Contrasts in Life Help Us to Know What is Best

Mark Balmer - Sunday, April 14th 2019 - 1 Thessalonians 5:4-13


  • Contrast = something that is different from another
  • Contrasts in life (a comparison between two things) often helps us to know which is best

Colossians 3:1-2 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

  • Contrast: Believers have a different view of life than unbelievers (eternal vs temporal)

1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

  • Contrast: light (day) vs darkness (night)
  • Darkness can be physical, intellectual and spiritual

1 Corinthians 3:19 (NLT) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, "He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness."

Isaiah 9:2 (NLT) The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.

John 12:46 (NLT) I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."  Walk = daily lifestyle

  • Contrast: following Jesus (the light) vs following self -Satan (the dark)

1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

1 Thessalonians 5:6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

  • Contrast: Being alert vs being indifferent, unaware

1 Thessalonians 5:6-7 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.

  • Contrast: Christ Followers (CFs) live under the influence of the Holy Spirit; unbelievers live under the influence of Satan and their sin nature (drugs, alcohol, anger etc)

Ephesians 5:16-18 (NLT) Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but (Be Alert) understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit,

1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

  • Faith and Love are the breastplate that covers the vital organs of the body.

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

  • CONTRAST: CFs know and obey God’s Word; Unbelievers don’t know and obey God’s word
  • CONTRAST: CFs love God and other people and share the gospel; Unbelievers love themselves and not God

1 Thessalonians 5:8… and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

  • The helmet protects our minds
  • Biblical hope is certainty and NOT wishful thinking
  • CONTRAST: CFs will live in Heaven with God forever; unbelievers will live separated from God in Hell forever

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • CONTRAST: CFs will enjoy the completion of their salvation in Heaven; unbelievers will suffer God’s wrath during the tribulation

1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

  • What do we have to be encouraged about?
  • Be encouraged: CFs NOW are doing life with God 24/7
  • The Holy Spirit:
  • Assures us of our salvation
  • Teaches us the Bible
  • Convicts us of our sins
  • Enlightens the Word so we can understand
  • Comfort us in our times of need
  • Help us pray
  • Guides and directs us
  • Empowers us
  • C.S. Lewis: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

John 14:1-3  (NLT)Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

  • Be encouraged: CFs final destination (heaven) is secure
  • Be encouraged: God has us covered here now and there FOREVER

Matthew 12:30 (NLT) (JESUS) Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

  • Which are YOU?

All Bible references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted. NLT = New Living Translation.