“But Concerning the Times and Seasons….” :: By Gene Lawley

When the Apostle Paul wrote those words now in the first verse of 1 Thessalonians 5, it was a continuation of his comments recorded now in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, which are as follows:

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

There were no chapter breaks nor numbered verses when Paul wrote his letters to his followers and churches. So, the beginning of chapter 5 at verse 1 reads as, “But concerning times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.”

Then he continues with further explanation of the timing and effects of that sudden transformation of believers in Christ at the end of chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians:

“…For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, for when they say, ‘Peace and safety,’ then sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1Thessalonians 5:2-3).

Notice that Paul did not clearly pin down a future time for that “Rapture or ‘snatching out’ of the saints,” but he did give a clue—”when they shall say, ‘Peace and safety.” So, what does that mean? And who are “they”? Daniel 9:27 has the answer when he tells of one who is coming on the scene with a heritage reaching back to the Romans who destroyed the city of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 A.D. That person will “confirm a covenant with many for one week [of years].” Daniel can only be writing a prophecy of coming peace for Israel that is set for a seven-year period and is confirmed by “many” nations–the United Nations. It was the United Nations that established the restored nation of Israel on May 14, 1948.

For nearly 73 years now, that nation has been under threat of destruction by its neighbors. No wonder they will express that sigh of relief, “Peace and safety,” when a promise of peace is made, even for only seven years. However, it will only last half that time; for that person, the Antichrist, will shut down the temple’s activities and stand in it, declaring himself God, and demanding that he be worshipped as God.

Therefore, what is meant by “times and seasons”? It means the times and conditions when prophecies will be fulfilled. Jesus touched on that when He said, in Luke 21:28, “When these things begin to happen, look up, for your redemption draws near.” Then begins a parable about the fig tree’s blooming as a likeness to the return of the nation’s status as an independent entity. It seems to open a doorway to current “times and seasons,” for God’s recurring promise to return those people to their land as promised to Abraham has come to pass. Current events, now, take on a new significance.

What are some of these events that appear to be fulfillments of “things beginning to happen”? One nation after another in the Middle East region are beginning to make peaceful diplomatic relationships with Israel. Watch this development result in that peace covenant coming together in the United Nations.

Now, with the Biden administration in place, it appears likely that Israel’s defensive support by the United States will not be forthcoming. It is noticeable that Iran has become openly aggressive toward Israel again, thus spotlighting the coming Gog-Magog war foretold in Ezekiel 38-39.

Without question is the “falling away” from law and order, from moral integrity into total perversion and depravity, from “justice for all” to selective judicial favoritism. In short, good is made to be wrong, and evil is called good.

With these things stirring in the background, the conditions described in Luke 17:26-30 come to mind, that of “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, building and planting”—the conditions which Jesus said would be prevalent when He, the Son of Man, is revealed on that Day of the Lord.

It is an absolute truth that God has never made a promise that He did not intend to fulfill. There are at least two such promises not yet fulfilled. One is obvious, that a “falling away” will occur, then end with the removal of that One who restrains the evil. That has not happened yet, for the Holy Spirit-indwelt believers in Christ are still present in the world.

The other promise is that He will “take out of the Gentiles a people for His Name,” and only God will know when that is completed. (See Romans 11:25.)

We can speculate on the timing of these things, but as Jesus told us in John 7:6, “My time has not yet come, but yours is always ready,” a statement that is as current in this time today as it was when He said it. Only now, His situation faces the time of return in these last days.

There are other considerations that can be added to these “times and seasons” that are upon us now, but these are significant enough, it seems, to be on the alert. Jesus said to “watch,” and the writer of Hebrews says “not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but so much the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

The greatly increased aggressiveness of the LGBTQ’s agenda, with the blessing of the Biden administration, is rapidly pushing this nation into the likeness of Sodom. We can see how they turned out in Genesis 19—total destruction as soon as Lot and his family were out of the city. The judgment of God is a very present danger to that increasing multitude who have no regard for Him.

Even so, the continuation of that passage in 1 Thessalonians 5 with verse 4-5 tells us this great assurance:

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”

Therefore, let “the joy of the Lord be your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

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