“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
1:2 Paul’s salutation is similar to those in other ancient letters (Gal. 1:3; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:2), but his expression is filled with spiritual meaning. Grace is the unmerited favor God gives to believers through Jesus Christ. Peace refers to the end of enmity between God and people. The Thessalonians could experience peace with God even during severe persecution.
1:2. As was his practice in his other epistles, Paul wishes for his readers grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:2. This verse is a word of greeting; the verb “be” must be implied. Paul reminded his readers that they were the recipients of God’s grace and peace, and he wished that they would experience these blessings in fullest measure. “Grace” is “God’s riches at Christ’s expense”; it is God’s unmerited favor which He freely bestows on all who accept Jesus Christ’s substitutionary work for them on the cross by faith. God gives man the opposite of what he deserves: blessing instead of judgment. This is the grace of God. “Peace” is the cessation of hostility which has resulted from Christ’s death; God and people can be reconciled because the debt of human sin has been paid by Christ. Christians have peace with God through the death of Christ. They also experience the peace of God as a result of Christ’s work.
Christians can be at peace even in the midst of trials and persecution. This was Paul’s desire for the Thessalonians. Both grace and peace are gifts of God that come to believers through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In both Thessalonian letters Paul gave the greeting “Grace and peace to you,” but here (in 2 Thes.) he added from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:2 “Grace to you and peace” Many see this as a combination of the Greek and Jewish greetings. The phrase “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” links the Father and Son by the CONJUNCTION “and” and the SINGLE PREPOSITION, showing Paul’s theology of Jesus’ deity (just like v. 1). Theologically grace always precedes peace.
The peace that counts (v. 2)
‘Grace to you and peace …’ Paul will also speak of God’s grace and peace at the end of the epistle, as they are both very important to the perseverance of believers under trial or persecution. The peace that Paul speaks of here is:
Peace through the cross
The blood of the cross has established reconciling peace between God and sinners (1 John 2:1–2; Heb. 9:11–15; 1 Peter 1:18–19). Having made peace, Christ sat down at the right hand of God and now lives to make intercession on behalf of those who believe (Rom. 8:34).
Peace in the soul
This is more than just peace of mind; it is deeper and more spiritual than that. It is peace with God which produces the peace of God in the heart. The former is our justification and acceptance with God through believing, while the latter is subjective and felt in the heart of believers as they take up their cross daily and follow Christ (John 14:27).
Peace by the gospel
The church proclaims Christ crucified so that hell-deserving sinners will hear of the love of God and reach out by faith for the promise of forgiveness and peace through the blood of the cross. Paul told the Corinthians that he was an ‘ambassador for Christ’ and that his job was to plead with men to ‘be reconciled to God. For He made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him’ (2 Cor. 5:20–21).
This blessing of God’s peace flows from his grace. Those who believe the gospel are recipients of grace added to grace (John 1:16). It has been secured for them by Christ’s death on the cross.
2 The second difference from the salutation in the first letter is the “addition” to the “grace” of its ultimate source: “from God the Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ.” Here is the kind of redundancy that becomes typical of Paul in his later letters. Just as the church is affirmed to exist “in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” so Paul now adds what will be found in all of his subsequent preserved letters, namely the source of this “grace and peace,” “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
All of this is especially explicable as from Paul himself. For example, the letter throughout shows concern for Paul’s authority, yet here Paul keeps the “Paul and Silas and Timothy” in the salutation, with no appositional “apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ” as in his later letters, even though the content of the present letter might easily have called for such. Moreover, Paul here keeps the first person plural throughout the letter, except for 2:5 and the signature at the end. Together these various items argue strongly in favor of the authenticity of the letter.
2 There is textual evidence for reading “from God our Father” (e.g., א and A from the Alexandrian text type). Since this is the Pauline pattern wherever this source phrase occurs, however, how could the pronoun ἡμῶν (hēmōn, “our”) ever have been omitted by substantial authorities B (Alexandrian) and D (Western)? Copyists would hardly have omitted it in light of its presence in 1:1 and in other Pauline salutations. Yet they may easily have been influenced to add it to bring the expression into line with practice elsewhere. Therefore, it probably was not present in the autograph.
 Thomas, R. L. (2006). 2 Thessalonians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 448). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
The Less We Do, the Less We Desire Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Peter 3:7
[I]n order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer, is, to continue praying; for the less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
An Encouragement to Unity John 16:33; Ephesians 4:13; 1 John 4:4; 5:4–5
Love one another, stand fast in unity, and suffer no dissensions among yourselves. For it is the unity that comes of a true faith which will preserve you safe unto God. May God in His turn mercifully grant unto you a successful issue that you may overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil!
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Genetically engineered potato plant “glows” in response to stress One of the challenges of farming lies in the fact that by the time plants appear to be diseased or otherwise stressed, it may already be too late to address the problem. A new type of potato, however, is designed to warn farmers by fluorescing at the earliest stages of stress.
New state of matter unlocks a secret of perovskite solar cells Perovskite solar cells are advancing at a rapid rate, and is drawing interest from scientists working to not just boost their performance but better understand how they offer such incredible, ever-increasing efficiencies. By turning their tools to perovskite crystals scientists have discovered unexpected behavior that represents an entirely new state of matter, which they say can help drive the development of advanced solar cells and other optical and electronic devices.
Ashkenazi lands in Egypt in first Foreign Minister visit in 13 years Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi landed in Cairo on Sunday morning, making him the first to do so in 13 years. Ashkenazi’s visit comes as Egypt advances a formal, long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas following the 11-day exchange of fire that ended on May 21 with mediation from Cairo.
Colombia protests: Duque sends military to Cali The Colombian army has begun to tighten its control over the city of Cali following weeks of deadly anti-government protests there. Streets are reported to be largely deserted after President Iván Duque ordered the military intervention. At least five people died in Cali on Friday night, the latest casualties in a month of protests which have claimed dozens of lives.
China one step closer to creating ‘artificial sun’ that can generate nuclear power China is now one step closer to developing an “artificial sun” after an experimental reactor maintained a scorching 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds. The incredible result could represent another stage towards creating atomic fusion energy, seen by many people as the holy grail of clean energy as the materials it requires are abundant.
Two More Coffin Nails and 100% Certainty of COVID-19 Fraud – Can Anyone Prove It Isn’t? ..Curiously and by means of evidence later provided to me by an epidemiologist, we confirmed that the U.S. and other Western nations were ordering “COVID”-specific test kits and supplies by a name that technically wouldn’t exist until 11 Feb 20, when the WHO/CDC cohort would officially apply the “COVID-19” moniker to it. Moreover, the evidence demonstrates that the U.S. and those other nations were making such “COVID-19” purchases dating back to 2017 and in each and every year up to 2019. How does that happen outside of a planned event? It doesn’t – period.
America Gets Tutored in the Doctrine of Devils College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany says “Nevermind the War on Christmas – what about the War on Jesus Christ?” Universities across America show an outright disregard and disdain for Jesus Christ, a survey by The College Fix finds.
They are telling us the plan: A future virus “more deadly” than COVID is coming A virus even more transmissible and fatal than Covid-19 (which is pretty easy considering Covid’s death rate is about equal to that of the common cold) will lead the world into the next pandemic, the director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, noting the “evolutionary certainty” of such an occurrence.
US Soldiers Expose Nuclear Weapons Secrets Via Flashcard Apps For US soldiers tasked with the custody of nuclear weapons in Europe, the stakes are high. Security protocols are lengthy, detailed and need to be known by heart. To simplify this process, some service members have been using publicly visible flashcard learning apps — inadvertently revealing a multitude of sensitive security protocols about US nuclear weapons and the bases at which they are stored.
Feds say employers can absolutely require a mandated COVID-19 vaccinePosted: 29 May 2021 06:23 AM PDT(ETH) – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated their guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and says employers are allowed to require employees to get vaccinated and can also offer incentives for them to get jabbed.The new guidance hopes to clear up legal questions employers and employees have concerning vaccination requirements. According to the guidance, employers can require all employees to get vaccinated to “meet a qualification standard that is job-related and consistent with business necessity, such as a safety-related standard.”The agency had signaled in December that companies could legally mandate employees returning to a workplace and new hires are vaccinated.Continue reading Feds say employers can absolutely require a mandated COVID-19 vaccine at End Time Headlines.
by Brian Shilhavy Editor, Health Impact News A million people hit the streets in London yesterday to demand their freedom back. This is largely being censored or downplayed in the corporate media, but with 1 million people marching through the streets of London, actual photos and videos of the crowds are easy to find online.
The globalists are getting worried, and well they should be.
All is not falling into place as quickly and easily as they had hoped.
They no doubt envisioned a scenario where their lab-created Wuhan virus creates mass fear, paving the way for them to ride in as the saviors armed with a dangerous bio-chemical injection that will be sold as a miracle serum to beat the virus. It came to us compliments of one of the world’s most evil men, Bill Gates.
This is the same man who openly speaks about the need to depopulate the world “to save the planet,” and who has been investing heavily in mRNA gene therapies for years. He has also invested in digital ID systems that can be merged with the digital health passports now being pushed on people as the panacea for returning to their old normal lives.
We called foul on the globalist game plan last summer, when in this space we predicted that “mask up” would become “vax up,” and that those who submitted to the mask were unknowingly sending the wrong signal to very powerful forces in the world who wished to enslave them.
The picture of what that enslavement will look like is now coming into clearer view.
Last year’s “conspiracy theories” are now being reported in the mainstream media as fact, including Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role in supporting gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China.
In a Senate hearing this week, Fauci feigned ignorance of the fact that no research in China operates independently of the Chinese Communist Party. He has become a pathetic character that fewer and fewer Americans see as credible.
What he and his globalist masters don’t understand is that there are still freedom fighters in America. This is not Western Europe, where people long ago lost the will to fight and just roll over on command for whatever the globalist oligarchs propose is necessary “for their safety.”
This is always how authoritarians gain sway over a nation — by posing as experts on the “greater good.” They are our benevolent protectors. We should trust them. Never question them.
“Trust Dr. Fauci!” says Joe Biden.
There are actually restaurants in New York City now that have signs on their doors reading “vaccinated only.”
More than 2.5 million American students have been told they can’t go back to college in the fall if they haven’t been jabbed with the experimental gene therapy.
It’s just to keep us safe, right?
That’s how freedom died in Germany. Blind trust of the “authorities.”
After the National Socialists were voted into office in 1931, they started passing laws and working with big corporations to micro-manage all of German society. IBM created the punch-card system that helped keep track of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and others deemed “dangerous” to the greater good of Germany. How is that different from today’s digital health passports, which IBM also has had a hand in developing?
Western society has never been immune to totalitarian influences and we better not think we are above such indignities.
The globalist predators are always waiting in the wings for an opportunity to exploit a crisis and extend their control over us, a little at a time. The 9/11 terrorist attacks provided the pretext for many new government intrusions and now COVID is being used to make even greater strides in the direction of dictatorship.
Heed the words of the professor…
Back in 1970, the learned professor and quintessential elitist technocrat, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wrote a book titled Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era.
In that book, Brzezinski wrote:
“The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. So it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”
On the third anniversary of his death on May 26, 2017, it should be noted that Brzezinski had a brilliant mind, but his brilliance was likely inspired by satanic influences. His insights came 25 years before the Internet and about 35 years before Facebook and Twitter started creating dossiers on every American.
What he described in his book sounds an awful lot like today’s vaccine passports.
Personal information handed over
Instantly retrievable in real time by the “authorities”
All this would combine to create greater control than any previous dictator could have ever dreamed of wielding over humanity. Brzezinski foresaw a coming era in which technology would allow the authorities to create an atmosphere of total “surveillance” over all human activity, including their consumption, production, movement, thoughts, even their physical and mental health.
We have discussed in previous articles how Moderna, one of the makers of the mRNA injections, views the body as mere hardware into which they can install their software platform, updating it as needed over time. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel recently admitted what we predicted would be the case months ago — that two shots won’t be enough to “protect” you. A third is on its way.
If we need any more evidence of how Big Tech views the human vessel as a soulless machine to be tracked, monitored and continuously assessed, consider the recent patent application filed by Microsoft for a biochip that would be able to confirm whether a person has performed tasks by monitoring bodily functions such as brain waves.
PC Magazine reports on how this Microsoft technology also fits with the globalist agenda to replace cash with a new digital cryptocurrency issued and tightly controlled by central banks:
“Instead of massive computation work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, data generated based on the body activity of the user can be proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously,” the patent continues. In order to access this validation data, the human user would need to have a sensor attached to, or installed in, their body. Microsoft envisages users being rewarded for allowing their bodies to be monitored in this way by paying them in cryptocurrency for performing specific tasks.
I believe the current virus was created in a lab for the purpose of finishing the job of implementing the global surveillance state, the technocratic utopia envisioned by Brzezinski. While he has passed on, many of his colleagues and disciples, including his own daughter, MSNBC media host Mika Brzezinski, hold positions of power.
But there’s a sense now that, after an unprecedented marshalling of global resources and unified messaging for everyone to submit to the experimental injection, they are struggling to pull it off.
After 16 months of lies, creative spin and creation of fraudulent data about the dangers of the CCP virus to people of all ages and health statuses, many people are still resisting the pressure to conform to the new normal.
Here are just a few of the most grotesque lies and distortions:
Discounting the natural immunity of the 50 percent or more of Americans who have contracted and recovered from COVID. None of that counts toward reaching herd immunity. In a clear breech of modern medical practices, only the vaccinated get cleared as immune.
Inflated mortality rates, at first said to be as high as 3.5 percent. We now know that the kill rate for those who catch COVID is around 0.2 percent, and almost non-existent in those under the age of 20, so why are children now being jabbed?
Inflated body counts. Nowhere near 600,000 Americans have died from COVID, although many have died with COVID of totally unrelated causes.
“Asymptomatic super spreaders.” Multiple studies now say this was never a threat.
So now the Vax Nazis have invaded every facet of people’s lives – their workplaces, their social media accounts, schools, entertainment venues and even many of their churches – all pushing us to take the death serum.
Origins of the bioweapon
In spite of all the intense propaganda, intimidation, and pathetic incentives, from free Budweisers and Krispy-Kreme donuts to million-dollar lottery jackpots for the vaccinated, it’s about to blow up in their faces.
The truth is coming out about the origin of the virus. It did not evolve naturally from a bat at a Chinese wet market. It was manipulated in a lab by scientists working under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party with funding from a corrupt American bureaucrat, Dr. Fauci. What they created in that lab was a bioweapon. The target was humanity and especially those living in Western democracies.
We know this because World Economic Forum founder/director Klaus Schwab immediately started celebrating COVID as an “opportunity” presenting a “narrow window” in which he and his fellow global predators could exploit the fear created by the virus to change the way people live, forever. In a nutshell, they saw COVID as an opportunity to scare people into handing over their freedoms, their personal sovereignty, even their bodily autonomy.
Schwab said that if the Great Reset were implemented people would “own nothing and be happy” under a new system of “inclusive capitalism.”
He said he and his globalist cronies, after they used the fear created by COVID to destroy our way of life, would “build it back better.”
Schwab sensed that a health crisis could be used to tear down what was left of individual liberty under constitutional democracy and replace it with Brzezinski’s vision of a “more controlled society” where the masses lean on elites to tell them what they are allowed to do, where they can go, how they get there [not in cars or planes unless you’re among the privileged and obedient ones].
COVID barely appeared on the scene and Schwab managed to publish a book, COVID-19 and the Great Reset. He began holding virtual meetings with global thought leaders, explaining that now was the time to make the long-awaited transition to a new type of society, a more controlled society.
Immediately after Schwab coined that phrase, “Build it Back Better,” elected leaders, bureaucrats and media figures all started using it in their daily speeches and tweets. Like little mockingbirds all chirping the same tune.
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Prince Charles, Justin Trudeau of Canada, Boris Johnson of the UK and many others across the world began repeating the mantra Build it Back Better, showing just how tightly controlled they are and by whom, not to mention how little their COVID-response policies have to do with public health.
Harris, in a speech last week, said: “As we come out of the pandemic we have a unique opportunity to change how we live, how we work and how we vote.”
The jab is an extension of the bioweapon
Just as the truth is beginning to leak out about the origin of the virus, the truth will also be revealed in due time about how this injection is being used to keep the bioweapon alive.
Michael Yeadon, a research scientist who spent 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including a stint with Pfizer, warned us about the risks.
“Look out the window, and think, ‘why is my government lying to me about something so fundamental?’ Because, I think the answer is, they are going to kill you using this method. They’re going to kill you and your family,” Yeadon told LifeSite News.
He is not alone.
Many credible scientists – Professor Sucharit Bhakdi in Germany, Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche in Belgium and Dr. Lee Merritt, Dr. Peter Breggin and Dr. Peter McCullough in the U.S. just to name a few – have warned us about the potentially devastating impact of this experimental treatment. Implementing a mass vaccination program in the middle of a viral pandemic will cause the virus to mutate into stronger and stronger variants, the opposite of what happens to viruses in the natural world. Normally the variants become weaker until the virus burns itself out. But mass vaccinating the young and healthy risks a “global catastrophe” said Vanden Bossche.
Those behind this monstrous attack on humanity are running scared.
How do we know this?
We know it when one of the most prominent mouthpieces for the globalist predators, the Washington Post, runs a 2,200-word hit piece on everyday Americans who just don’t feel threatened enough by a virus with a 99.7 percent survival rate to risk getting an experimental injection that was never tested for long-term effects.
Surely these globalists thought by now they would have at least 70 percent of the free world vaxxed. They thought they could buy us off, threaten us with our jobs, all to achieve the singular purpose of fulfilling scumbag Bill Gates’ dream of “vaccinating the world” with his experimental mRNA jab.
But instead, 50 percent of America is saying hell no, we won’t accept your poke. Many are lawyering up and fighting back against the heavy-handed vaccine bullies in the universities, government and corporate world.
When all else fails they revert to their favorite tactic – slander. In its May 26 article, TheWashington Postattempts to paint the entire 50 percent of unvaccinated America as ignorant “anti-vaxxers” and conspiracy theorists.
The article presented no data on the number of reported deaths over the first five months of this vaccine’s roll-out. If the Post had bothered to check those numbers, they would have found that this vaccine has resulted in more deaths reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System [VAERS] over five months than all other vaccines combined for the last 22 years! Nearly 5,000 Americans are reported dead, and according to Harvard University the VAERS system only accounts for an estimated 1 to 10 percent of the actual deaths and injuries.
That’s not the type of performance that instills confidence.
But they know that if the facts were to be widely reported, even fewer people would be rolling up their sleeves.
Now is not the time to let down our guard. This Memorial Day weekend calls to mind those who paid with their lives to protect freedom in America. We must continue to stand strong for the same principles. Continue putting out information on social media, spreading the truth to all who will listen. We have these evildoers on the ropes. Our freedom hangs in the balance.
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A top Homeland Security adviser for former President Donald Trump on Sunday is confident there will be a definitive answer to the origins of the coronavirus in China – and the key will be the “courage” of “ethical scientists” who have been silenced by Beijing.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan speaks out to Newsmax after new ‘revelations’ in investigations into the origins of the worldwide pandemic, researchers from China and aa complete reversal in the American media’s coverage of this story. – via The Benny Report with Benny Johnson, Saturdays at 9:30PM ET on Newsmax.
Amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis at our southern border that President Joe Biden’s administration still tries to assure us is not, in fact, a crisis, mysterious drops of busloads of migrants, including children, are being reported deep in the U.S. interior.
As you can imagine, Americans are starting to ask questions.
Early Friday morning, local news channels in Tennessee and Kentucky discovered that a busload of people, including children, had been flown into McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee, before being bused into southern Kentucky.
The children were loaded onto two buses from a flight that Knoxville-based WVLT-TV learned had originated in Long Beach, California.
An emergency facility at the Long Beach Convention Center is currently housing hundreds of illegal immigrant children displaced from other facilities accused of maintaining poor, unsafe conditions.
WVLT followed one bus up I-75 as it crossed into Whitley County, Kentucky, and observed the other head south from Knoxville, WKYT-TV in Lexington, Kentucky, reported.
It was unclear where they were going.
The stations reported they contacted the Tennessee-based charter company operating the buses, but when they asked about the mysterious migrant caravan, the company hung up, WKYT reported.
They also reached out to the offices of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Reps. Hal Rogers and Andy Barr. The governor’s office response, if any, was unclear in the report. The offices of the two Kentucky congressmen said they were looking into the matter, according to WKYT.
Is the Biden administration trying to hide something?
Earlier this month, GOP lawmakers demanded answers from the Biden administration when multiple flights of unaccompanied migrant minors arrived over one week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, overnight, at Wilson Air Center.
“A source with direct knowledge of the operation asked to remain anonymous but tells Channel 3 that approximately 30 to 50 minors are transported at a time, some to reunite with family members and others to go to group homes,” reported Chattanooga station WRCB-TV, which broke the story.
Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said in a statement to WRCB that her office had received no information from the Biden administration on these mysterious middle-of-the-night flights.
It is absolutely unacceptable if the Biden Administration is facilitating a mass migration under cover of darkness without any input or oversight from Tennesseans and the affected communities.https://t.co/e2LKVvOa8e
The Republican lawmaker also told Fox News that the drops were taking place “the dead of night without the knowledge or permission of the communities involved.”
Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty, a fellow Republican, agreed.
“I have warned for months that President Biden’s failure at the border would result in a systematic resettling of migrants in our communities, burdening our schools, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies, and bringing an increase in drug trafficking and human smuggling,” Hagerty also told Fox News.
Further evidence of the systematic resettlement of migrants in our communities that is occurring because Biden won’t secure the border or enforce immigration laws, making illegal entry easy & removal of illegals nonexistent. It’s time for Biden to be transparent w/Tennesseans. https://t.co/RG7HXaCSXg
“The crisis is too big to ignore and is now spilling over the border states into all of our states,” the governors wrote.
The crisis at our border is too big to ignore, and it’s spilling into ALL of our states. I have led a joint letter with fellow Republican governors urging the Biden Administration to take immediate action at America’s southern border. pic.twitter.com/9Igedxj9qr
“The cause of the border crisis is entirely due to reckless federal policy reversals executed within your first 100 days in office,” the letter continued. “The rhetoric of the Biden Administration and the rollback of critical agreements with our allies have led to the inhumane treatment of tens of thousands of children and undermined a fragile immigration system.”
In another Twitter post days later, Lee wrote that the Biden administration had “emboldened one of the worst trafficking crisis we’ve seen” while refusing to give information to the states affected by it.
When we demanded answers, they cut off transparency & emboldened one of the worst human trafficking crises we’ve seen at our border in the last 20 years. I commend @SenatorHagerty & @MarshaBlackburn for calling this out – Tennesseans deserve to know who is coming into our state.
(Life News) – Joe Biden made it official today. As a candidate for president he promised the most radical pro-abortion groups in America that he would scrap the Hyde Amendment and force Americas to fund killing babies in abortions with their tax dollars.
The current world situation, tragically marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges the followers of all religions to collaborate in new ways at the service of the human community.
Today we present to you, unedited and in its entirety, a message from the Roman Catholic Church to Buddhists celebrating their ‘Feast Of Vesakh’ that calls for a ‘universal solidarity’ between the Vatican and all the world’s religions. As in the One World Religion foretold in the book of Revelation.
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Revelation 13:4-6 (KJB)
The Roman Catholic Church for the past 17 centuries since their creation in 325 AD has always taught that they were the ‘one true church’, and that the Roman Catholic sacraments offered the only path to salvation. Yet here in 2021, you have Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church embracing the teachings of other religions like Buddhism, and calling for the religions of the world to come together in a ‘universal solidarity’. Welcome to the One World Religion of Chrislam.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3 (KJB)
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
Buddhists and Christians: Promoting a Culture of Care and Solidarity
1. On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, I am writing to you on the occasion of the feast of Vesakh to offer my heartfelt greetings. It is my prayer that this annual feast of the birth, enlightenment, and passing away of Gautama Buddha may bring joy, serenity, and hope to the hearts of Buddhists throughout the world.
2. The current world situation, tragically marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges the followers of all religions to collaborate in new ways at the service of the human community. In his Encyclical Fratelli tutti, signed in Assisi on 3 October 2020, Pope Francis reiterated the urgency of a universal solidarity that allows humanity to overcome together the difficult crises that threaten it, because “no one is saved alone” (Pope Francis, Fratelli tutti, 32).
3. The Vesak greetings, of which we celebrated the 25th anniversary last year, have highlighted many of the values we hold in common and the wisdom that supports the collaboration we foster, especially in addressing times as hard as the present one. The suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made us aware of our shared vulnerability and interdependence. We are called to discover and practice the solidarity enshrined in our respective religious traditions. As Pope Francis says, “ancient stories, full of symbolism, bear witness to a conviction which we today share, that everything is interconnected, and that genuine care for our own lives and our relationship with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.” (Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Peace, 1 January 2021).
4. The Buddhist teaching on Brahma Viharas (Four Heavenly Abodes or Virtues) offers us a timeless message of solidarity and active care. In speaking about mettā (loving kindness), it exhorts followers to extend boundless love to all. “As a mother even with her life protects her only child, so let one cultivate immeasurable loving-kindness towards all living beings” (Mettā Sutta). As the Buddha taught, practitioners are equally encouraged to “make haste in doing good deeds; one should restrain one’s mind from evil; for the mind of one who is slow in doing good tends to take delight in doing evil” (Dhammapada, 116).
5. May this dramatic situation of the COVID-19 pandemic strengthen our bonds of friendship and further unite us in service to the human family, adopting “a culture of dialogue as the path, mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard” (Pope Francis, Fratelli tutti, 285).
6. Dear Buddhist friends, these are the thoughts that I wish to share with you this year. Let us look forward to the future with hope and serenity. Happy Feast! source
Have you ever felt heaven was shut to you? Perhaps you were praying for something but sensed your prayers were just bouncing off heaven’s walls. “How do I get through to God?” you cry.
Or maybe you’ve been living apart from God or even against God and you’ve been thinking of turning or returning to God, but when you begin look up, all you see is high walls, closed doors, and no entry signs. How can I get access to God?
In John 1:46-51 Jesus provides a ladder to access God. This ladder gets us over every obstacle and all the way through to God.
Access Research Network is a group that produces recordings of lectures and debates related to intelligent design. I noticed that on their Youtube channel they are releasing some of their older lectures and debates for FREE. So I decided to write a summary of one that I really like on the Cambrian explosion. This lecture features Dr. Stephen C. Meyer andDr. Marcus Ross.
The lecture is about two hours. There are really nice slides with lots of illustrations to help you understand what the speakers are saying, even if you are not a scientist.
Here is a summary of the lecture from ARN:
The Cambrian explosion is a term often heard in origins debates, but seldom completely understood by the non-specialist. This lecture by Meyer and Ross is one of the best overviews available on the topic and clearly presents in verbal and pictorial summary the latest fossil…
God works through a remnant. There are innumerable professing Christians in the world, but the tares are rampant within that body. However, there is the wheat within. This remnant is of priceless value to God’s purposes. We must ask ourselves if we are part of this remnant who lives for God’s glory alone in all they do. If we are honest with ourselves and see that we have some holes in our walk then now is the time of repentance.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NASB)
There are two extremes that Christians must avoid at all costs. The first is over confidence in one’s own ability, which is pride in its positive form. This causes believers to rely on their own abilities to do “good works.” The other extreme is to become paralyzed into inactivity because of pride working in its negative form. It tries to resemble humility by proclaiming things such as, “I’m not sanctified enough to do that sort of work.” Both are attitudes of pride and are in rebellion against God.
When we talk about our own ability to do good works then we are not relying on the Grace of God to work through us to do His will. All that is accomplished is empty works that are designed to be a sign to everyone about how spiritual we are. This is rampant in the 21st Century Church. As a result, we have neo-Evangelism with its golden calf of easy-believism evangelism at all cost, leaving the work of the Holy Spirit and the Bible completely out of the process. It is all man-made religion and it does not bring God glory.
When we talk about our own inability to do good works and follow that up with by doing nothing as a result, we are insulting our Creator God.
Persevere Together Like Soldiers 1 Corinthians 4:1; Colossians 1:29; 1 Timothy 4:10; 2 Timothy 2:4; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10
Labor together with one another, compete together, run together, suffer together, die together, rise up together, as God’s managers and assistants and servants. Please the one whom you serve as a soldier, from whom you also receive wages. Let none of you be found a deserter. Keep your baptism as weaponry, your faith as a helmet, your love as a spear, your endurance as a full set of armor. Let your works be your war-time deposits, so that you may receive your deserved savings. Be patient, therefore, with one another, in gentleness, as God is with you.
IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
The Church Threatened by Trusting Intellect Proverbs 3:5–6; Romans 12:2
Ah, I believe that the Church of Christ suffers more today from trusting in intellect, in sagacity, in culture, and in mental refinement, than from almost anything else.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Modern church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
5:6 “Sleep” here is not a reference to death, as in 4:13–15, but to spiritual laxity, which characterizes all the unsaved. The Christian’s attitude, on the other hand, is characterized by watchfulness and sober (nēgphōg, Gk.) awareness of how one should act in every circumstance, especially as he lives in the light of the Lord’s imminent return.
5:6we must not sleep Earlier in this letter, Paul used a Greek word for “sleep,” koimaō, metaphorically to describe those who have died (4:13). In this verse, he uses a different Greek word, katheudō, also translated “sleep,” to refer to being unaware of God, His workings, and His return.
5:6So then. Paul gives general exhortations based on the reassurances of v. 5. To sleep is to be morally and spiritually disengaged, and/or living without a consciousness of the coming day.
5:6 let us not sleep. Because believers have been delivered from the domain of darkness, they are taken out of the night of sin and ignorance and put into the light of God. Because Christians are in the light, they should not sleep in spiritual indifference and comfort, but be alert to the spiritual issues around them. They are not to live like the sleeping, darkened people who will be jolted out of their coma by the Day of the Lord (v. 7), but to live alert, balanced, godly lives under control of the truth.
5:6 — Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
Jesus told us to watch for Him and keep at His business until He comes, and Paul merely elaborated on the same message. The prospect of Jesus’ return should inspire us to keep working, not to get lazy.
5:6. The Greek word used for sleep here is katheudō. This differs from the word used for sleep in 4:13–14 to refer to the death of believers (koimaomai). This word refers to moral lethargy (vv 5:6–7, 10). Let us not sleep is an exhortation to be morally alert in light of Christ’s soon return. The opposite of sleeping is given here: let us watch and be sober.
Watchfulness is an exhortation commonly found in eschatological passages dealing with the Lord’s coming as a thief in the night (cf. Matt 24:42–43; 25:13; Mark 13:34–35; Luke 12:37, 39; 1 Pet 5:8; Rev 3:2; 16:15).
5:6 The next three verses call believers to a life that is consistent with their exalted position. This means watchfulness and sobriety. We are to watch against temptation, laziness, lethargy, and distraction. Positively, we should watch for the Savior’s return.
Sobriety here means not only being sober in conversation and in general demeanor but being temperate as far as food and drink are concerned.
5:6. Paul’s exhortation was for his readers to behave in keeping with their enlightened condition and to be prepared in view of the day of the Lord. He presented this exhortation as a logical conclusion from what preceded. Besides being logical to behave this way, it is also a necessary duty. Christians should not be indifferent to the reality of the Lord’s return; they should not be asleep on the job. The word for “asleep” (katheudōmen; cf. v. 10) differs from the one used thrice in 4:13–15 where it means death (koimaō). Here it means spiritual lethargy and insensitivity. This is the condition of the unsaved, the others. Christians, on the other hand, should be watchful and soberly waiting for the Lord’s return (1 Cor. 1:7; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; 2 Peter 3:12), and self-controlled (1 Thes. 5:6), maintaining self-discipline in view of the great events to come.
5:6. Now the reasonable conclusion: Being in the light, having been rescued from the darkness, looking to a future with God, not being subject to his wrath—these should make a difference in how we live.
Paul urged, Let us not be like others, who are asleep. The comparison is most likely to the unbeliever, though it may also target the Christian who is apathetic. Whoever these people were, they were “asleep.”
Falling asleep is a picture of what can happen to us spiritually, ethically, or morally if we are not watchful. We simply drift off. Drowsiness begins, we become comfortable, our hearts become insensitive. Spiritual drowsiness slowly paralyzes the spirit. The person who was once vibrant and wide awake in following Christ can become lethargic and lazy about issues of the spirit.
As you drive down the road and your eyelids become heavy, it is best to open a window, turn up the radio, or pull over for a rest. Spiritually, at the first sign of sleepiness, when church becomes a bit boring, or prayer drops off a bit and you do not seem to care as much—make some corrections. At the very least, ask God to renew your heart, open your spirit to his renewing work, and find accountability with another believer. Falling asleep at the wheel can have disastrous results; so can falling asleep spiritually.
We are to be alert and self-controlled. To be alert is the opposite of being asleep. An alert person is aware, sensitive to life around him, and morally and spiritually awake.
5:6 “let us not sleep” This is a different word from 4:13ff. It is often used in the NT for moral indifference (cf. Mark 13:36; Eph. 5:14). Notice the three different uses of “sleep” (katheudō): (1) lack of moral alertness, (v. 6); (2) physical rest, (v. 7); (3) death, (v. 10).
Ver. 6. Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.—
I. The sleep of sin.—Scripture teaches us, with the utmost explicitness, that a state of sin is a state of slumber. Sleep is a figure which is commonly employed to illustrate man’s natural and unrenewed state. Sin is the sleep of the soul—the spirit. 1. Both natural and spiritual sleep are characterized by forgetfulness. We speak, and not without reason, of the oblivion of sleep. A man falls into a sound sleep, and immediately he forgets the past, “forgets himself,” to use a very common and not inappropriate expression. Look at men in a state of sin, in an unrenewed, unawakened state—are they not the subjects, the victims of forgetfulness, to an almost incredible extent? Do they not forget what manner of men they are? Do they not forget all the great lessons of God’s Word and God’s providence, which have been so repeatedly addressed to them? Do they not forget what they owe unto their Lord? Are they not oblivious to those immense accumulations of guilt which are invoking the long-delayed vengeance of Heaven? 2. Both spiritual and natural sleep are characterized by insensibility to the present. In bodily slumber a man is insensible to all that transpires around him: he is shut off from all surrounding influences; a mysterious, and, for the time, impenetrable veil separates him from the external and material world. Is not this, again, illustrative of the moral, the spiritual condition of the unrenewed, the unawakened sinner? He is in the midst of a spiritual world, full of realities the most stupendous, the most amazing. He has no spiritual discernment. There are the truths of Scripture, there is this wide-spreading spiritual universe, with all that it contains of beauty and terror, with its sweet whispers of invitation and its thunder-tones of warning, all of which things are not the less real because he is asleep: but to him they are as though they were not, while he is asleep; for him they have practically no existence; on him they exert no appreciable influence. 3. In both spiritual and natural sleep we see not only forgetfulness as to the past and insensibility as to the present, we see, also, the entire absence of apprehension as to the future. In the case of natural slumber, though some great peril be actually threatening the sleeper, there is no uneasiness, no dread, no desire or effort either to avert the danger or to escape from it. That I am not overstating the case will appear, if you will take the trouble to compare your feelings in reference to some object of earthly interest, with your feelings in reference to some object of spiritual interest. But with spiritual danger it is otherwise. You see it not—it is intangible—it is mysterious—it is future. 4. Both natural and spiritual sleep are often disturbed by dreams. But there is the widest difference between the dreams which disturb the natural and spiritual sleeper. In natural sleep the objects of our dreams are unrealities, fantastic and improbable assemblages of familiar things, grouped upon we know not what principle of association. The man wrapped in spiritual slumber dreams, but of what is actual and real. 5. In the case both of natural and spiritual slumber we see that persons who are soundly asleep are very unwilling to be awakened. And in all deep sleep, if the awakening be not a very thorough and complete one, there is an almost irresistible tendency to fall asleep again. God often, in His providence, disturbs the sleep of men. But, whatever may be the cause, there is in such cases only a partial awakening, and we see plainly enough that the sleeper does not like to be thus disturbed. II. Let us now notice this sleep of death which is so often referred to in God’s Word. The same natural state is, as you know, employed to symbolize two things, sin and death; and if we are but truly emancipated from the Slumber of sin, we shall be able to look forward without foreboding to the sleep of death. As we compare sleep and death, we distinguish several points of correspondence, which are not only very obvious, but which are also very interesting. 1. We see sleep exercising its dominion over the entire world. In all ages, and in all countries, we see men yielding to its influence. And just so the power of death is universally exercised and submitted to. “Death has passed upon all men, inasmuch as all have sinned.” 2. Though men have been sleeping and dying for six thousand years, there is an infinite mystery still attaching both to sleep and death. There is no one wise enough to say precisely what the one or the other is. 3. Sleep and death agree in this also, that their dominion extends no further than the body. While the body lies fettered in sleep, the soul enjoys an unbounded and unwonted liberty, which it scarcely knows how to use. 4. In sleep and in death there is the apparent enjoyment of rest and quiet. In reference to the grave we say, “There the wicked cease from troubling; there the weary are at rest.” 5. In sleep and in death men lie down with the hope and the expectation of rising again. 6. You know, in the case of natural slumber, that they who would sleep well at night must not sleep much in the day. And I would remind you, that if you spend the day of your life sleeping the sleep of sin, the sleep of death will be a troubled sleep, and your awakening, on the resurrection day, one full of terror. If you will sleep when you ought to be awake, you will not be able to sleep when the time for sleep cometh. (T. M. Morris.)
