Children of Light
We need to watch for Christ’s return and hold fast to the Word of God and to each other in that Word, for we are the children of light.
Editor’s Note: This exhortation was sent to me by Bro. Henry Wisniewski early in 2023. I regret that I did not publish this earlier, as Bro. Henry fell asleep in the Lord after a lengthy illness on December 6, 2023. Bro. Henry had a zeal for the truth and a passion for the coming Kingdom. In this exhortation, Bro. Henry encourages ecclesias to be watchful and strengthen our resolve to serve our God, especially during times of adversity.
We have been blessed with another opportunity to remember the grace of God provided to His human creation through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through his victory over sin by a life of obedience unto death, he sits presently at the right hand of God as our high priest, mediating our supplications for forgiveness for our sins.
By submitting to the mind of God and His Son, we can be delivered from the nature we possess with its sinful propensities to disobedience and its mortality. We need to constantly strive to develop a spiritual mind, knowing that the time for the return of our Messiah to this earth may be near.
Though we experience challenges to our physical frames and our mental and spiritual health, we need to watch for Christ’s return and hold fast to the Word of God and to each other in that Word, for we are the children of light.
For when they shall say “Peace and safety,” then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of the darkness. (1 Thess 5:1-5).1
Paul tells the Thessalonians that the time of Christ’s return and judgment upon this earth is clearly foretold in every age, with signs that take place so that those believers in God’s promises would always be prepared for the Lord’s return. In Paul’s time, the Revelation had not yet been received by John.
Yet, whether one lived during the times of Abraham, Moses, or any of the prophets, or those in New Testament times, or through the ages up to our day, one needed to live a Godly life because the day of the Lord is to suddenly come as does a thief in the night In every age, sure signs were present, which assured the believer that Christ’s return was nigh. We live in an age that indicates his return will be soon because many of the predicted events are currently taking place. The most significant of these was the establishment of a secular Israel in the land given by God for their possession.
We can see because the light of the Word informs us.
Paul assures the Thessalonians that that day will be as sudden as a woman with child experiences travail in labor. Once the process of birth begins, it cannot be held back. That process is beginning now. Paul states that we are in light, not darkness, about these things. We can see because the light of the Word informs us. As during Noah’s day, most in the world think they dwell in peace and safety. This belief is not about the absence of violence and evil but one where people believe their lives will continue as before.
There are other signs evident today that Jesus said in his Olivet Prophecy would occur. False Christs and prophets abound, with many Christian denominations preaching a Christ that we know not. False prophets teach distortions of how world events, as prophesied in the Bible, will occur. Many are deceived by their interpretation of signs and wonders, even to the point that Christ’s very elect might be deceived.
Though always present on this earth, violence between nations is multiplying geometrically. Political and economic systems struggle with futility as they seek to remedy the potential collapse of governments and financial institutions. Personal evil permeates the whole earth, reaching the extent existing in Noah’s time. The forces of nature themselves are erupting against man’s mismanagement of the natural environment. The Day of the Lord is truly near. Yet Jesus stated about that day that only the Father in heaven knows the season and time.
The people of Noah’s day were preoccupied with everyday life and had no thoughts about God. Jesus emphasized the need to be constantly vigilant and kept in light through the oil of the Word. He would return when the world thinks not.
He says further that God is not slack in His promises, but because He is not willing that any will perish. He is longsuffering, giving all who are eager to listen to His Word the opportunity for repentance. While troubled by these signs, we realize that God will soon dissipate the collective evils of the human race. Paul wrote that God had not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ, who died so that life might be attained by his followers. (1 Thess 5:9-10).
Let us glean further lessons of encouragement from Genesis 37, which records the trials of Joseph, who persisted in faith. Though he was enslaved in Egypt and placed in prison because of false accusations, he maintained his faith and integrity.
We read in Nehemiah 6 about God’s people striving to do God’s will through adversity. As they worked to build the city wall, their enemies sought to prevent them through guile and threats. In a class many years ago, Bro. Bob Lloyd stated that Nehemiah’s enemies were enticing him to meet on the Plain of Ono.
Just as the world tries to entice us, Bob said we may emphatically declare “O NO,” However, as time passes, the “O NO” becomes weaker and weaker. Being slowly drawn away by the world’s enticements, we might find we increasingly relish the false gods in our environment—gods like money, status, entertainment, technology, or whatever else feeds the inclinations to sin within our nature. In this case, we are just saying, “O!”
We, too, are building a wall. Not a physical wall, but one of faith. The wall is to resist the encroachments of the world that entice us from outside and within. Let us not be fearful in this endeavor, as the body of Christ is assaulted by turmoil without and within.
As Christ said, let us keep our hands on the plow and our eyes focused on that vision of hope of salvation. Let us keep building this wall, as did Nehemiah. This wall protects the ecclesia so it might be prepared as a bride when our Master returns. At that time, the saints will collectively be part of the city of God, the New Jerusalem, the city of peace, descending out of heaven from God (Rev. 21:1-3). Through the grace of God, we shall all be part of that holy edifice if we, as Nehemiah, continue to build the wall, no matter what temptations or adversity we experience.
Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians reads,
(1 Thess 5:23).
Earlier in this epistle, Paul tells us that Jesus died for us. He goes on to say that whether we sleep or are still alive, we shall one day live together with him. He then urges the readers of his epistle, both then and now, to comfort and build up one another. Paul then lists how to do this.
Hold fast to that which is good.
Esteem all those who labor in the ecclesia. Be at peace with each other. Warn those unruly (the Greek words imply “to caution or reprove gently”) those undisciplined in behavior. To comfort the faint-hearted. To support those who are without strength. To render evil to no one. Instead, one ought to rejoice evermore. Pray continually. Give thanks for everything. Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good. In all these things, we should reject evil (1 Thess 5:13-22).
As we all strive to love God with all our being and to love each other, we can find help in God’s Word. Every revelation of God’s spiritual mind can profoundly affect the minds of men and women. The one condition is that as the “good ground” in the Parable of the Sower, we have “an honest and good heart.” (Luke 8:15). It cannot be otherwise, for the seed of faith requires good soil for it to grow and flourish.
In Romans 8:5, Paul writes, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after Spirit the things of the Spirit.” True believing men and women are renewed in the spirit of their minds (Eph 4:23) and be transformed by the renewing of the minds. (Rom 12:2).
We are to have the spirit of Christ in us (Rom 8:9-10). What is involved in this process is a transformation within us. It’s a radical change in our personality and character, based upon a free choosing of those things that reflect the mind of God and His Christ. This transformation can only come about by our voluntary submission to the wisdom of God provided us in His Word. By that Word of spiritual power, our hearts become enlightened, our spiritual wisdom and understanding are increased, and we become sons and daughters of God, shining forth as children of light.
So we see that the hope promised us of freedom from the evil and corruption of this world and from those propensities driving us to disobedience are of no power against us if we watch in faith for the return of our Lord. We must persevere and work to build the walls of our house even in adversity. We can call constantly upon our God for help. By developing the mind of God and of Jesus Christ and loving our God and our brothers and sisters, we will stave off any adversary.
Paul summarizes this hope in I Thessalonians 2:19:
Let us strive always to be children of light. Our God and His Son sacrificed so much in love on our behalf.
Thousand Oaks Ecclesia, CA
All Scriptural citations are taken from the New King James Version, unless specifically noted.