1 Thess 5:1-11, Truly woke to the light.

Class Outline:

Title: 1 Thess 5:1-11, Truly woke to the light.


Wednesday April 19, 2023



So much of our culture has become overrun with wokeness. It has become the syllable that encapsulates the far-left in society.


The reason for using this term is simple enough. You were asleep. The man pulled the wool over your eyes and now you see and you are awake. It has to be a good thing.


But what if what you woke up to was a dream, i.e., it was a lie, it wasn’t real. We’ve all had these moments when we awaken from a dream and the dream still holds our consciousness and for a short time it is our reality, that is until we snap out of it. Much of what is called wokeness in the world is a lie. It’s a dream. You are not awake if you are still in a dream.


Being woke in the day is one of the main themes in the Bible. The Bible begins with it directly after the initial creation - “Let there be light.” Being woke spiritually is being of the light and of the day and seeing the light and walking in the light. It is the blessed life of every born-again believer. We have to choose to put it on and then get woke, or awake.




We need to know and be convinced of who we are in Christ. We did not change our spots [so to speak] when we became born again through faith in Christ. We were made new but the old, though dead, remains with us until death. We can be convinced that we’re not what the Bible says we are.


The inner self must awaken to the new birth.


This means that the truth about life is understood and lived energetically. We can too easily go to sleep in a world that doesn’t know Christ, nor care about Him.


Sleep or wake

Drunk or sober

Today keep your eyes on the words sleep and drunkenness. They are used to spiritual dullness or even nonexistence.


How excited are you for every day? The honest answer is a good indicator of how alert and sober you are spiritually.


We are going to see today that Paul separates believer and unbeliever into day and night. Unbelievers are of the night and they’re going to be shocked and terrified at Christ’s sudden and imminent coming. Believers are of the day, and to them the Day of the Lord is joyous - it is their fulfillment in finally entering into what they have longed for - the Day.


Our context is 1 Thessalonians. Paul began the church there and had to leave them soon after because of intense persecution. Months later Paul sent Timothy to them to encourage and see how they were. To Paul’s great joy, they were very faithful to the word of God. He wrote them this letter to encourage them to continue in the faith and do even more than they were. Part of that encouragement was reminding them that the Lord’s return was imminent. They should be looking for it and anticipating it and be alert. They should live in the light, for the Day of the Lord may at any hour burst in upon the world of darkness.


1TH 5:1-6

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come [the verb is not future but present - “the day of the Lord comes”] just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.


Sons of light and sons of day - contrasted to night and darkness. The use of both seems to be a reference to who we are and what we do. We are of the day so we walk in the light.


The phrase “sons of day” would have to refer back to the Day of the Lord.


The phrase “Day of the Lord,” will begin with the Rapture of the church and end with final judgment (broadest definition of the term).


The Day of the Lord had not yet arrived. It still hasn’t. But the sons of day are made for that Day. It is the culmination of all they are and their beginning - all together as the bride of Christ.


[“Sons of day.” The day had not yet arrived, but believers in Christ were children of day already, by a form of “realized eschatology.” The day, in fact, had cast its radiance ahead of the life and ministry of the historical Jesus and the accomplishment of His saving work; when it arrived in its full splendor, they would enter into their inheritance of glory and be manifested as children of day. These, on the other hand, who have not come into the light but still live in darkness will be caught off guard by the day when it comes.] 


We do not belong to the night or darkness, so therefore [(ara oun - common collocation in Paul introducing a further stage of the argument or a summing up)] let us not sleep.


[This has to do with not being alert to the coming of the Lord, and (as Peter shows us) to the prowling of the devil seeking to devour.]


[hold your place, holy ribbon, in 1Th - going back and forth to the gospels]

MAT 24:43

“But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.”


You would have to live in a very bad neighborhood if you had to be alert for thieves every night. In our case, the thief doesn’t come every night. He’s coming any night or day. 


MAR 13:33-37

"Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34 "It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 "Therefore, be on the alert — for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning —  36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 "What I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'"


1TH 5:6-7

so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.


“As others do” compare 4:5, 13. [Oi loipoi (the remaining ones) are the rest of mankind.] 


1TH 4:4-5

that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;


1TH 4:13

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.


“Let us keep awake” [(gregoromen) (MAR 13:35, 37) we just read.] 


1TH 5:6

let us be alert and sober


“And let us be sober.” Sleep and drunkenness are associated with night. Watchfulness and sobriety are appropriate for “sons of day.” 


Alertness and sobriety are appropriate for sons of day.

Same combo used in ref. to the devil, 1PE 5:8.


[The same combination of nephein and gregorein are used in the context of watching out for the devil.]


1PE 5:8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.


Our alertness (keeping awake) and our sobriety are necessary for the returning Lord and the prowling devil. The Lord may return any hour. The devil is always seeking to devour - day and night. 


[An alert mind spiritually is one who from the day’s waking moments to its end in fast approaching sleep is begun with prayer and filled with constant reminders of the importance of life. Life must be lived well (well pleasing to the Lord). The life of night and darkness, asleep and drunk spiritually and mentally cause people to live for self, for self-gratification, moving away from giving to and investing in others. This selfish lifestyle makes the soul sick. God did not design us to run like this so the soul suffers. These are of the darkness and they crawl further into isolation, self-mediate their inner pain with drugs and alcohol and when enough of them become savage consumers the society suffers because more are taking than giving. Divorce rates, numbers of single parent homes (mainly single mothers), the essentials for a good quality of life are farmed out to the government (education, care of the poor, conservation, celebrations). 


I personally think that the great decline in birth rates in the West is a direct result of this.]


1TH 5:7-8

For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, 


Those who sleep and get drunk, do so at night. 


MAT 24:45-51

 "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?  46 "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.  47 "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.  48 "But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,'  49 and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards;  50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know,  51 and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


The point is being unprepared. Literal drunkenness would make one unprepared, but the warning is broader. We are to walk in the light, doing our Master’s will, being alert, and wearing our armor every moment of every day. 


“Let us who belong to the daylight be sober.” 


LUK 21:34-36

"Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;  35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth.  36 "But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." 


It is the life of light. It is the path of light. We wear the armor of light.


1TH 5:7-8

For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.


“Having put on” (enduo) 


ROM 13:12

The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.


Those who are of the day are to wear the armor of light. In our passage, the armor consists of two pieces: breastplate and helmet which represent the trinity of virtues - faith, hope, and love.