Let us not sleep:—Many thoughtless and irreligious men think that they live in a manner that is the furthest off from sleep. And, indeed, they may be in a perpetual fever; and yet spiritually they are like men who sleep. I. When a man is asleep he is in a state of inactivity. You no more expect activity from the sleeping than you do from the dead. Whatever may be the fervid life of a godless man, yet with respect to God, prayer, preparation for eternity, religious duties, he does nothing; and Scripture says that he is not only asleep, but dead—and this, notwithstanding his pursuit of knowledge and pleasure. II. A man asleep is unconscious of all around him. He may be asleep in the sunshine, on a bank of beauty and fragrance, surrounded by the most gorgeous scenery on earth, but he is insensible to it all. Such is the condition, spiritually, of the sinner. A man that has religious faith in him sees that God has surrounded him by another creation; but this is for ever shut from the sight of the godless. What is the scenery of earth to that of the universe of truth, to which the worldly have their whole soul closed? III. They that sleep dream, and are therefore liable to be affected by the unsubstantial and the untrue. A sluggard perhaps dreams that he is rich and prosperous; a hungry beggar, that he is a king. The most absurd and grotesque visions may flit over the dreamer and be to him as affecting as the realities of life, or he may be disturbed by dreams of terror equally unsubstantial. And worldly men will often be agitated by superstitious fears; their very ignorance of religion will be a positive and operating evil. But principally they dream that they are “rich and increased in goods,” &c.; while they are in reality “poor and miserable,” &c. The worldly man goes on fearing nothing because unconscious of the actual condition of his nature, and there is nothing so absurd as the dreams of irreligious dreamers; aye, and of religious dreamers too, thinking that they have enough of religion, and resting satisfied with repeating their creeds. IV. Sleep is sometimes produced by indulgences that make sleep heavy (ver. 7). When men sleep through grossness and sensuality it is very difficult to awake them. Loud voices and violent shaking will scarcely do it; and if you should succeed, they are irritated and want to sleep again. So when men’s souls are drugged. Startling providences, such as a death next door, or an arousing sermon, which makes the deepest impression on others, have none on them. If some kind friend takes them by the arm, and will make them hear, they are vexed and feel insulted. Their conscience may be probed for the moment, but it is soon over, and they go to sleep again. So men go on crying “Peace and safety,” and by the constant neglect of their spiritual nature closing the heart against the gospel, they get into a state of complete hardihood, and then “sudden destruction cometh.” “Let us not sleep like” these, “but watch and be sober.” (T. Binney.)
I. Sleep is a time when the reason has no control over a man. This is the state of the sinner. Boast as he may, his reason cannot exercise its full powers till God gives light to the understanding. How manifest it is that men are in a state in which they are not acting with a proper view to their well-being. Though hastening to eternity, they are making no provision for it.
II. Sleep is the time when the powers of body and mind are withdrawn from active and useful labour. True a sinner’s mind is active, but not about the chief good, the glory and honour of God. The body is active, but what are its powers wasted upon? Are they not frequently “instruments of righteousness unto sin.” And though men may not have sunk into licentiousness, yet, unless consecrated to God, their highest powers are thrown away.
III. Sleep is a time when danger may be very near without being perceived. The sinner is like a man whose house is in flames, or into which robbers have gained entrance. He may have upbraidings of conscience, and make resolutions, and see that a course of sin is a course of misery. But all pass away unless there be the quickening power of heaven upon them. Take heed then, sinner, and awake. (J. Morison, D.D.)
The soul asleep:—
I. The evil. There are three kinds of sleep in Scripture. The sleep of the body; of the grave; of the soul. It is of the last that Paul speaks. There is—1. The sleep of indolence, indifference, thoughtlessness. We use a like term in the affairs of life. Of a man who lets all his opportunities pass, and makes no provision against evil, obvious to all but himself, we say, “He must be asleep.” Such a sleep, spiritually, is described in Isaiah 29:1–24. The Bible is a sealed book, and eternal things a matter of little consequence. The Bible is not opposed; but all we can extort is a vacant assent, and then sleep. 2. The sleep of security and false peace. Attention has been awakened; “things belonging to peace” have been apprehended; but after having been thus enlightened there has ensued a delusive tranquillity of soul, trading in past conversion, little thinking of the use their sleepless adversary is making of their guilty slumber. 3. The sleep of sloth and inactivity. All the emblems of the Christian life support the necessity of earnestness and diligence—the racer, &c. Hence the idea of an unadvancing Christian is a practical contradiction. Imagine the case of a babe remaining always a babe, a warrior without victory. All stationary conditions in religion are slumbering conditions.
II. The danger. Spiritual sleep, like natural, is a thing of degrees. There is a deep sleep from which a man can with difficulty be aroused, and yet there is a lighter sleep in which though every noise be sufficient to disturb, yet it may not be sufficient to arouse. These two states are types of the unawakened sinner, and the unwatchful Christian. 1. With regard to a man in the confirmed slumber. (1) There is the awful danger that none of the warnings and providential rebukes by which other souls are stirred up should reach him; he cannot hear them. Sickness stretches him on his bed; death bereaves him of friends; decaying faculties predict his latter end; but he sleeps only to waken in the prison of the invisible world. (2) But deep as his slumbers are, they allow of his being amused with dreams. He can hear the whispers of Satan, when he cannot hear the thunders of vengeance. The word is represented as paradise; religion is an affair of observances; repentance is a dying man’s employment; and death, perhaps, an eternal sleep. In that sleep of the soul “What dreams do come!” What contradictions to truth, what impiety against God! What frauds upon a rational intelligence! 2. In the sleep of a lighter character, unwatchfulness and supineness of soul, the danger is lest it should deepen into the heaviest. Men thus asleep are like those under the influence of an opiate; their only safety lies in keeping their eyes open; once close them, they die. But at best such can expect to have no evidence of their acceptance in a dying hour: they have none now. (D. Moore, M.A.)
Sleep not:—We do not usually sleep towards the things of this world. In this age of competition most men are wide awake enough for their temporal interests; but we are all very apt to sleep concerning the interests of our souls. The text applies—
I. To the people of god. 1. Let us not sleep as did the disciples who went with their Lord to the garden, and fell a slumbering while He was agonizing. Think of what Christ has done, is doing, and wants you to do. Where is our zeal for God, and compassion for men in view of all this? 2. Let us not sleep as Samson, who, while he slept, lost his locks, strength, liberty, eyes, and at last his life. Carnal security is a Delilah always. It gives us many a dainty kiss, and lulls us into tranquil slumber, which we imagine to be God’s own peace, whereas the peace of Satanic enchantment is upon us. Here there are perils of the deadliest sort. The Philistines do not sleep. Our Samsonian lock, the secret of our strength, is faith. Take away that and we are weak as other men. 3. Sleep not as those did when the enemy came and sowed tares. When false doctrines and unholy practices creep into a Church, it is when the watchers are asleep. An unwatchful Church will soon become an unholy Church. 4. Sleep not as the ten virgins whom the coming of the Bridegroom surprised. Suppose the Lord were to come to night; are you ready, with your loins girt and your lamps trimmed?
II. To the unconverted. 1. Do not sleep as did Jonah. When all the rest were praying in the tempest he was insensible to it all. Every man called upon his God, except the man who had caused the storm. He was most in danger, but he was the most careless. Do not some of you live in houses where they all pray but you? Yours is the only soul unblest, and yet yours is the only one unanxious. 2. Do not sleep like Solomon’s sluggard. He slept hour after hour. He only meant to slumber a few minutes; but minutes fly rapidly to men who dream. Had he known he would have been shocked at his own laziness. Now there are men who say that they will attend to religion soon, but must first enjoy a little pleasure. They will not risk their soul another twelve months, they will but stay till next Sunday. But so it has been year after year. 3. Do not sleep like Eutychus. It is true that he was restored to life; but many a Eutychus has fallen dead under the Word and has never revived. If preaching does not wake you it rocks your cradle and makes you more and more insensible. 4. Do not sleep like Saul and his guards. Abishai said “Let me strike him: it shall be but this once.” That is what Satan says and what he will some day do. 5. Do not sleep as Sisera. Those who profess to be your friends will prove your assassins. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
Why Christians should not sleep:—I. God has done more for them than for others. II. They have made promises to Him which others have not made. III. God has made to them exceeding great and precious promises which He has not made to others. IV. So much is expected of them, and such a great work is laid upon them, if “they sleep as do others,” it will not be done. V. While Christians sleep the enemy is busy—sinners perish—the world rushes madly to ruin! (Preacher’s Monthly.)
On guard:—“Let us watch.”
I. The importance of watchfulness. It is the mainstay of the soul, which, if once called off, we lie open to the shot of every enemy. This, like one of the Nethinims, must stand constantly porter at the door of our hearts—God’s temple, to keep out whatever is unclean. Watchfulness is a diligent observation of ourselves in all things, and at all times, that we may please God always. He that watcheth hath his eyes in his head, according to the wise man’s phrase, and seeth, as the Chinese say of themselves, with both eyes. David expresseth it fitly: “I said, I will take heed to my ways;” that is, I will ponder my paths, and consider where I set my feet, lest I should tread awry. Without this wariness there is no safe walking. Like Laish was, the secure soul is made a prey to its enemies. Soul lethargies are most dangerous, most deadly. He who watcheth not is led about like one in his natural sleep, by any temptation, he knoweth not how nor whither. When the wolves in the fable once prevailed with the sheep to part with the dogs they soon devoured them. If Satan can but get Christians to forego this means of their safety, he will soon make them his prey. It is reported of the dragon that, while he sleepeth, a jewel is taken out of his head. Noah lost the jewel of temperance, David the jewel of chastity, during their sleep. If the eye of watchfulness be once shut, the soul is open to all wickedness.
