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Don't Live In The Darkness

1 Thessalonians 5:4-8
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (NIVUK)

The Second Coming of Christ will affect everybody (Revelation 1:7). Great joy will come to the believers and the fear of judgement to unbelievers (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The contrast will be the difference between night and day. So the church should be waiting expectantly, even though the world will be utterly shocked by the unexpected appearance of its Judge. Therefore Paul urged God's people to wake up, realise their eternally privileged position and stop living like people who are living away from God.
God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Darkness is the absence of light: it is the Bible's picture of everything that is against God - evil in its many forms. Repentance and faith in Jesus move people out of darkness and into light. They no longer belong to the kingdom of darkness with its sin and shame, fear and foolishness (Colossians 1:13): so they should not live as though they do. Conversion to Christ starts with a change of belief, and must continue with a change of behaviour.
Darkness hides everything, like sleep and excessive alcohol shut out reality. It is the way of the world to stumble along in the darkness without any future perspective. But the path of the Christian is the line between the cross and the arrival of the Saviour. It is only because of Him that we can see both glory and spiritual danger. And yet, patterns of dark worldly behaviour are all around us and some continue to be a problem within us (Romans 7:18-21). Satan tells us that nothing can change, but he is a liar. He wants to keep us in the dark, but we must not go back to that dangerous place.
Our hearts are kept safe as we trust in Jesus, receive His love and learn to love others for His sake. Our minds are kept steady as we look forward to the 'salvation that is ready to be revealed' when Jesus comes again (1 Peter 1:5). Lose sight of that Day and the Christian has no reference point for holy behaviour, allowing darkness to creep over slowly like a fog until we lose our spiritual bearings. Alas so many in the church are asleep or intoxicated with their own importance and activities. They have not noticed that the light of Christ has dimmed in their life. That is why these verses are an essential reminder to remember whose we are, and that we have an appointment with Jesus when He comes through the clouds to gather His church (Revelation 1:7). Until then let us repent of conniving with darkness and learn again how to walk in the light with Jesus (Ephesians 4:8-16). The workplace is a great place to practise this new life.

God of truth and light. Thank You for showing me my sin and need of Jesus, leading me to the cross. Forgive me for failing to keep the Second Coming as my navigation beacon through life, allowing the darkness to overtake me again. Please help me to keep trusting, keep loving and keep expecting Jesus to come at any time, so that He will be pleased with my lifestyle when He arrives. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams