Volume. XXII, No. 51
Sunday, 15 June 2008

How Should Christians Prepare for the Second Coming of Christ (Part 2)

Be Always Spiritually Sober and on Guard of Spiritual Attacks (v.6-8)

Third, Christians must always be spiritually sober and on Guard of Spiritual attacks from Satan. Paul strongly urged Thessalonians that Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (v.6)”. The word ‘sleep’ here is not used in the same sense as in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 where Paul refers to those who died in Christ awaiting for the future resurrection in glory (1 Cor 15). Edmond Hiebert says, the word “…sleep is here used metaphorically to denote indifference to spiritual realities on the part of believers…it covers all sorts of moral and spiritual laxity or insensibility.” In other words, the word ‘sleep’ here is used in a negative sense to refer ‘spiritual sleepiness’ on the part of a Christian. What is spiritual sleepiness? It could be our ignorance toward spiritual truths; our insensibility toward the spiritual things; our defenselessness against false teaching and our inactivity concerning our involvement in the service of God. Are you awake or asleep spiritually? Instead of ‘sleeping’ as the world does (v.6b), we are commanded to be sober (v.6c) or spiritually awake! Being ‘sober’ may mean that a Christian must possess a proper value of things and does not make himself a slave of earthly possessions by ‘spiritual laxity’ and ‘spiritual indifference’. Paul gives us an answer in verse 7, “For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night”. In other words, opposite of spiritual sobriety is spiritual drunkenness, which is equated as spiritual sleepiness just mentioned above. Christians must be watchful and sober all the time because God’s people are called to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God (Eph 5:18) and walk and live their lives under His influence (Gal 5:13-18), not as under the influence of spiritual alcohol of worldliness, sins and indifference. One may asked, “How can I be prepared to be spiritually sober all the time?” Paul challenged us in verse 8 as he worked out a solution for us by saying,But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. This verse should also remind us of the passage in Ephesians 6:10-18 where Paul gives a fuller perspective of the importance, implications and applications of spiritual ‘breastplate’ and ‘helmet’ which Paul called it the ‘whole armour of God’ (Eph 6:11). However, for the sake of selected emphasis, the writer shall just deal with the two pieces of armour mentioned by Paul in verse 1 Thess 5:8, namely: ‘breastplate’ and ‘helmet’. It is common knowledge that both ‘breastplate’ and ‘helmet’ cover or protect one’s vital organs: the ‘heart’ and the ‘brain’ respectively. No one could survive without any of these two organs in place and properly functioning. No Roman solider in the olden days could expect any sure form of protection in a battle without having his breastplate and helmet properly affixed in its place. Similarly, no Christian soldier today should expect any kind of spiritual protection without those two pieces of spiritual armour, the spiritual breastplate and helmet, if he were to battle with his spiritual enemies. These two pieces of spiritual armour keep us sober and guard us from spiritual attacks. Matthew Henry said, “If we believe that the eye of God (who is a spirit) is always upon us, that we have spiritual enemies to grapple with, that there is a world of spirits to prepare for, we shall see reason to watch and be sober. Faith will be our best defence against the assaults of our enemies.And how does ‘love’ keep us sober and protect us from spiritual attacks? Henry continues, “True and fervent love to God, and the things of God, will keep us watchful and sober, and hinder our apostasy in times of trouble and temptation. In other words, these two elements, ‘faith’ and ‘love’, which comprise our spiritual breastplate guards us from ‘assaults of our enemies’ and ‘testing and temptation’. This hope is the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ would protect us from spiritual intoxication in the form of sinful pleasures, worldliness, and indifference toward spiritual things.

Be Comforting and Edifying One Another with Such Hope (vv.9-11)

Fourth, God’s people should prepare for the Second Coming of Christ by comforting and edifying one another with the hope of His imminent return. How is it that the Second Coming of Christ is a source of comfort and edification to other saints? It is because verse 9 says, “…God hath not appointed us to wrath.

This should be a tremendous comfort to every Christian in two ways. Firstly, it is because God’s people are no longer under the wrath of God. By the grace of God, Christ has borne the sins of his people and delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:10). Paul in verse 1 Thess 5:10 says, “[Christ]…who died for us….” (v.10a) which denotes that Jesus died in our behalf as a substitution and also borne the wrath of God for His people at Calvary’s cross as 2 Cor 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Is it not such a comfort for the saints to know that they are no longer under the wrath of God and would not have to be cast into the lake of fire eternally if they should die today?