II. The objects of watchfulness. 1. Watch against sin, against all sin. The gardener doth not only watch over his flowers to water and cherish them, but over all weeds to pluck and root them up. 2. Watch against thine own sin. A wise governor will have a special eye upon that particular person in his garrison whom he knoweth to be a traitor. 3. Watch for the doing of good. The countryman watcheth for the bell ringing on the market-day, when he will open his sacks, that he may sell corn to the needy. 4. Watch in duties. The child must be watched at school, or he will play and toy, instead of learning his lesson thoroughly. 5. Watch after duties. When the garden is dressed and the seed sown in it, it must be watched, lest hogs get into it, and root all up. It was a wise speech of Marcus Aurelius after he had won a great battle, “I tell thee of a truth that I stand in greater fear of fortune at this moment than I did before the battle, for she careth not so much to overtake the conquered as to overcome the conqueror.” Satan is like Fortune. 6. Watch thy senses. These are the Cinque Ports, as one calls them, of the Isle of Man, which, if not well garrisoned, will let in strangers and disturbers of the peace. Shut up the five windows—guard the five senses, that the whole house may be full of light, according to the Arabian proverb. “Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find watching.” Surely blessedness is worth our waking; bliss is worth keeping our eyes open. Apollonius, coming early in the morning to Vespasian’s gate, and finding him, then a prisoner, up and at study, said to his companion, “This man is worthy to reign and command an empire;” which afterward came to pass. He that watcheth for the Advent of Christ the short hour of his life, shall be counted worthy to reign with Christ in His kingdom for ever. (G. Swinnock, M.A.) Watch!—Temptation comes—
I. As a whipped foe, and begins to say, “Oh, I am worsted; there is no danger in me.” Watch it! Firemen watch the smouldering coals that the wind may again inflame. Men watch closely that place in an embankment which has once given way.
II. With a new face, and says, “I am not your weakness.” Take heed! Faithful Abraham lost his faith, meek Moses was impatient, David became sensual, and lion-hearted Peter trembled.
III. As a child, and says, “Oh, I am so little, I cannot do anything.” Watch it! Little temptations are seeds of the upas-tree, eggs of the serpent, sleeping dynamite. The devil puts the little Oliver Twist through the window to open the door for him, the big robber. Hell is first lit with shavings.
IV. As a smiling friend, and says, “You know me and love me; fear not.” Watch it! The beloved Delilah betrayed the strong Samson to death. Watch and pray. The sentinel’s power lies in his communication with the power that supports him, and then watchfulness. If he watch only, he can do nothing when the enemy comes. He is one, the enemy is an army. But if he too can summon an army, then is his watching effective. So is prayer the Christian watchman’s communication with the powers above him. If he watch only, he can do nothing, for he contends with principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. But if he watch and pray, he, too, can summon powers omnipotent to his rescue. And prayer is communication with the power. (R. S. Barrett.)
The danger of spiritual slumber:—There was, a paragraph in a local newspaper tells us, a foreign sailor at Cork, who, having been late for his train, lay down to sleep during the short summer night on the first broad fiat wall he came to. After a time, in his sleep, he rolled over the edge, for it was—though he had not noticed the fact—the boundary wall which separated the road from a precipice fifty feet in depth. He would have been instantly killed, had he not, as he fell, instinctively grasped at the ivy which clothed the wall. Here for three-quarters of an hour he hung, clinging with all his strength, and shouting as loud as he could for aid. At last he was rescued, but so soon as he was in safety the strong man fainted, so terrible had been his position. Thus is it with many a soul. Men sleep thoughtlessly on the brink of eternity. They dream of earthly joys; but suddenly, by some unexpected crisis, by some dangerous illness, they are awakened, and made to feel their danger. They perceive that they must expect to meet that God whom they have forgotten. The great fault of modern preaching is its soothing and sugary character. There is a tendency always to be putting forward the mercy and pardoning character of God, whilst His justice and His needful severity as a moral Ruler is kept out of sight. The difficulties of repentance, the awful doom of sin when persisted in, are matters unnoticed. Away with this twaddle and prattle about the simplicity of faith; the easiness of “being saved”; the empiric remedies of the “only believe” school; the supply of comfortable pillows to induce spiritual slumber. Away with the sweet but fatal syrup which suggests that men may at any time with the greatest facility become eminent Christians! How much more vigorous and robust was the piety of olden days. For instance, St. Hugh of Lincoln, refusing to hurry over a poor man’s funeral, though he received a message that the king was waiting dinner for his arrival. “In God’s Name,” said the enthusiastic prelate, “let the king go to dinner. Better that he dine without my company, than that I leave my Master’s work undone.” (J. W. Hardman, LL.D.)
Awake thou that sleepest:—
I. The nature of this sleep. 1. If a Christian man is said to sleep it must be in reference to inactivity. In sleep the whole body is at rest, but the mind is not. Never have we more graphic pictures of scenes and persons, nor more curious uprisings of buried pleasures and pains. But while the worker sleeps the loom is still. Now, while Christians sleep all aggressive energy is suspended; the minister sleeps in the pulpit, and the hearer in the pew, neither do nor get good. 2. While men are asleep they have no interest in their work-a-day life. So to a sleepy Christian, souls may perish at his threshold, but he cares as little for them as they for him. Besides, he is immovable to all appeals. What is the use of spending argument or wasting speech on a sleeping man? This slumbering spirit spreads itself over everything else. If he comes to a prayer meeting he goes away without wrestling with the angel of mercy. 3. There is such an experience as walking in the sleep, aye, and in dangerous places where men awake would hardly go. By some strange influence somnambulists can go safely past the dangers. So, professors have a carnal security, and go terribly near the fire of sin. 4. When a man is asleep he is unprotected. Were we not unconscious of danger we could not sleep: but it is very real. Samson slept till Delilah cut his hair, and Sisera till Jael drove the nail into his temples. When a Christian is asleep he lays himself open to the devil, “who as a roaring lion,” &c. He lies down in the enchanted ground till Giant Despair hauls him away to Doubting Castle. 5. In sleep there is no waste and decay. It is by sleep we are refreshed, but we do not eat or drink when we are asleep. So, when professors are asleep they raise no cry for the living Bread, and have no sense of hunger; feel no need of a Bible or a Saviour; conscious of no want they offer no prayer, and if they sleep long enough, they will sleep on to death. 6. Mark the insidious character of this sleep. (1) A Christian may be asleep and not know it. He may imagine himself rich while in reality he is poor and miserable. (2) He may have taken precautions against being disturbed. There is a way of bolting and barring your heart against anybody. Beware of antinomianism: a draught of that may send you into a sleep that will know no awaking. (3) You may be doing much to make people imagine you were anything but asleep. People can talk and walk in their sleep, and so may you; and you may have fine dreams and grand projects.
II. The causes of this sleep. 1. It is the evil of our nature. While we are asleep about Divine things we are wide awake about worldly things. 2. It is easy to send a man to sleep with the chloroform of bad doctrine. If he believes that God is too merciful to punish he goes to sleep and cares nothing for his soul. Or if holding true doctrine he perverts them that will send him asleep. 3. Another cause is absorption in the things of the world, even when lawful. Every one knows that there is something he likes exceedingly, and that if he were to give full swing to it it would become an everlasting passion. 4. The sultry sun of prosperity. Those are generally the most spiritually minded who have drunk deep of the cup of suffering. 5. Spiritual pride.
III. The apostle’s admonition. 1. The first thing to do is to open the eyes and let in the light. Open them to God in His Word, works and conscience. Just as the sun in the heavens shining in the eyes of a sleeper drives away sleep, so let the beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine into your hearts and wake you from your slumber. 2. Sleep not, for it is love that would have you awake. A mother’s love will lull a child to sleep; but if there is a house on fire that love will take another turn. The wisdom of Christ would have you awake. The thief pilfers, and tares are sown while you are asleep, and therefore it is the highest wisdom to respond. You are commanded to awake, and by One who redeems you with His blood.
IV. Inducements to this awakening. 1. Christ will give thee light—the light of truth and joy and glory. 2. It is high time to awake for the old, the middle aged, the young. (Prof. Croskerry.)
I. An evil to be avoided. “Others” may be translated “refuse,” the common herd who have no mind above earth. The refuse of mankind are in a state of—1. Deplorable ignorance. The sleeper knows nothing. So, talk to the sinner of Divine doctrines and they are a riddle; of sublime experiences, and they seem to be enthusiastic fancies. They know nothing of joys and are oblivious of evils to come. 2. Insensibility. Rob or destroy his property, and yet he sleeps as though guarded by the angel of the Lord. How few there are that feel spiritually; although they feel acutely any injury to their person or estate. 3. Defencelessness. How helpless was sleeping Sisera. So the refuse of mankind have no power to resist temptation. 4. Inactivity. The sleeping farmer cannot plough, the sailor direct his ship, the tradesman attend to his shop. And how many there are who rise up early to toil for themselves do nothing for the glory of God or the good of men. Some say they have no time, others frankly that they have no will. 5. Unwatchfulness.
