Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 42
I Thessalonians 5:1-12
Now I think we’re ready to get rolling in our study about the difference between “The Day of the Lord and The Day of Christ.” In the first two lessons this afternoon we only covered the day of the Lord, the day of judgment, the wrath of God that’s going to hit primarily the Nation of Israel, but will spill over and effect the whole human race for those 7 dreadful years that are yet to come. By the time those 7 years have ended, with the exception of a small percentage of survivors which we pick up in Isaiah chapter 24 and Matthew chapter 25, the whole 6 billion population we have in the world will lose their lives one way or another. Now I know that’s devastating, but you see God has to cleanse the whole planet of everything that’s contrary to Him. He must do that so that the curse can be lifted and He can bring in the Kingdom of heaven here on the earth. Then there will be nothing evil or wicked or that destroys in His Kingdom! So this present system has to be totally done away with.
You know every time we drive throughout the country and we see all the construction that’s going on, I almost feel like a mound of ants. Now in my younger days, I use to get a kick out of just tormenting those poor little creatures by plugging their hole to their mound, but I don’t do that anymore, so don’t worry, but as a kid I got a kick out of that. But when I see all this construction going on with people working just like these little ants, and one day God’s going to wipe the whole thing clean. Then all their activity is going to be for nothing, and I know it has to be done now, and I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be constructing. But my goodness, I had to tell someone the other day, “Can you imagine the gridlock that this world would be in if we had this tremendous population and had all this production, and transportation, and we were still on two lane roads?”
Boy it would be awful, so the technology fortunately has pretty well kept up with everything, but nevertheless it’s all going to be wiped out. The planet is going to be made totally new for the appearance of the King and His Kingdom! Now just for sake of Bible study, it’s not so clearly delineated here in I Thessalonians as we’ll see in the II Thessalonians, but I think it behooves us to now compare all these references of the Day of Judgment and the Day of the Lord with the Day of Christ, or what we call the end of the Church Age, the Body of Christ finishing it’s time on the earth, and we’re taken out of the way.
Now isn’t it amazing that the Day of the Lord starts all the way back at Isaiah chapter 2 and comes all the way up through the Old Testament comes through the four gospels to a certain extent, skips over Paul’s epistles and picks up again in Peter and Revelation. Now on the other hand every reference we have for the “Day of Christ” will come only from the pen of the apostle Paul. You can find no reference to the “Day of Christ” anywhere else in Scripture. Now that should be enlightening shouldn’t it? You’d think that would just blow away all the argument wouldn’t you? But no, most continue to try to mix it all up by throwing it all in the blender, turning it up on high, and start to ladle it out, and then they wonder why people get sick to their stomach. Well it’s enough to confuse anybody.
But if you’ll just separate the Scriptures by keeping Paul’s epistle, the Body of Christ, where it belongs and everything else that fits on the front end and on the back end, then there’s no problem.
Now come back to I Thessalonians chapter 5, and verse 3, and let’s compare the believer in chapter 4, and the unbeliever in chapter 5. Just look at the pronouns in each chapter, “we, us, and you vs. they and them”
I Thessalonians 5:3
“For when they…”
You might say, “So what?” Well go back up to chapter 4 and look at the pronouns. All the way through where we were a few programs back like in verse 13 Paul is speaking of us believers.
I Thessalonians 4:13…”
“But I would not have you… (speaking to us believers)
I Thessalonians 4:13b
“…that ye (believers) sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”
I Thessalonians 4:14a
“For if we believe, that Jesus died and rose again,…”
I Thessalonians 4:15a
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain…” And then come on down to verse 17.
I Thessalonians 4:17
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
So shall we as the consortium of the Body of Christ believers ever be with the Lord. Now look at the change in pronouns in chapter 5. This in itself is so obvious if you’ll just take the time to look. Now instead of we and you it’s what? They and them! Well why? Because we’re not involved with this Day of the Lord. You see, as believers we’re not in the Day of the Lord, we’re in the Day of Christ. When you experience the Day of Christ in the Rapture, then these people that are left behind become they and them in this chapter. Do you see the difference? Now back to chapter 5, and let’s look at verse 3 again.
I Thessalonians 5:3a
“For when they (those who have been left behind) shall say, Peace and safety;…”
What happens? Sudden destruction. Now that’s where the world is tonight, they all want an expanding stock market, they all want bigger and better, they’re all looking for a better system, they’re all looking for peace and safety, they’re looking for utopia, and all without God, and without dealing with sin. In fact I was just reading an article before I left home on the subject of sin. Not many use the word sin any more. Somebody in this article was interviewing a Jewish Rabbi in New York City, and he made the statement, “We never use that word.” Isn’t that sad, and that’s the world’s problem. But you see the world likes to ignore it, they like to just sweep it under the rug, and say “There’s no such thing as sin.” And then we wonder why societies are falling apart.
