Getting Ready

Key Verse: “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—I Thessalonians 5:9

Selected Scripture:
I Thessalonians
4:13-18; 5:2-11

IN THIS LESSON THE Apostle Paul is addressing the children of light who have obtained salvation by our Lord Jesus. They are endeavoring to make themselves ready as members of the bride of Christ, and are awaiting the marriage, as written later, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”—Rev. 19:7

The calling to this prospective bride class has gone out to the followers of Christ during this Gospel Age, and will end when the present harvest period will have completed its work. We believe that our Lord Jesus is now present, and that various signs of the times indicate that this calling and invitation will soon be completed.

While referring to these times and seasons, Paul writes, “Yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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.” (I Thess. 5:2,3) This ‘day of the Lord,’ which is hidden from the worldly wise, but revealed to the watchers, is a time of much distress among the nations. It has been marked as a time when efforts have been made to bring peace and security to the world, but to no avail. It is also likened to the travail that a woman experiences before delivering her child, and represents the spasms of trouble that have come over the earth, especially since World War I. But, as the apostle wrote, the world cannot escape this time of trouble any more than can a woman escape the pains of travail.

Paul continues, “Ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (vss 4,5) True followers of our Lord are ‘children of light,’ and ‘of the day,’ whereas others who are less careful in spiritual things are associated with ‘night’ and ‘darkness.’ Those who walk in the light and are part of the day, are among the watchers. They have been enlightened with the word of Truth, and are not intoxicated with the false doctrines or cares of this world. The apostle admonishes, “Let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.” (vss. 6,7) We are to watch the signs, and our conduct, in a perverse world.

“Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” (vs. 8) Paul is giving us guidelines to follow, and those who have the spirit of a sound mind in the ways of Truth and righteousness will respond to them in a positive way.

Because of intense persecution some brethren in Thessalonica had died. Paul assures the Thessalonian brethren that they will be resurrected at our Lord’s return. Those of the faithful who are living at that time will not precede those who had died, but as they die will be joined with the others to be forever with the Lord.—I Thess. 4:13-18, New Revised Standard Version

As the time draws closer for the fulfillment of all our hopes, let us continue to make ourselves ready for that blessed relationship with our Lord in the kingdom.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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