II. Reasons for avoiding this sleep. 1. We are the children of the light and of the day, therefore let us not sleep. It is no marvel that men sleep at night; but were a whole city to be wrapped in slumber at noon-day, what room there would be for astonishment or alarm. Sleep in the daytime is incongruous. So, for a Christian to slumber in ease now that the Sun of Righteousness has arisen is untimely and unseemly. 2. It is war time (ver. 8). What have warriors to do with sleep when the citadel is attacked or when the foe is in the field? So spiritual sleep is madness. 3. It is service time. Shall men sleep at the plough, and God’s servant sleep over his work. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
A slumbering church:—You have all read the fairy tale: A great Eastern city, beleaguered by fierce foemen, was arming in resistless strength to issue from her gates and sweep away the invader. But from the camp of the foe came forth a mighty magician, and with a breath of his sorcery changed the whole city into stone. Everything where life had been became a cold, dead statue. There stood the pawing war horse, with nostril distended, caparisoned for the battle. There stood the mailed champion, ready to spring to his seat and lay lance in rest for the onset. But, alas! the strong arm was cold stone on the neck of the petrified charger. There stood the serried infantry, with armour and plumes, and upfloating banners, but each man cold, breathless, lifeless. The eye had a stony glare. Hand, brow, lips, were frozen to marble. All still, silent, deathstruck! Alas! picture sadly truthful of Christ’s slumbering Church to-day. (C. Wadsworth, D.D.)
The deadening effects of the gospel when it does not arouse:—You know the great boiler factories over here in Southwark. I am told that when a man goes inside the boiler to hold the hammer, when they are fixing rivets, the sound of the copper deafens him so that he cannot bear it, it is so horrible; but, after he has been a certain number of months in that employment, he hardly notices the hammering: he does not care about it. It is just so under the Word. People go to sleep under that which once was like a thunderbolt to them. As the blacksmith’s dog will lie under the anvil, where the sparks fly into his face, and yet go to sleep, so will many sinners sleep while the sparks of damnation fly into their faces. If I must be lost, let it be as a Zulu Kaffir, or as a Red Indian, who has never listened to the truth; but it is dreadful to go down to the pit with this as an aggravation: “You knew your duty, but you did it not!” may this never be said of any of us! May we never sleep under the Word as others lest we die in our sins. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
The insensibility of the sinner:—When a man is asleep he is insensible. The world goes on, and he knows nought about it. The watchman calls beneath his window, and he sleeps on still. A fire is in a neighbouring street, his neighbour’s house is burned to ashes, but he is asleep and knows it not. Persons are sick in the house, but he is not awakened; they may die, and he weeps not for them. A revolution may be raging in the streets of his city; a king may be losing his crown; but he that is asleep shares not in the turmoil of politics. A volcano may burst somewhere near him, and he may be in imminent peril; but he escapeth not; he is sound asleep, he is insensible. The winds are howling, the thunders are rolling across the sky, and the lightnings flash at his window; but he that can sleep on careth not for these, and is insensible to them all. The sweetest music is passing through the street; but he sleeps, and only in dreams doth he hear the sweetness. The most terrific wailings may assail his ears; but sleep has sealed them with the wax of slumber, and he hears not. Let the world break in sunder, and the elements go to ruin, keep him asleep, and he will not perceive it. Christian, behold your condition. Have you not sometimes been brought into a condition of insensibility? You wished you could feel; but all you felt was pain because you could not feel. You wished you could pray. It was not that you felt prayerless, but it was because you did not feel at all. You sighed once; you would give a world if you could sigh now. You used to groan once; a groan now would be worth a golden star if you could buy it. As for songs, you can sing them, but then your heart does not go with them. You go to the house of God; but when “the multitude that keep holy day” in the full tide of song send their music up to heaven, you hear it, but your heart does not leap at the sound. Prayer goeth solemnly like the evening sacrifice up to God’s throne; once you could pray too; but now, while your body is in the house of God, your heart is not there. You feel you have brought the chrysalis of your being; but the fly is gone away from it: it is a dead, lifeless case. You have become like a formalist. (Ibid.)
The enchanted ground:—There is a portion of the road which leads from the city of Destruction to the Celestial City which is more dangerous than any other. It does not abound in lions, dark woods, deep pitfalls, yet more pilgrims have been destroyed here than anywhere. The great geographer, John Bunyan, well pictured it when he said “I then saw in my dream, that they went on till they came into a certain country, whose air naturally tended to make one drowsy, if he came a stranger into it. And here Hopeful began to be very dull and heavy of sleep wherefore he said unto Christian, ‘I do now begin to grow so drowsy, that I can scarcely hold up mine eyes; let us lie down here and take one nap.’ Christian: ‘By no means, lest sleeping we never wake more.’ Hopeful: ‘Why my brother? sleep is sweet to the labouring man; we may be refreshed if we take a nap.’ Christian: ‘Do you not remember that one of the shepherds bid us beware of the Enchanted Ground? He meant by that, that we should beware of sleeping; wherefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.’ ” There are no doubt many of us who are passing over this plain.
I. What is that state of sleep with which Christians sometimes fall? It is not death but—1. A state of insensibility. 2. A state in which they are subject to divers delusions. 3. A state of inaction. 4. A state of insecurity.
II. Some considerations to wake up sleepy Christians. 1. The Lord is coming (ver. 2). Would you wish to be sleeping when the Lord comes? Would you like Him to find you at a ball? 2. Souls are perishing. Sailor, wilt thou sleep when the wreck is out at sea, and the life-boat is waiting for hands to man it?
III. When is the Christian most liable to sleep? 1. When his temporal circumstances are all right. See the parable of the rich fool. 2. When all goes well in spiritual matters. The disciples went to sleep after they had seen Christ transfigured. 3. When we get near our journey’s end. The enchanted ground is nigh to Beulah, and Bunyan gives the reason why.
IV. Good advice to sleeping Christians. 1. One of the best plans is to keep good company and talk about the ways of the Lord. 2. If you look at interesting things you will not sleep. A Christian never slept at the foot of the Cross. 3. Let the wind blow on thee. Seek to live daily under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 4. Impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. (Ibid.)
The pilgrims on the enchanted ground:—Pursuing their journey, they come to the enchanted ground.
I. Hopeful kept awake by goodly counsel and discourse. 1. He gives an account of his life before conversion. 2. He gives four reasons why he resisted the light. 3. Eight circumstances that revived his conviction. 4. He vainly tried to ease himself by a moral reformation. 5. The way of salvation. 6. He persisted in prayer until the answer came, and Christ was revealed to him. 7. Believing and coming to Christ explained.
II. Ignorance comes up again. 1. Ignorance explains the ground of his hope. 2. Christian explains what good thoughts are. 3. Christian gives answer to Ignorance’s confession of faith. 4. Ignorance speaks reproachfully about things he knows not. 5. He again falls behind.
III. Christian and hopeful renew their conversation. 1. Reflections over the conduct of Ignorance. 2. The proper use of fear. 3. Why ignorant persons stifle conviction. 4. Talk about one called Temporary. 5. Four reasons why some backslide. 6. How they backslide.
IV. Some lessons on this stage. 1. In times of danger it is wise to recall former experiences. 2. Human philosophy may seem very wise, but the Bible is an unfailing touchstone. (L. O. Thompson.)
Life the time for work:—The apostle sounds a note of warning. Men should attend.
I. There is a Divine purpose in every man’s life. We do not come into this world by accident, necessity, nor our own choice. We are sent, and, therefore, we have some distinct mission to fulfil. It is the duty of every man to love God, to watch the interests and good of His universe. This is what He sent us for.
II. There is a Divine limit to every man’s life. It is but “a day.” Sleep is the time for dreams. It is the season of darkness. He who sleeps knows nothing as it really is, and is, for the most part, insensible to pleasure or pain. Our time is unsuitable for sleep. It is too short. It is too full of duties. It is the only time wherein they can be discharged. Spiritual sleep is sin, death—and God calls us to awake. There is a business to be done in our mortal life which cannot be done hereafter. (Preacher’s Monthly.) Watch.—I. What are we to watch against? 1. Sin. 2. The temptations of the enemy. 3. Ourselves. 4. The lust of the flesh and of the eye and the pride of life.
II. What are we to watch for? 1. Opportunities—(1) To instruct the inorant. (2) To confirm the weak. (3) To comfort the afflicted. (4) To glorify Christ.
II. What are we to watch for? 1. Opportunities—2. The promises. 3. Answers to prayer. 4. The Second Coming of Christ. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
Taking observations:—They who in a crazy vessel navigate a sea wherein are shoals and currents innumerable, if they would keep their course, or reach their port in safety, must carefully repair the smallest injuries, and often throw out their line, and take their observations. In the voyage of life, also, he who would not make shipwreck of his faith, while he is habitually watchful and provident, must make it his express business to look into his state and ascertain his progress. (W. Wilberforce.)
