By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
When they say peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape (1 Thessalonians 5:3). I was drawn to this text and begin to search it out more extensively.
Peace is an absence of mental stress or anxiety which is very much a part of the violate world we live in today. In fact many use "service animals" to help relieve stress or anxiety.
A Bible dictionary revealed that the term peace is used as a frequent word in both Old and New Testaments. It is used throughout the Bible to indicate a spirit of tranquility and freedom from inward or outward disturbances. When nations enjoyed peace it was regarded as a gift from God (Psalm 29:11).
There is a spiritual tranquility which all can enjoy when, through faith in Christ, they are brought into a right relationship with God (Romans 5:1). Christ came to provide peace on earth (Luke 2:14); which will not be fully realized until He returns again to effect it in person (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Safety is a condition or state of being safe, freedom from danger or hazard, exemption from hurt, injury, or loss. Scripture reveals that God is a shield to them that put their trust in Him (Proverbs 30:5). That one is kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 Peter 1:5).
A Latin proverb reveals: He is safe from danger who is on guard even when safe. There is much turmoil among nations today and one is never so secure that they do not have to be on guard. The Psalmist David wrote: Blessed is the nation whose God is Lord (Psalm 33:12). Many nations have walked away from such a blessing by allowing ungodliness to reign within their borders and failure towards keeping God in the forefront.
Abraham Lincoln stated: Let the people know the truth and the country is safe. Such has escaped many in the hour in which we live. Trust is hard to identify in a time of deception. This deception is being enabled by a world influenced by our electronic age of communications.
Peace and safety is difficult to be documented when we live in a world seemingly sitting on a powder keg with the fuse ready to be lit at any moment. Such comes through the acknowledgement of God; whom many are seeking to eliminate.
We live in a world saturated with filth and degradation; walking away from God towards the fleshly desires of man, seeking the pleasures of this life rather than a life in Christ! Many Western churches; rather than maintaining themselves as "Houses of Worship" are becoming a social gathering place with worldly entertainment.
There are those who promise prosperity and peace for years to come; that one's future is secure; without knowledge or possibly uncaring of the text for this hour: When they shall say peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Scripture reveals that sudden destruction came on the old world in the times of Noah (Genesis 6:13); upon the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot (2 Peter 2:6-7), upon Babylon which had become the habitation of devils and the hold of every foul spirit (Revelation 18:2).
Peace and safety is found in the one in whom many have rejected; bringing us to the next verse: But you are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:4). This speaks of those called out of darkness, turning away from it, delivered from the power of it, and into the glorious Gospel of Christ.
The next verse reveals: You are all of the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5). This speaks of those who have been enlightened by the spirit of God; having a glimpse of the heavenly glory; of the unseen or invisible realities of the other world, in opposition to the night of ignorance mentioned.
Scripture admonishes the believer: Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6). Unconverted souls are in a state of darkness; in carnal lusts and pleasures of a world that is overflowing with such characteristics.
There are those who have only the bare essentials of religion; being lukewarm (Revelation 3:16), indifferent to the truths of God's Word, adhering to the temptations of Satan, the allurements of wicked men who lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:14).
Peace and safety will escape those still in darkness because they do not know the Peace-Giver. Jesus said: Peace I leave with you, my peace, I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
Those who have no such peace fall into the category of the text: Then sudden destruction comes upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The term sudden is that which comes unexpectedly; without notice, and is unanticipated due to failure of receiving God's Word of events that will transpire. Because of ignorance they will be caught unprepared with peace and safety suddenly taken away; as horrific events unfold.
They are brought into desolation as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors (Psalm 73:19). God's wrath will be to all nations, the earth, and the world. The prophet Isaiah depicts a worldwide carnage in the final Battle to take place on the earth when God's indignation and fury are poured out (Isaiah 34:2).
The prophet Malachi tells of the coming day of the Lord in saying: The day comes, that shall burn as a oven; and the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that come shall burn them up, saith the Lord, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch (Malachi 4:1).
But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall (Malachi 4:2). Those who hear the words of the Lord will increase in knowledge, grace, and spiritual strength bringing much needed peace and safety in the midst of what is coming on the earth.
Scripture reveals one's hope: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a lively hope.......to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).
A Bible commentary: Lively hope has no element of uncertainty to the believer in Christ. The believer's inheritance is described as incorruptible; or imperishable, indestructible, and undefiled (or morally untainted). That fades not away means it is not subject to the ravages of time. It is reserved, that is, it has been preserved in the past and still is in heaven.
Thank God for the peace and safety assured to the believer; of having victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture encourages the believer to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 16:57-58); for he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:13). When such a mentality exists in the life of a believer they will find peace and safety through a Heavenly Father, and that of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
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