corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

1 Thessalonians 5



Other Authors
Verses 1-28

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

It will be a great surprise to the wicked. It will take them at unawares. Just at that moment when they least expect it will Christ come; and as the thief comes to destroy and to kill, so will the coming of Christ be the death of their carnal ease — the destruction of their earthly hopes.

1 Thessalonians 5:3. 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.

A terrible text that “They shall not escape.” They shall not escape by their own power or force or wisdom. They shall not escape even by the annihilation which they might well desire, but which shall not come to them. They shall not escape.

1 Thessalonians 5:4. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

You know that Christ will come. You expect the dissolution of this present state. To you therefore, it will come as one who calls at daytime. You cannot know the hour. You must not know it; but since you know that he will come, and come to your joy; and since you are in the light, you look with gladness to that coming.

1 Thessalonians 5:5-6. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others;

If we were children of the night, sleep is a proper occupation for the night; but as we are the children of the day, let us not sleep as others.

1 Thessalonians 5:6. But let us watch and be sober.

Watchfulness and sobriety are appropriate duties for the day. To be ever serving our Lord with constancy, and to keep ourselves from the fascinations of the world which make men’s minds drunk — may these two things be our daily care.

1 Thessalonians 5:7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

There are a few who have reached to such a pitch of shameless idleness that they sleep in the day, and there are others who have come to such a state of debauchery that they are drunken in the day. But this is not the common way of things, nor even in the judgment of the most licentious of the world is this at all a proper state of things. “They that sleep sleep in the night. They that are drunken are drunken in the night.” Let us who are of the day be sober, and let us of course be awake, but let us be more than awake, since watchfulness is here joined to wakefulness, and watchfulness in a soldier requires that his armor be on. So Paul pushes the parallel a little farther.

1 Thessalonians 5:8. But 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.

Soldiers when they sleep put off their armor; but in the day when they are awake and on their guard they wear their armor, and are ready for the fray. See how much is involved in Christian wakefulness. God help us to carry out every virtue to its legitimate consequences, not to be wakeful after a fashion, but wakeful after God’s fashion.

1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

In making us children of light, he gave evidence that our appointment was for the light — that his eternal ordinances were that through the light of gospel grace we should enter into the light of eternal glory by and by. “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:10. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

They who have served their day and generation, when they sleep are not parted from their Lord. They become not the children of the darkness by that fact, for he died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we should live together with him. Whether we are living here or living there, we shall still live together with him.

1 Thessalonians 5:11. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

The more of this the better. Christian people should constantly converse with one another for mutual edification.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.

You see, in the church of old they edified one another, but for all that they did not cast off God’s ordinance of Christian ministry. There was rule in the church then as there should be now; and the apostle, when he speaks of this individual edification, this mutual instruction, does not forget to notice those who were the pastors of the flock. He says, “Know them which labour among you and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”

1 Thessalonians 5:13. And be at peace among yourselves.

How can a church prosper if it is not?

1 Thessalonians 5:14-16. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore.

Here follows a string of Christian precepts a golden chain. “Rejoice evermore.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17-19. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.

Do not despise his operations, either in yourselves or in your brethren. Do not quench him by neglect, much less by open opposition.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-22. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Not from that which other people choose to think evil, but from all real evil whatever it is — even from the very shadow that it casts and the shape which it assumes.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-26. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

Give one another a hearty shake of the hands. That is the western interpretation of the eastern form. Outward forms differ. The inward sense abides the same. Let brotherly love continue in a hearty friendliness among yourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:27-28. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology