There are many people out there who are spiritually dead, but there are others who are simply asleep. We are called to help one another wake up to the spiritual realities around us to stay watchful.
In this passage, the Apostle Paul was preparing this church for the day of the Lord. As they navigated a hostile culture persecuting the church, they needed regular reminding that they would survive and that Jesus would return.
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, for this day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. 6 So then, let us not sleep, like the rest, but let us stay awake and be self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled and put on the armor of faith and love, and a helmet of the hope of salvation.1 Thessalonians 5:4-8
While we don’t know exactly when Jesus will return, we are confident that He will (1 Thess. 5:4). The reality of Jesus’ second coming helps us in the light amid this world’s darkness. While this world lives in darkness due to unbelief and sin, Christians should live in the light (1 Thess. 5:5).
To navigate carefully through this world, we need people around us who are heading in the same direction. Paul called these believers “brothers and sisters” because the concept of the church as a family is critical to our survival.
We are not in this fight alone. A church membership roster does not merely associate us. All Christians have one Father and one family.
As a spiritual family, we should help keep one another awake.
Being alert to the dangers out there helps us maintain self-control.
If we slumber spiritually, we allow sinful habits to permeate our lives (1 Thess. 5:6-7). It is challenging to fight off temptation, but it is near impossible if our closest relationships encourage disobedience.
Within a local church, we establish relationships with common biblical values so we can choose obedience. And if one of us drifts, we have someone to wake us back up.