About times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

Here Paul echoes the words of Jesus. The Lord’s return will be unexpected. Like a thief in the night!

But Paul says students of Jesus who are paying attention to the Teacher will not be surprised - But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

We may not know the time of Jesus’ second coming, but we know He is coming! The logical response is to be prepared all the time. In this way, students of Jesus will be prepared whenever it happens.
They prepare by staying alert and self-controlled. Watchful and expectant! Restraining behavior contrary to the desires of the Teacher!

In fact, Paul here repeats the caution to be self-controlled, because giving in to temptations leads to an unprepared heart and life. Surprised by the Lord’s sudden arrival!

Paul also encourages them to live in faith, love and hope. These three work together to create a prepared heart and life.

Faith in Jesus leads to choices pleasing to Him. Love proves and sustains our relationship with Him. And hope produces constancy and endurance.

Those who do not trust Jesus, love Him, and hope for His return will not be prepared when it happens. Paul says such people are in the darkness.

On the other hand, students of Jesus are in the light. They understand. And together, they support one another in staying prepared.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

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