In 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 Paul gave the Thessalonians a command.
“So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.”
Paul says, “be on your guard”. That means watch for the signs that Jesus predicted about the Day of the Lord. Be clearheaded means don’t let anyone tell you that there are other signs. Don’t fall asleep means don’t become complacent – keep looking for the signs. Continue to live in the light means continue to follow the Word of God.
Paul told the Thessalonians that they had special protection. They had the armor of faith and love and the helmet of salvation. So, what are these elements of protection and how do they work?
Well, first of all – let’s talk about faith. Faith – for all that it is or isn’t — is based on God’s love. That’s why Paul calls it the armor of faith AND love. Let me explain what I mean. God loves us unconditionally. To demonstrate His love, He has given us over 7000 promises of things He wants to do for us, and when we believe His promises and act on them – our faith is increased. That’s because God always does what He says He will do, and as our faith grows – we start depending on God more and more.
Let me give you an example. Let’s look at Isaiah 41:10.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
This is a great promise of God. It says when we believe that God is with us — and that He’s our God. He will do 3 things. He will strengthen us – help us – and hold us up. How good is that? That’s everything we could ever need. And when we see God doing these three things — our faith grows, and our trust in God grows. That’s the key to living the Christians life.
OK, let’s talk about the helmet of salvation. Salvation acts like a helmet, because it protects our minds. Satan loves to play with our minds. One of his favorite strategies is to point out our failures and weaknesses and tell us that God is disappointed in us. The antidote to these attacks is salvation. Salvation tells us that God has removed our sins, and He’s making us perfect. Yes, we’ll still fail — and we’ll still have weaknesses — but that’s not the end of the story. God will complete His work and make us perfect. So, you can see how salvation protects our minds from Satan’s lies.
So there you have it. The Day of the Lord is coming. There are signs that we can look for which herald its arrival. We need to look for them and be ready ………