I Thessalonians 5:3a
“For when they (those who have been left behind) shall say, Peace and safety; (trying to build their own heaven on earth, but God says, ‘That’s what you think.’) then sudden destruction cometh upon them,…” The Day of the Lord will hit them, as we’ve been reading now for the past two half hour programs, and have followed it all the way up through the Old Testament and into the New Testament. The Lord Himself says, “There is nothing to compare to it.” The Book of Revelation puts it out so graphically. So their destruction cometh upon them suddenly as we read on in verse 3.
I Thessalonians 5:3b
“…as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”
They won’t be able to hide from the forces of the Anti-christ. The technology now is such that not only will they be able to know every word of your conversation, but they will know every place you are with global positioning. Nobody is going to be able to hide, and the Scripture is so adamant on that. “they shall not escape.” Now verse 4. What’s the first word? The flip side of them that are left behind. Am I making my point? For the ones left behind, they shall not escape –
I Thessalonians 5:4
“But ye, brethren, (believers) are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
Why not? Because we’re going to experience the “Day of Christ” at the Rapture before the “Day of the Lord” begins. Now let’s put up a few references, and they’ll all be in Paul’s epistles with regard to this “Day of Christ” that we’re part and parcel to. Now here in this passage we have Paul writing to the Gentile believers at Corinth, so in so many words, he writing to us.
I Corinthians 1:4
“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God (See, there’s no wrath here, this is Grace) which is given you by Jesus Christ;”
Do you see the difference in the language already? The Day of the Lord was the Day of Jehovah, His Old Testament title. Paul speaks of Him not as Jehovah, but as Jesus Christ. Oh it’s the same person, but in a different role. Now verse 5.
I Corinthians 4:5-7
“That in everything (spiritual, material, and physical) ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6. Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7. So that ye come behind in no gift: (now here it comes) waiting for the coming (not for the day of the Lord, but) for our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Before we finish here in chapter 1, a verse just comes to mind and when that happens we need to look at it. So turn with me to the Book of Titus chapter 2. We’ve used this verse occasionally over the years, and it has become one of my favorites. It’s a verse I’ve used on television for people who come to your door and deny that Jesus Christ is God. Now they have a way of wiggling around just about every other portion of Scripture that I try to use on them, but they can’t wiggle around this one.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath (past tense) appeared to all men, (the same Grace of God) 12. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (now here it comes) 13. Looking for that blessed hope, (not the wrath of God. Paul never uses that term for the believers, but he says, ) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God (do you see that? There’s no doubt about that. That’s Deity as much as you can make it. We’re looking for that great God, the Creator of the universe) and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
He’s all One and the same! He’s the God of Creation, The God of everything and He’s also our Saviour Jesus Christ who gave Himself that He might redeem us. Now come back to I Corinthians chapter 1. So we’re waiting for this glorious blessed hope to become a reality, the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Not His coming to the Mount of Olives in wrath, but rather we’re waiting for that blessed hope when we’ll meet Him in the air, along with all of our loved ones. My, I used to hear a quartet sing years and years back, “That meeting in the air.” I haven’t heard that song in a long time. I know some of you older folks probably remember it. That meeting in the air when all the saints will suddenly be in the Lord’s presence. Now verse 8.
I Corinthians 1:8a
“Who (the One who’s coming, Jesus the Christ) shall also confirm you unto the end, (He’s never going to let go once you become a believer. He’s not going to lose a one of us.) that ye may be blameless…”
We’re never going to stand before Him shaking in our boots and wondering “Are we still going to go to Heaven, or are we going to Hell?” No that’s all been settled. We’ll never have to stand before Him and say, “Oh Lord I have all this sin.” No that’s all been put under His blood, that’s all been cleansed, and we stand before Him blameless! Now that’s what the Book says, that’s not what Les says, and when will that happen?
I Corinthians 1:8b
“…in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Not the Day of the Lord for judgment, but the Day of Jesus Christ, or the Day of God calling out the believers. Now turn the page to chapter 5 and let’s look at another one. Here we have a good example of what we just read in chapter 1 about being blameless. Now the Corinthians, you want to remember, were the least spiritual and the most carnal of all of Paul’s congregations. They were a carnal group of people, and had a hard time departing from the sins of the flesh. In fact one of their members was so despicable that Paul said, “His particular sin was so rotten, it was so low that even the pagans didn’t do something like that.” But the man didn’t lose his salvation because of this sin, and this is what Paul is teaching, that in the Grace of God even that man will yet be under that forgiving power of the blood of Christ, and so this is what he says.