Salutary watchfulness:—A king had an unwise and reckless son, so reckless that when all entreaty and rebuke proved in vain, he condemned him to death. Still he was allowed three months’ respite, in which he was to prepare himself for death. After this had flown, the father called him again into his presence. But what a change in the appearance of the son! His figure was abject, and his countenance bore the traces of an entire inward transformation. “How comes it now,” says the king to him, “that thou, my son, appearest before me in so different a character?” “Ah, my father and king,” replied he, “how should I not be changed, having death for three months constantly before my eyes?” “Well,” responded the father, “since thou hast so earnestly considered the matter and become of a different mind, thy punishment is remitted; yet see that thou keep within thee for ever this new feeling!” “That is too hard for me; how could I, amid the manifold enticements of my newly-granted life, possibly be able to stand?” Then the king ordered a shell to be handed to his son, which was filled up to the brim with oil, and said to him, “Take this and carry it through all the streets of the city. But two men with drawn swords are to follow immediately behind thee on foot. If thou spillest only one drop of the oil, in the same moment thy head is to roll off into the street.” The son obeyed. With slow, but sure, steps he traversed the streets of the great capital, ever holding the full shell in his hands, followed by the two armed servants, who were ready at any moment to decapitate him. But, happily, without having spilled even a drop of the oil, the young man returned to his father’s palace. “Tell me, my son,” said he, “what hast thou seen in thy wandering through the city?” “Nothing, my father, nothing at all have I seen.” “And why not, since, too, this is our yearly market-day? Tell me what kind of shops, wares, people, animals, &c., fell under thy notice?” “Indeed, sire, I have seen nothing whatever on the entire route, for my eyes were ceaselessly directed toward the oil in the shell that it might remain in the right position and not run over. And how should I not have been thus watchful, when the executioners were close behind, and my life hung upon the point of their swords.” Then said the king, “Now keep well in mind what thou hast been forced to learn in this hour. As the shell of oil, so bear thy soul always in thy hands; direct thy thoughts away from the distractions of sense and the things of earth in which they are so easily lost, towards the eternal which alone has worth, and ever reflect that death’s executioners follow at thy heels, and so thou wilt not so easily forget what is needful to thy soul, and so needful to keep thee from the old disorderly life that must necessarily lead to perdition.” And the son hearkened, and lived happily. (A Tamil Parable.)
Duty of watchfulness:—A believer’s watchfulness is like that of the soldier. A sentinel posted on the walls, when he discovers a hostile party advancing, does not attempt to make head against them himself, but informs his commanding officer of the enemies’ approach, and leaves him to take the proper measures against the foe. So the Christian does not attempt to fight temptation in his own strength; his duty is to observe its approach and tell God of it by prayer. (W. Mason.)
Watchfulness must be constant:—When the station of Moriah was planted among the Basutos, the missionaries (Mr. Casalie and two companions) were greatly disturbed by hyenas. Each missionary had to mount guard in his turn for one-third of the night. The hyenas’ plan was evidently to wear out the dogs, which they seemed to fear more than the man with the gun, by incessant prowling and howling round the enclosure. For hours together the dogs maintained a corresponding watchfulness and activity, hurrying from one point of apparent attack to another, until even canine nature was on the point of exhaustion. Relief seemed to come shortly before dawn, for the howling became rarer and more distant, until it ceased altogether. Of course the dogs were soon asleep, but their slumber was almost immediately broken by a tremendous uproar. The hyenas had broken in silently, had seized their prey, and were off with it before the missionary had time to fire a shot. Like a greater enemy of man, the hyenas, failing to intimidate, had trusted to a surprise, and by a pretended peace had worn out the watchfulness of the defenders of the flock. (J. F. B. Tinling, B.A.)
Watchfulness overcome:—Argus is fabled to have had a hundred eyes in his head, only two of which ever slept at once. Jupiter sent Mercury to slay him. Mercury put on his winged slippers, took his sleep-producing wand, and hastened to the side of Argus. He presented himself in the guise of a shepherd with his flock. Argus listened, delighted with the new kind of music, and invited the young shepherd to sit beside him. Mercury sat down, told stories, and played the most soothing strains upon his pipes, till it grew late, hoping to lock in sleep the watchful eyes of Argus. At length, as Mercury played and told a long story of the discovery of his wonderful instrument, he saw the hundred eyes all closed. The head of Argus leaned upon his breast, and Mercury cut it off with a stroke, and tumbled it down the rocks. The hundred eyes availed not while the watcher slept. Juno took them, and set them in the feathers of the tail of her peacock, where they remain to this day. (J. L. Nye.) Be sober.—I. Physically. Abstain altogether from intoxicating liquors, or, at least, from their excessive use.
II. Mentally. By avoiding vanity, ambition, and other extravagant and unreasonable passions.
III. Spiritually. By keeping free from wild and unregulated enthusiasm in religion.
IV. Circumstantially. Don’t make haste to be rich; and “when riches increase set not thy heart upon them.”
V. Socially. Don’t make too many friends, and don’t impose on the kindness of those whose friendship you make. (A. S. Patterson, D.D.)
6. So then (ara oun; used only by Paul in the New Testament) is a strong expression for a necessary logical inference, and introduces an inescapable conclusion. Paul uses a different word for asleep (katheudō) from that in 4:13–15 (koimaō), and, while there is not a great deal of difference between the two, it may not be without significance that the one used here is sometimes used of moral indifference (Mark 13:36; Eph. 5:14). It is the condition natural to the enemies of Christ, for they belong to the night. They are here referred to as others (hoi loipoi, ‘the rest’), i.e. all non-Christians.
By contrast, Christians are exhorted, let us be alert and self-controlled. The first verb is concerned with mental alertness, being watchful for the parousia (cf. Matt. 24:42–43; 25:13; Mark 13:34–37, etc.), while the second has a moral emphasis and is used to condemn all kinds of excess. It can be used of the avoidance of alcoholic intoxication, but it seems to be used metaphorically here (as with asleep, etc.), for there is no indication that the Thessalonians were addicted to drunkenness and thus in need of an exhortation to sobriety in the literal sense. Rather Paul is saying that Christians must live temperately, avoiding excess of all kinds; they must live balanced lives.
5:6 / The exhortations and explanations of this and the following verses rest on the truth expressed in verse 5. Believers are “sons of the light and sons of the day,” so then (ara oun, introducing “an inescapable conclusion”) let us not be like others, who are asleep (lit. “let us not sleep as the rest [of humankind] do”). The verb “to sleep” (katheudō) differs from the verb in 4:13ff. (koimaō). Elsewhere it describes moral indifference (Mark 13:36; Eph. 5:14), and that is clearly the meaning here (also in 5:7, but in 5:10 it is synonymous with koimaō). The believer’s status as a son of light demands a morality, a holiness, in keeping with him who is the light (cf. John 8:12; 11:9f.; 12:46; 1 John 1:5f.). The image of sleeping maintains the metaphor of the thief in the night (5:2, 4) and resides in Jesus’ use of the same metaphor (cf. Matt. 24:43; Luke 12:39). In that connection, moreover, Jesus explicitly urges his disciples to be watchful (cf. also Rev. 16:15), just as does Paul: let us be alert (gregoreō, cf. 5:10) and self-controlled. Watchfulness in this instance particularly concerns the Parousia. This should result in the believer’s living a sane, sensible, and holy life (cf. Luke 21:34–36; 1 Pet. 5:8). The verb nephō (cf. 5:8) can mean “sober” as opposed to “drunk,” but the thought in this case is probably of a more general sobriety. Nevertheless, the association of ideas leads to what follows.
6 Since Christians are not bound in the darkness of unbelief, certain consequences follow. They must not be characterized by the kind of conduct that is proper to the night. Paul calls on them not to sleep as do “others.” When he used this expression in 4:13 (there translated “the rest of men”) he spoke of such people as being without hope. This is very much in point here, too, where he is thinking of the glorious hope of the Christian at the coming of the Lord. Unbelievers may well “sleep”; they are spiritually insensitive. But the believer should not take his standards from them. They are of the world and therefore they behave as they do. Those who are not of the world should not conform their conduct to that of those who are. “Sleep” is natural enough for the sons of night, but it is entirely out of place in the sons of light.
So Paul urges the Thessalonians to wakefulness and sobriety. His word “watch” (NIV, “be alert”) is a natural antithesis to “sleep,” but we should not overlook the fact that this very verb is used a number of times for watching for the second coming (e.g., Matt. 24:42–43; 25:13; Mark 13:34–37). It denotes watchfulness with some effort. Joined to it is an injunction to be sober (NIV, “self-controlled”), which should probably not be thought of as a warning against drunkenness (there is no indication anywhere in either epistle that such a warning was necessary at Thessalonica) but as an exhortation to temperateness and balance (cf. Best, “let us be alert and clear-headed”).27 The word has its affinities with the preceding one, and indeed Grimm-Thayer treat them as near synonyms. They give the particular meaning of this present verb as “a state untouched by any slumberous or beclouding influences … it becomes a term for wariness against spiritual dangers.”
6 This verse provides a solid basis (“so then,” ara oun) for the ethical behavior Paul now urges on his readers—a lifestyle free from moral laxity. Mē katheudōmen (lit., “let us not sleep,” GK 2761) represents the ethical insensitivity that besets people in the other realm (“like others”; cf. 4:13). Though it is impossible for the day of the Lord to catch Christians unprepared, it is possible for them to adopt the same lifestyle as those who will be caught unawares. Paul urges his readers not to let this happen.
Conduct in keeping with “the light” and “the day” also includes alertness. Inattention to spiritual priorities is utterly inappropriate for those who will not be subject to the coming day of wrath. Though the Thessalonians were, if anything, overly watchful to the point of neglecting other Christian responsibilities (4:11–12; 2 Th 3:6–15), they were not to cease watching altogether.
Apparently self-control was a great need. Nēphō (“to be self-controlled, be sober,” GK 3768) is found with grēgoreō (“to be alert, watch,” GK 1213) in the noneschatological context of 1 Peter 5:8. Its usage in 1 Peter 1:13 and 4:7 is eschatological. Nēphō denotes sobriety. To counteract what might become a state of wild alarm or panic, Paul urges self-control as a balance for vagaries arising from distorted views of the parousia. Undue eschatological excitement was a serious malady; spiritual sobriety was the cure.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., 1 Th 5:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Th 5:6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 Thomas, R. L. (2006). 1 Thessalonians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 424). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.