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5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

5:3 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.

5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

5:16 Rejoice evermore.

5:17 Pray without ceasing.

5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

5:20 Despise not prophesyings.

5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

5:25 Brethren, pray for us.

5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Thessalonians
Book: 1 Thessalonians
Chapter: 5

The Apostle exhorts to be always ready for the coming of
Christ to Judgment, which will be with suddenness and surprise.
(1-11) He directs to several particular duties. (12-22) And
concludes with Prayer, greetings, and a blessing. (23-28)

1-5 It is needless or useless to ask about the particular time
of Christ's coming. Christ did not reveal this to the apostles.
There are times and Seasons for us to work in, and these are our
duty and interest to know and observe; but as to the time when
we must give up our account, we know it not, nor is it needful
that we should. The Coming of Christ will be a great surprise to
men. Our Lord himself said So. As the Hour of Death is the same
to each person that the Judgment will be to mankind in general,
So the same remarks answer for both. Christ's coming will be
terrible to the ungodly. Their Destruction will overtake them
while they Dream of happiness, and please themselves with vain
amusements. There will be No means to escape the terror or the
Punishment of that Day. This Day will be a happy Day to the
righteous. They are not in Darkness; they are the children of
the Light. It is the happy condition of all true Christians. But
how many are speaking peace and safety to themselves, over whose
heads utter Destruction is hovering! Let us endeavour to awaken
ourselves and each other, and Guard against our spiritual

6-11 Most of mankind do not consider the things of another
world at all, because they are asleep; or they do not consider
them aright, because they sleep and Dream. Our moderation as to
all earthly things should be known to all men. Shall Christians,
who have the Light of the blessed Gospel shining in their faces,
be careless about their souls, and unmindful of another world?
We need the spiritual Armour, or the three Christian graces,
Faith, Love, and Hope. Faith; if we believe that the Eye of God
is always upon us, that there is another world to prepare for,
we shall see reason to watch and be sober. True and fervent Love
to God, and the things of God, will keep us watchful and sober.
If we have Hope of Salvation, let us take heed of any thing that
would shake our trust in the Lord. We have ground On which to
build unshaken Hope, when we consider, that Salvation is By our
Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, to atone for our sins and to
Ransom our souls. We should join in Prayer and praise one with
another. We should set a good Example one before another, and
this is the best means to answer the End of society. Thus we
shall learn how to live to Him, with whom we Hope to live for

12-15 The ministers of the Gospel are described By the work of
their office, which is to serve and honour the Lord. It is their
duty not only to give good counsel, but also to warn the flock
of dangers, and reprove for whatever may be amiss. The people
should honour and Love their ministers, because their business
is the welfare of men's souls. And the people should be at peace
among themselves, doing all they can to Guard against any
differences. But Love of peace must not make us wink at Sin. The
fearful and sorrowful spirits, should be encouraged, and a kind
Word may do much good. We must Bear and forbear. We must be
long-suffering, and keep down Anger, and this to all men.
Whatever Man do to us, we must do good to others.

16-22 We are to rejoice in Creature-comforts, as if we rejoiced
not, and must not expect to live many years, and rejoice in them
all; but if we do rejoice in God, we may do that evermore. A
truly religious Life is a Life of constant joy. And we should
rejoice more, if we prayed more. Prayer will help forward all
lawful business, and every good work. If we pray without
ceasing, we shall not want matter for thanksgiving in every
thing. We shall see cause to give thanks for sparing and
preventing, for common and uncommon, past and present, temporal
and spiritual mercies. Not only for prosperous and pleasing, but
also for afflicting providences, for chastisements and
corrections; for God designs all for our good, though we at
present see not how they tend to it. Quench not the Spirit.
Christians are said to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with
Fire. He worketh as Fire, By enlightening, enlivening, and
purifying the souls of men. As Fire is Put out By taking away
Fuel, and as it is quenched By pouring water, or putting a great
Deal of Earth upon it; So we must be careful not to quench the
Holy Spirit, By indulging Carnal lusts and affections, minding
only earthly things. Believers often hinder their growth in
Grace, By not giving themselves up to the spiritual affections
raised in their hearts By the Holy Spirit. By prophesyings, here
understand the preaching of the Word, the interpreting and
applying the Scriptures. We must not despise preaching, though
it is Plain, and we are told No more than what we knew before.
We must search the Scriptures. And proving all things must be to
Hold Fast that which is good. We should abstain from Sin, and
whatever looks like Sin, leads to it, and borders upon it. He
who is not shy of the appearances of Sin, who shuns not the
occasions of it, and who avoids not the temptations and
approaches to it, will not long keep from doing Sin.

23-28 The Apostle prays that they might be sanctified more
perfectly, for the best are sanctified but in part while in this
world; therefore we should pray for, and press toward, complete
Holiness. And as we must fall, if God did not carry On his good
work in the soul, we should pray to God to perfect his work,
till we are presented faultless before the Throne of his Glory.
We should pray for one another; and brethren should thus express
brotherly Love. This epistle was to be read to all the brethren.
Not only are the common people allowed to read the Scriptures,
but it is their duty, and what they should be persuaded to do.
The Word of God should not be kept in an unknown tongue, but
transplanted, that as all men are concerned to know the
Scriptures, So they all may be able to read them. The Scriptures
should be read in all public congregations, for the benefit of
the unlearned especially. We need No more to make us happy, than
to know the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is an
ever-flowing and an over-flowing Fountain of Grace to supply all
our wants.

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