Commentary on "Final Events (1 Thess. 5:111)"
Day 4: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - The Believer's Advantage (1 Thess. 5:4, 5)
Today’s lesson discusses verses 4-5 from 1 Thessalonians 5, and the lesson is called “The Believer’s Advantage”. The lesson again emphasizes the advantage of being ready and ends with a discussion of day/night, darkness/light triggered by verses 4-5:
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 ESV)
The question is asked, “What is the spiritual meaning of metaphors such as light and day, darkness and light? what aspects of your life could be described as light or as darkness?
Paulien attempts to answer the questions about light and dark by referring the reader to Psalm 119:105 where the psalmist says the Bible is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path”. He also states, “Prophecy is given so that we can have enough information in order to be spiritually prepared for whatever lies ahead, “ and the concludes with a challenge to spend “serious time in the Word of God.”
In other words, Paulien is explaining Paul’s words that the people who are not children of darkness but of the light and of the day are those who read Scripture diligently.
Paulien has missed the most important message os Scripture: it is Jesus who is the Light of men:
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5 ESV)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7 ESV)
Moreover, Jesus Himself chastised the Jewish leaders for their intellectual pursuit of Scripture:
And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:37-40 ESV)
Unless a person is open to knowing the Lord Jesus, unless a person is willing to admit his natural condition as a person condemned to eternal punishment unless he believes in the Lord Jesus (John 3:18), unless a person is born again (John 3:3-6), he will not be walking in the light simply by poring over Scripture. Millions of people have assiduously read Scripture but have twisted its meanings because they impose their own analysis onto God’s word instead of allowing God’s word to define and inform them.
William Miller, for example, spent hours concocting his 15 proofs that Jesus would come in October of 1844, yet he was completely wrong. He used Scripture to arrive at those conclusions…but he misused Scripture.
Unless we receive the verdict of Scripture on our own lives and submit ourselves to God and His word, repenting of our sin and receiving the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin by faith in Him, we will not understand Scripture, and we will not be walking in the light.
Scripture does not have the power to save us or to make us righteous. It only reveals the truth. Unless we are receptive to that truth and submit to it, it will not change us.
We walk in the light only when we receive the Lord Jesus. He IS the Light. Scripture then changes us and teaches us what is real and true—but until we submit to the One in whom there is no darkness at all, we will simply not be in the light.
Paul’s words to the Thessalonians were words of comfort because they were walking in the light. They knew Jesus and were born again. They did not have to fear being surprised by the day of the Lord because they knew the Lord. Any moment He decided to return would be a moment of joy for the born again!
The word of God truly is His personal revelation of truth and of His will to us. But it will not change us or cause us to be children of the day unless we submit to the One who wrote it.
We must hold the Bible over our own minds and must not put our own minds over the Bible. It must tell us the truth about ourselves, and we must receive what it say about Jesus.
If we do not place our faith in Jesus and become born again, we are not Christians. If we are not Christians, God’s word will not make sense to us.
Copyright 2012 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised August 27, 2012. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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