"CHILDREN OF THE DAY"
Intro. Paul closed the previous chapter talking about that glorious day for the church when the Lord shall come for the believing saints to rescue them from the wrath of God which is coming upon the earth. It is interesting to me that what is often referred to as the judgment of God is God simply releasing the restraints and allowing man to follow the path to destruction that he has chosen. The church has stood against the rising tide of evil trying to warn man of the consequences of taking that path. The church has spoken out against abortion, pornography, easy divorce, homosexuality, but our voice has been drowned out by the world that is clamoring after sin. There is an old Greek saying, "The dice of the gods are loaded." Which is to say that you can't go against God and hope to win.
I. PAUL IS WRITING TO THEM CONCERNING THE TIMES AND SEASONS WHEN THE LORD SHALL RETURN FOR HIS CHURCH.
A. Let it be emphasized that no man knows the day or the hour that Jesus is coming again.
1. Any attempt to set such a date or time is sheer unscriptural folly.
2. Though we do not know the day or the hour, Paul said of the times and seasons you have no need that I write unto you.
3. The inference is that they should know the times and seasons.
4. Jesus chided the Pharisee's because they could forecast the weather by the sky.
a. If in the evening the sky was red, they would say we are going to have good weather.
b. If the sky was red in the morning they would say bad weather today.
c. He said you can discern the sky but you did not know the signs of the times.
B. What were to be the signs of the time for His coming?
1. The iniquity on the earth would abound causing the love of many to wax cold.
2. Evil days would wax worse and worse.
3. Men would be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
4. There would be a breakdown of the family as men would be covenant breakers, and children would rebel against the authority of their parents.
5. Man would develop the capacity to destroy mankind.
6. Israel would become a nation again.
7. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man.
a. There was a population explosion. People began to multiply on the face of the earth.
b. Men's minds were polluted, the thoughts and imaginations of man's heart was only evil continually.
c. The earth was corrupt and filled with violence.
d. By a form of genetic engineering they were developing a super race.
C. His coming would be "as a thief in the night" to those who were living in darkness.
1. Jesus warned that His coming would be as a thief.
2. In Revelation 3:3
to the church of Sardis Jesus said,If therefore you are not watching, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come.
3. Jesus was constantly warning them to be watching and be ready.
4. Luke's gospel records Jesus saying,
Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching:
5. In all cases His coming will be as a thief only to those who are not watching.
II. VERSE 4, "YOU ARE NOT IN DARKNESS THAT THAT DAY SHOULD OVERTAKE YOU AS AS A THIEF."
A. The world is stumbling in darkness, not even aware of the signs of the Lord's return. They are ignorant of the things of God and of the word of God.
1. The world is going on in a business as usual way.
2. As Peter predicted there are even those who scoff at the idea that Jesus should ever return. Peter said they would be saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? Since our fathers have fallen asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning." They are willfully ignorant of the fact that God has judged the world once before as He destroyed it with a flood.
a. All things have not continued as they were from the beginning.
b. There have been cataclysmic upheavals on this planet in the past. I would suggest for your reading the book "Earths in Upheaval" by Immanuel Velokovsky in which he annihilates the theory of uniformitarianism that was postulated by Hutton and Lyell and is the basis for the evolutionary theory.
B. You should not be stumbling in the darkness for you are the children of light.
1. This is looking at light and darkness in a philosophical rather than a religious sense.
2. From a philosophical perspective, light is understanding, and darkness is ignorance.
3. The Lord expects us to understand the times.
III. AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT, HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE AGE?
A. We should not be asleep as to the events in the world.
1. We should be aware of their significance.
a. We should be keeping abreast of the events in the middle east.
b. We should be watching for the alliance of the Moslem nations to try to destroy the state of Israel. For this is a major sign that we are approaching the time of the Lord's return.
c. We should be watching for the strengthening of the European community which according to the scripture will be the final world dominating empire.
B. We should be sober.
1. Paul speaks of the children of darkness being drunk.
2. The world is intoxicated with pleasure.
a. They clamor for sexual freedom, which in reality becomes sexual bondage.
b. As the prophet said, "They have sown the wind and the time has come to reap the whirlwind."
c. God calls us unto pure living.
3. Paul wrote to the church in Rome,
And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
C. In verse 8 he tells them to put on the breastplate of faith and love.
1. Faith in promises of God that give us hope that a better world is coming.
2. Love for God, love for each another in the family of God, love for the suffering world that is lost in darkness, and has begun to reap the consequences of that darkness.
a. Today we have men from our church over in Uganda building homes for the orphans. Why are there so many thousands orphans there?
b. In the next couple of weeks men from the church will be taking tons of food into the Sudan to feed the starving refugees. Why are there so many needy refugees?
c. Today our church is building a Bible School in Thailand to train hundreds of young students to bring the good news of God's love to those families who sell their little girls into prostitution. Why do families sell their 12 year old daughters?
d. Why do we have the social problems in our land today? When you add up the cost of our prison systems, and our welfare programs, you realize that sin is an expensive proposition.
D. He then tells them to don the helmet of the hope of salvation.
1. Once again we find this blessed spiritual trinity, faith, hope, and love.
2. These should be the marks of the church in this world.
a. Our faith in the word of God.
b. The word that commands us to love.
c. The word that gives us hope for the future.
3. We have the helmet of the hope of salvation, salvation from what?
4. From the coming inevitable calamity, that is bound to come to a nation that flaunts the rules of survival that God has wisely given. We are already seeing the first fruits of the disintegration of our society, it is chronicled for us on the news every night.
5. The Bible tells us that things are going to get much worse before they get better, however God has not appointed us unto wrath, but to salvation.
6. Revelation chapters 4 and 5 tell you what is just around the corner for the church. Revelation 6-18
tell you what is just around the corner for the world.
E. What a beautiful and comforting promise is given to the church by Paul. God has not appointed us unto wrath, but to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we might live forever with Him.