Secondly, it is also source of comfort because the return of Christ signifies resurrection of all believers as promised so clearly in the Scripture (1 Cor 15:13-53). With the hope of future resurrection, believers could expect to see and reunite with their loved ones and friends who died in Christ. That is why Paul said in verse 10b, “…whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” Thus, it is such a comfort for those who are departing this world in Christ to be assured that this life is not the end and there is a better life that awaits them where they could be reunited with their loved ones and friends who ‘slept’ in the Lord.

The hope of the Second Coming of Christ not only comforts all the saints, but it also edifies one another in the Lord as body of Christ. This should motivate and encourage one another in the Lord to serve the Lord more fervently and zealously. Paul said in verse 11 said, Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” The word ‘to edify’ means ‘to build up’ or ‘to construct’. When God’s people remind one another of the Lord’s Second Coming as often as they meet, they are motivated to a greater degree in their service for the Lord. As the result of this, the body of Christ is edified or built up. This is why Paul said 1Cor 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Not only that one may attain the reward from Christ, but the body of Christ would be built up and edified through Christians abounding in the work of the Lord. When the body of Christ is built up, it slowly achieves spiritual maturity for the purpose of “perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (Eph 4:12)” and is one step closer to “present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Col 1:28)”.


First, God’s people are to prepare for Christ’s Second Coming by being constantly ready for His return at the day of the Lord, despite no one knowing exactly when. Second, God’s people should also prepare for Christ’s Second Coming by observing and watching the signs of the end times and not to be indifferent or be caught up with worldliness and sinful pleasure. Third, God’s people must be always spiritually sober and on guard of spiritual attacks from the evil one’s fiery darts hurled at God’s people. Fourth, God’s people should prepare for the Second Coming of Christ by comforting one another with the hope of the resurrection of all believers and encourage one another to serve the Lord more fervently to edify the body of Christ. May God help all of us to be prepared for His imminent return.

Preacher David Weng



More Lively Hope




Communal Lunch next week. Please bring a dish.

Congratulatory Greetings for our 22nd Anniversary Thanksgiving from Bro David Chua, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Col. 1:27; 1 Cor 15:58; 1 Cor 2:9

Senior Citizen’s Fellowship Meeting– Anyone able to assist with food and drinks preparation, and transport, please see Sis Peng Ha Yeo.

No choir practice for the next 3 Lord’s Days.

Helpers needed to assist with Vacation Bible School (transport, food & drinks, preparations, supervision, games, etc). If you can help please see Dn Edwin D’Mello.

Budget 2008-2009: Proposals for expenditure must be submitted to Church Treasurer, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan, by 12:30pm today.

Next quarter (Jul-Sep) roster is being prepared. If you will be away during this period or if you want to be included in Church service duties, please inform Dn Edwin D’Mello.

Next QTR RPGs available on the literature table.


Looking Ahead

Vacation Bible School - July 14-18. Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim.

ACM on Sat, 26 July. Members please keep this date in your diary.


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Bro Colin & Sis Grace Gan & family (S’pore); Bro Chris Budiman (S’pore/Adl); Sis Joyce Chen & family (SA) & Sis Joyce Gong (Adl).

Church activities: AFG Visitation, BBK, Ladies’ Share & Prayer, Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study & YAF Bible Study.

God’s daily blessings & provisions.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Hans Ziegelmann; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Auntie Oei, Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena, Sylvia White, Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Mr Van & others in affliction.

Cambodia Missions - Rev & Mrs David Koo & their ministries in Sihanoukville and surrounding villages

Post-surgery - healing for Rev Edward Paauwe.

Laos Missions - Believers in Laos.

India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

Kuching Missions - Teo family.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

Journey Mercies - Gan family, Bro You Wen Yeap (Adl), Sisters Yuet Sum Chai (M’sia), Maybelline Tan (Adl) & others who are travelling.

Job - Bro Cong Pham

Pr David & Sis Susan Weng - God’s will for their future ministry in S’pore & elsewhere.

Provision of a Pastor for our Church.

Session members - wisdom & guidance.

Ministry of Ps KiCalvary Jurong B-P Church, Singapore

Vacation Bible School: Speaker, organisers, helpers and children.

University & School Assignments & Exams for students (June-July).

Sister B-P Churches in Australia: faithful to the Word of God



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