1 Thes.5:4-7 – But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, so that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then, let’s not sleep as others do, but let’s be alert and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who are drunk, get drunk at night.
Good times, regretfully, often have a long time, negative effect on Christians. Too often, believers slip into a slow fade in their spiritual condition. After a while, many fall asleep and others begin to act as foolishly as the lost of this generation. Difficult times are inevitably the result. These times of testing will either cause you to seek after the Lord or cause a hardness of heart to settle in. Paul is calling out to the Christians in Thessalonica who were experiencing a season of persecution. He said we are sons and daughters of the light so we should not fall asleep or slip into drunken behavior, but we should allow this season to push us deeper into the things of God. Here is how the H and K New Testament Commentary describes this.
“It is clear that the terms to sleep, to be watchful, and to be sober are used metaphorically here. Thus used, their meaning is as follows:
To sleep means to live as if there will never be a judgment-day. Spiritual and moral laxity is indicated. The description of the foolish virgins pictures this condition vividly, who had taken no oil in their vessels with their lamps. It means not to be prepared.
To be watchful means to live a sanctified life, in the consciousness of the coming judgment-day. Spiritual and moral alertness is indicated. The watchful individual has his lamps burning and his loins “girded,” and it is in that condition that he looks forward to the return of the Bridegroom.”
This is a powerful word for the season we are in. Paul is warning against spiritual and moral apathy. He encourages us to be watchful, spiritually wide awake. As Dick Mills used to say “put your spiritual antennae up”. This pandemic of 2019-2021 is a spiritual wake up call for the Body of Christ. We have to check our spiritual and moral condition; eternity is at stake.