“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”

1 Thessalonians 5:8

I always preferred my mother to wake me up when I was a child. My father is one of those morning people. He had always eaten breakfast and gotten ready for work before I even thought about getting up for school. When my mother woke me up, she’d whisper, “Good morning,” and she’d gently rub my back until I rolled out of bed.

But not my dad.

When he was in charge, he’d march in my bedroom, turn on the (very bright!) lights overhead, and pull the comforter to the foot of the bed. He’d shout, “It’s time to get up and get moving!”  

Talk about a “rude awakening.”  

The author of 1 Thessalonians 5 describes an abrupt awakening too. But this one isn’t about getting out of bed. It’s about Christ’s second return to Earth. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 says, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

The author acknowledges his Christian brothers and sisters already know about Christ’s second coming to Earth, even if they don’t know when He’s coming. He will judge the world, separating those who are saved through their faith in Him from those who aren’t. The author says those who aren’t saved will be caught off guard, just like I was when Dad charged my room while I was sleeping soundly.

But there’s peace for Christians in knowing this awakening is coming. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 says, “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of the light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” Of course, the writer doesn’t mean Christians shouldn’t physically sleep. But they are always spiritually awake to the reality that they belong to Christ. They know they will be judged as righteous when Christ returns to Earth because of His sacrifice on the cross for their sins.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 says, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” In other words, we have no need to fear Christ’s second coming if we are God’s children. We can suit up not with metal armor, but with our spiritual armor of faith, hope, and love.

We won’t be caught off guard with a “rude awakening” because we have confidence Christ is returning for us – His Church.

God, sometimes it can be scary to think about Christ’s return to Earth because I don’t always understand how or when it will happen. But thank You that You have revealed in Your Word that Christ will return so that Your Church can always be ready. Help me to start today and every day by “suiting up” in faith, hope, and love: my spiritual armor you readily supply when I ask.