These observation questions are designed to be followed with application questions to provide a self-directed or group study of the book of 1st Thessalonians. Find all 1 Thessalonians resources here. Enjoy!
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – Observation / Interpretation Questions
Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 thoroughly and answer the questions below. Consider reading the chapter multiple times before answering.
- Considering the immediate context of the previous chapter, Paul is referring to the times and seasons of what events?
- Reading verse 2, how does Paul refer to the coming of Christ?
- Paul says that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. What do you think this indicates about the nature of Christ’s coming?
- No one looks forward to the coming of a thief. Why do you think this imagery is used to describe the coming of Christ?
- What is the contrast pictured in verse 3?
- Reading verses 2-3, what are some adjectives you would use to describe the day of the Lord?
- Who are the two distinct groups of people referred to in verses 1-11?
- Make a two-column chart with the headings “THEM” and “YOU” and list everything you discover about each of these groups in verses 1-11.
- Whereas Paul has previously pointed to some elements of the coming as Christ as an encouragement to believers (4:18), here he highlights the judgment which will accompany Christ’s return. As we consider the judgment and destruction that are yet to come, what comfort can we take? (5:4-5,9)
- Paul encourages the Thessalonians by reminding them that the day of the Lord will not surprise them like a thief because they are children of light. In verses 6-7 he also reminded them of their responsibilities as children of light. What were they?
- What do you think verses 6-7 mean?
- According to verse 8, what attitudes should the person possess who wishes to keep awake and be sober in light of Christ’s promised coming? (compare 1:3)
- In this context Paul is focusing on the judgment and destruction which will accompany Christ’s return, yet he does not use the fear of these things to motivate the Thessalonians to proper Christian living. Reading verses 1-9, what reminders and encouragements does Paul use to motivate these believers to proper Christian living?
- According to verse 9, what comfort can we take when we consider the fact that Christ is going to come in judgment?
- State verse 10 in your own words.
- Compare 4:8 and 5:11. What affect should the reality of the coming of Christ have upon believers?