WATCH AND BE SOBER
1 Thess 5:6-10 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 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. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
In the lesson text, Paul gives Christians, of all ages, this Holy Spirit-inspired warning - watch and be sober. Children of God are never to allow their spiritual faculties to become unaware of the dangers of Satan, that constantly surround them here on earth. Doing so may cause one to lose his or her soul for eternity. Sin, accompanied by its temptations, creeps in where watchfulness is lacking. A sleeping guard fails to protect that which he is to keep from harm. So it is with a careless, "sleeping" Christian, that fails to be watchful at all times; that fails to be alert to the dangers inherent in the evil world in which they live. Members of the body of Christ are to be the children of light, and the children of the day (Vs. 5). As if it were continual daytime, Christians are ever to be spiritually awake and alert to the danger and harm that can creep in unaware and destroy their soul.
Not only are Christians to always be awake and watchful, they are also to be sober at all times. To most men and women, especially those of the household of faith, the state of drunkenness is shameful. Therefore, most seek to hide their sinful drunkenness in the darkness of night, much like most other sins are hidden. The mind of a person, that becomes drunken from abuseful indulgence in drugs or alcoholic beverages, becomes numb and insensible - incapable of judging between what is right and what is wrong. Vigilance against the wiles of the devil is lost in the state of insobriety. A drunken guard is as derelict in his or her duties as a one that is asleep. Both are mentally and physically impaired, incapable of defending and protecting that which is entrusted to their watch-care.
The apostle, Peter, tells us why all faithful Christians must become, and remain, watchful and sober at all times. He says that we are to be sober, be vigilant - never drunken or asleep. Why? The apostle Peter, gives this answer:(B)ecause your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Christians are engaged in spiritual warfare with the devil. Those whose spiritual watchfulness is impaired, by sleep or drunkenness, can never win the battle. The "soldier" of Christ must always be on guard, in order to overcome the temptation of sin, which Satan continually places before us. To arm us, and help us effectively carry out this god-given duty, Paul tells us that we are to put on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
Faith, hope, and love are the items of armor necessary to defend a Christian from the wiles of the devil. Faith in God and His holy word allows us to recognize, resist, and overcome all that oppose God. In this text, the one opposing God is the devil,who is said to be like aroaring lion, that tries to devour us. An ardent love for God, our family, and all others, will guard us against evil thoughts and sinful actions. With the hope of salvation as our motivation to be an obedient child of God, we are protected from our enemy on earth, the devil, and the battle of life can be won. Faithfully wearing this helmet of hope, Satan can do nothing that will prevent us from spending eternity in the beautiful place called heaven, where we can live with God and our Savior, Jesus Christ forever.
Only those that disobey the will of God - those that are spiritually asleep and drunken in the night, are destined to suffer God's wrath for their disobedience. God's faithful and obedient children - those that are spiritually watchful and sober, will receive the greatest gift a man or woman can ever hope to inherit. And that gift is eternal salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is a gift. It can not be earned by one's power, or merited by one's works. It is reserved for all ,men and women that, through faith, believe Jesus to be the Son of God, confess Him as their Savior, repent from their past evil ways, be baptized for the remission of all sins, and live a life devoted to serving the will of God. And it is His will that we, through obedient love for Him and for our neighbor, serve the spiritual and physical needs of our family, friends and neighbors, fellow Christians, and all others, that are within our power to effectively serve.
At all times let us watch and be sober, that whether we are awake or asleep (alive or dead) at the second coming of our Savior, we will have done, or will be found doing, the will of God, be saved, and live together with Him forever!