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THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS - Chapter 5 - Verse 6

Verse 6. Therefore let us not sleep as do others. As the wicked world does. Comp. Mt 25:6.

But let us watch. That is, for the coming of the Lord. Let us regard it as an event which is certainly to occur, and which may occur at any moment. See Barnes "Mt 25:13".

 

And be sober. The word here used (nhfw) is rendered sober in 1 Th 5:6,8; 1 Pe 1:13; 5:8; and watch in 2 Ti 4:5; 1 Pe 4:7. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It properly means, to be temperate or abstinent, especially in respect to wine. Joseph. Jewish Wars, 5. 5. 7. Xenophon, Cyr.. 7. 5. 20; and then it is used in a more general sense, as meaning to be sober-minded, watchful, circumspect. In this passage, there is an allusion to the fact that persons not only sleep in the night, but that they are frequently drunken in the night also. The idea is, that the Lord Jesus, when he comes, will find the wicked sunk not only in carnal security, but in sinful indulgences; and that those who are Christians ought not only to be awake and to watch as in the daytime, but to be temperate. They ought to be like persons engaged in the sober, honest, and appropriate employments of the day, and not like those who waste their days in sleep, and their nights in revelry. A man who expects soon to see the Son of God coming to judgment, ought to be a sober man. No one would wish to be summoned from a scene of dissipation to his bar. And who would wish to be called there from the ball-room; from the theatre; from the scene of brilliant worldly amusement? The most gay votary of the world; the most accomplished, and flattered, and joyous patron of the ball-room; the most richly-dressed and admired daughter of vanity, would tremble at the thought of being summoned from those brilliant halls, where pleasure is now found, to the judgment-bar. They would wish to have at least a little time that they might prepare for so solemn a scene. But if so, as this event may at any moment occur, why should they not be habitually sober-minded? Why should they not aim to be always in that state of mind which they know would be appropriate to meet him? Especially should Christians live with such vigilance and soberness as to be always prepared to meet the Son of God. What Christian can think it appropriate for him to go up to meet his Saviour from the theatre, the ballroom, or the brilliant worldly party? A Christian ought always so to live, that the coming of the Son of God in the clouds of heaven would not excite the least alarm.

{a} "let us not sleep" Mt 25:5; Ro 13:12,13

{b} "sober" 1 Pe 2:8

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