I Corinthians 5:3-5a
“For I verily, as absent in the body, but present in spirit, have judged (or come to the conclusion) already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath done this deed, 4. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5. To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh,…”
That his life would be taken rather than bring reproach upon the name of Christ, and remember God works the same way even today. When people call and say, “Well so and so was a good child of God, he was a good Christian, and now all of a sudden he’s run off with someone else’s wife, and they’re partying in the world. Now you’re going to tell me he’s still saved?” No I don’t think he ever was saved. When a person does that or any other grievous sin, then God will either bring him back, if he was truly saved, or He takes him out completely. God’s not going to let them continue to besmirch the name of Christ, and that’s what Paul is saying about this person, but this person is not going to lose his salvation for the sin But rather God is going to take him out of his human life to spare the reproach of Christ. Now that’s a good lesson for each of us, but that’s not what I intended to show you. Now looking at verse 5 again.
I Corinthians 5:5
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved (when?) in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
Well what day is he talking about? When Christ returns to take the Body of Christ out and off of this old planet. Now let’s look at another one in II Corinthians chapter 1, and remember all these references are about the Day of Christ, and found only in Paul’s epistles. Let’s just drop in at verse 14.
II Corinthians 1:14
“As also ye have acknowledge us in part, that we are your rejoicing, (speaking of the fact that Paul’s preaching and teaching had brought them out of abject idolatry) even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (or the Day of Christ)
What’s Paul talking about here? That all of these Corinthian believers are going to be united with Christ, and Paul, and you and I, and all of the Church Age believers when we have that meeting in the air, in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now let’s move on over to the Book of Philippians, chapter 2, and begin with verse 15.
“That ye may be blameless (that is in the eyes of the Lord Jesus) and harmless, the sons (or the born ones) of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”
Now I’ve got to stop there for a moment. Do you remember when Jesus was with the twelve disciples, and they were probably up there North of Galilee – and the little city is still there, and I think of it every time that we look to the North from Galilee and there sits that little Jewish city on the hill, just like a gem stone up there. And I think the Lord was probably under those same circumstances when He said to the twelve, “You are the light of the world!” He was telling them that they should sit like a city on a hill. But you see Israel dropped the ball, Israel reneged on that opportunity to be the light of the world, so now then who is the light of the world? Well we are as Grace Age believers, but remember Jesus didn’t speak that to us, but to the Nation of Israel, but now we see Paul’s using the same analogy. So as believers we are now the light of the world. Now verse 16.
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ,…”
Not the Day of the Lord, not the Day of judgment, but rather the Day of Christ, when the Church the Body of Christ will suddenly be translated to meet the Lord in the air. Then as we saw a few programs back:
I Thessalonians 4:17b
“…and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
What a glorious expectancy. That all of a sudden without having to go through death, and that trip to the cemetery, and all that goes with it, we’re suddenly going to be in that glorious estate. My, no wonder it’s called the blessed hope. You know I still try to encourage people who call that they have been diagnosed with something terminal, and the doctor had given them 6 months or a year to live. I just say, “Hey, the Lord may come before that disease has a chance to get you, and I mean that.” I think we’re that close, and if someone is terminal that could still be their blessed hope, that the Lord will come and they won’t have to go that way of the cemetery. But rather we’ll suddenly be translated and we can rejoice in that day of Christ when we meet Him in the air.
Well those are about the only references at least that I’m aware of and can find that Paul points to that event because it’s not judgmental or something that is earth shaking because of attending disasters that we saw in the Day of the Lord. But rather it’s just a sudden disappearance of the believers. Now let’s go back to I Thessalonians chapter 5, and let’s read verse 5.
I Thessalonians 5:5a
“Ye are all the children of light,…”
Now remember Paul writes to the believers in Thessalonica , but he’s also writing to us today, and we can take this to heart.
I Thessalonians 5:5
“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
We believers are not stumbling in darkness, and wondering what’s going to happen next. We know what’s coming, and consequently we can walk in light, we can be completely aware of what’s going on. You know I’ve had this happen over and over through the years, that when people come into my class they have never heard any of these end-time events. It’s never been taught in any of their Sunday School classes or they have never heard their preacher preach on them, but when they come into our class and suddenly come to a knowledge of salvation and begin to see all these things, how excited they get. I’ll never forget one individual particular he said, “You know I use to read the paper every day and never associated all this with end times, but now almost every newspaper I pick up, all I can see is everything falling into place for the end times.” You can’t miss these things if you’re in the light. Now verse 6.
I Thessalonians 5:6
“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
My this is no time for believers to be dozing off. If ever there was a time for believers to be wide awake and expectant, it ‘s today. Don’t fall asleep, and think, “Oh well the Lord is going to delay His coming.” No He may not, He may come before we get home tonight, but this is how we’re supposed to live, in expectancy that He could come any moment.