4:13-18 Believers who die, their spirits live with Jesus until He returns then they join with their new resurrected immortal bodies, living believers will then join Jesus and fellow believers in the clouds. We are to encourage one another with such knowledge. This compare closely Paul’s letter to Titus in Titus 2:12-15
5:1-3 The Day of the Lord is described occurring after the rapture of the church. Non-believers will have to live through what is known as the Time of Tribulation. Believers will not 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:4-9
5:4-5 not in the darkness… most are familiar with John 3:16-18, but not John 3:19-21 but do not get arrogant as we look at Ephesians 5:8.
you are sons of light, sons of the day… Jesus said something similar in John 12:36
5:6-9 So then let us not… contrast of light/darkness is expanded to sleep/alert, drunk/sober.
But since we… faith and love breastplate, the hope of salvation as a helmet making ready to avoid the wrath of the Day of the Lord – the great tribulation spoken of by Daniel, bringing us again to a pre-tribulation view of the rapture of the church
5:9-11 Because of our salvation through Jesus we will live eternally with Him. As in 4:18 we are to encourage one another, then because of the coming rapture, now because we avoid the Day of the Lord’s Wrath – tribulation.
build each other up …
5:12-13a who are over you in the Lord the Greek here literally means “to stand before you as a group”
in the Lord … no pastor or minister has any inherent authority of their own.
admonish you is a difficult and often painful business as no one likes to be told they are wrong or mistaken.
However… highest regard in love… because of their work as their work and your work for Christ and the church is the most important work we can do while alive. Such regard in love requires the work of the Holy Spirit on a pastor in his preaching/teaching and in bringing forth honest appreciation from the congregation.
5:13b-15 live in peace with each other… in Mark 9:50c Jesus said be at peace with each other
Four short instructions in verse 14 … warn (admonish), encourage, help, be patient with four different groups.
Do not pay back wrong for wrong especially in the church, instead implement Proverbs 25:21-22
5:16-22 16 always?? Yes always! Follow the example of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25 when they prayed and sang hymns after being severely flogged.
17 pray continually? Yes, make prayer a way of life. Prayer – speaking with or to God whenever possible.
18 give thanks in all circumstances… Paul is not instructing the church to thank God for evil, but to thank God that even in evil times and circumstances our hope remains and God continues to work in our lives.
19 the Spirit’s fire… do not suppress God’s work through the spirit, but encourage it, allow God to continually change your heart
20 do not treat prophecies with contempt… especially those in the Bible
21 test everything… even modern day interpretations of Biblical prophecy, then hold on to the good.
22 avoid every kind of evil… keep your distance from evil, have absolutely nothing to do with any form of evil. Contrasts with prior verse holding on to the good!
5:23-24 A benediction: God of peace… peace likely refers to the total of gospel blessings and God is the source of all of them.
sanctify you entirely… set apart from sin with no part of your life not set aside.
blameless to the end… is Paul’s desire for them and all of us.
Thus the one who calls you… God is faithful and will do all He can to make this possible for you as demonstrated in Revelation 3:20.
25 pray for us… Paul and Silas have had their share of problems and expect more. Prayer will help.
26 Greet all the brothers… we use a hug in place of a kiss, but either way it is to be done properly at all times.
27 have this letter read to all… a virtual command “I charge you” no matter what, see that it is done.
28 grace of our Lord… Paul closes as he began but with the full name/title of Jesus as the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our grace comes from Jesus and Paul leaves us with that reminder.