to Stir us up!

A) Stay in Christian company0 And, you will be kept wakeful by it; & be refreshed & encouraged by it 


B) Keep your conversations on Jesus!

3) In activity: It is hard to fall asleep when you are working – { Pastor with foot on the desk – Pastor


If I rest, I rust.

   Martin Luther


It is better to wear out than to rust out.

   George Whitefield


Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so inaction saps the vigor of the mind.

   Leonardo da Vinci




4) Prayerlessness: Jesus told his disciples to pray – instead they were sleeping


Peter reacts in the flesh –


So the First thing Paul tells us to do is to Wake up – Stop sleeping !


#2 Watch:

A) Watching – It is the opposite of indifference. It involves alertness!


It was Lee and Margaret’s first date:  After an hour she assumed she was being stood up – PJ’s raided the pantry for her favorite snacks – snuggled on the couch with her dog – to watch TV.


After about an hour she hears a knock on the door – she goes to answer it – It is Lee – He takes one look at her

And says: I am two hours late – and you are still not ready !


Fear that is the sad case with some believers today: Jesus is not late – but He has delayed his coming

A) People who were once fervent in their faith have put on  their PJ’s fallen asleep



B) Stay alert – Kids waiting for Dad to come home

1) Car in the driveway - 


“The Lion of persecution might not be a threat to us, but we are being hugged by the Bear of this world.” {we are comfortable in his warm, furry arms, but he’s slowly squeezing & the church doesn’t feel it!}


Lessons from the Titanic they ignore the Warnings


# 2 Watch #3 – Be Sober

A) Where Watching is more mental, sober is more moral!


B) In contrast to the drunken stupor that envelops night people, day people are also sober.


C) To be sober means to be free from the influence of intoxicants.

1) A sober person exhibits self-control, lives a serious, balanced, calm, steady life, and maintains proper priorities.


D) Just as sleep and drunkenness define night people's insensitivity to spiritual reality,

1) so alertness and soberness describe day people's sensitivity to it.


William Hendriksen notes:

The sober person lives deeply. His pleasures are not primarily those of the senses, like the pleasures of the drunkard for instance, but those of the soul. He is by no means a Stoic. On the contrary, with a full measure of joyful anticipation he looks forward to the return of the Lord, but in doing so he does not run away from his task!


Take life seriously; reach out to people, love them, help them, offer salvation to them!


To further this idea of being alert and watchful Paul uses the image of a Solider.

V. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation


A) A soldier's breastplate protected his vital organs, the area where he was most vulnerable.


B) It was the ancient equivalent of a bulletproof vest.


C) Interesting that this Breastplate is Characterized by two layers:  Faith and Love


We are admonished to Love the Lord with all of our Heart – soul …our mind. { Faith = tough outer layer

A) Faith starts with the Mind -  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word


B)Faith is based on Facts - Faith Stands on the word

1) Sophomore year of High School


C) Know what you believe and why is so important

1) Know what you believe and why – Paul Little

     Rez factor by Josh McDowell


D) Faith provides a good defense against temptation because Satan seeks to tempt us to doubt God

1) Eve in the Garden – Did God really say


E) God is lying to you { Doubt his word and his heart

Listen as believers can trust God's Person.

A) He will never deviate from His nature as revealed in Scripture, but will always act consistently with His attributes.


B) The writer of Hebrews declared of God the Son, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb 13:8).


Second, believers can trust God's power.

God rhetorically asked Abraham, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord?" (Gen 18:14).


Third, believers can trust God's promises.

A) All the promises are Yes and Amen in Christ –  2 Cor 1:20


B) Because Jesus rose – All true all for me !


Fourth, believers can trust God's sovereign plan, which can neither be halted nor hindered.


Through Isaiah the prophet, God declared, "I act and who can reverse it?" (Isa 43:13).


C) When We are trusting in the Lord’s Person / Power / Promises and Sovereign Plan  -

1) Our Faith is built up


So If faith forms the hard, protective outer surface of a Christian’s breastplate, then love is its soft inner lining.

A) Love toward God involves delight in and devotion to God as our supreme object of affection


B) Love is the MOTIVATOR – staying awake /

1) First date with Denise – fell asleep drive home – wasn’t far


C) Love sparks heart -  Motivator – be engaged in service –


D) Not Brownie points – Response to his Love


Great deterrent against worldly living

A) Loving the Lord or Loving Self


B) Great motivator to hang in there thru difficulties in marriage / friendships

1) Love God and trust Him !


C) Not for me – not for kids – for the Lord


D) So the breastplate = Faith and Love


E) Helmet the hope of Salvation

1) Helmet is our Hope – What Hope ?




For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.


Right now you have an appointment, either to wrath or to salvation.

A) Unbeliever -  Wrath – Tribulation time – Hell


B) But if you are a Christian – not appointment to obtain wrath but Salvation -  already saved – but here talking the culmination = HEAVEN


C) Why are we not appointed unto Wrath ? Jesus paid it all !


Joel 3:14 “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”


V.11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also  are doing.

A) Note : Paul again tells us not to take comfort, but to give comfort.


B) Comfort one another -  times like this we need to be reminding each other – this is not Home !

1) Comfort = to encourage – keep going !


C) Edify = Build up

1) Don’t grow weary in well doing – due season reap