1 Thessalonians Bible Study – Week 7

No One Knows the Hour (5:1-11)


Welcome to Week 7 of your 1 Thessalonians Bible Study.

This week we’ll be covering 1 Thess 5:1-11. This section is a continuation of last week’s topic on eschatology (the study of the end-times).

In this section, Paul provides a timetable and a warning for the Lord’s second coming. Once again, Paul surprises us by his use of end-times teaching.

Like a Thief in the Night (5:1-3)

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

Questions to reflect on the passage

  • Paul says that the Thessalonians know full well about «times and epochs.» Who shared this knowledge with them? How and when?
  • What does that imply about the importance of this topic in Paul’s teaching?
  • What are the two metaphors that Paul uses for the timing of the Lord’s coming?
  • What does each metaphor communicate about the timing of this important event?

Questions to reflect on your life

  • Given what is contained in 1 Thess 5:1-3, why do you think people still try to predict the date of the Lord’s second coming?
  • Why do you think Christians still fall prey to predictions of when Christ will return?
  • Do you ever think about the Lord’s coming? What feelings or perspectives are associated with these thoughts?

Live in the Light (5:4-11)

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11

Questions to reflect on the passage

Paul uses the metaphors of «sons of night / darkness» and «sons of day / light» throughout this whole section.

  • Compare Paul’s descriptions of those who live by night vs. those who live by day. What are the consequences or rewards for each of these groups of people?
  • What does it mean to be «sober»? See 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7 and 5:8, which use the same term.
  • How does Paul use the metaphor of a roman soldier’s armor, «breastplate» and «helmet»? What is he trying to accomplish? What advice is he giving?
  • Verse 5:11 concludes this section. How does Paul use the teaching of the end-times here in this section. (Compare to 4:18)

Questions to reflect on your life

  • How does the knowledge of the Lord’s second coming affect your day to day existence? Are you one of the sleepers or are you one of the alert ones?
  • How does Paul’s use of the end-times differ from modern teachings about the end times?
  • How can you share words of encouragement with others based on the Lord’s Second Coming and based on Paul’s instructions to to do so (5:11)?


This concludes Week 7 of your 1 Thessalonians Bible Study. In the near future, I hope to create some supplemental material about the end-times to go along with this study.

For the moment, however, feel free to check out my article entitled «New Testament Eschatology: Why Modern End-Times Teaching is Misguided!»