Introduction: My son told me a story about his rotations as
a resident physician. When he advised patients with
diabetes, conditions that would lead to heart problems, or
any medical problem that would manifest itself at some
unknown time in the future, his patients seemed to pay
little attention to his advice. When he was in a cancer
rotation all the patients paid very close attention to his
advice. Why? Because the cancer patients knew death might
be close. For the rest, well, they thought they had more
time before they needed to become serious about their
medical problems. We have listened to the messages of the
Three Angels, we have learned about the divide between the
saved and the unsaved, and we think the end of time might be
soon. The question is whether we are going to be smart by
being prepared at all times. Are we going to take this
matter seriously? Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and
learn more!

I. Be Prepared

A. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2. Why is Paul writing to
the Thessalonians when he says that he has no need
to write to them? (What he really means is that I
should not need to write to you, but I think I

1. What point is he making about a thief in the
night? (Most people do not expect a thief to
visit them on any specific night. Normally
people are sleeping at night. Paul is warning
that a thief is coming.)

B. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:3. How will end time events
come upon us? (While the world assures itself that
this is a time of peace and security, just the
opposite happens – destruction.)

1. Why would Paul pick a pregnant woman to
illustrate end time events? (The woman knows
she is going to have a baby. The coming event
is no surprise. What does surprise is when the
baby actually begins to come. We know Jesus is
coming again, we know about the end of the
world, but we will still be surprised when it

C. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6. Paul seems to say two
somewhat contradictory things. He says the
Christians in Thessaloniki are children of the
day, they are not in darkness. At the same time he
says that they need to stay awake and sober. Why?
(Being up during the day is not the same as being

D. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8. Paul explains that
sleeping or being drunk is not the way to be
alert. What will make us alert? (Putting on the
spiritual armor of faith, love, and the hope of

1. Why would that make us alert? (We are paying
attention to spiritual issues. We are involved
in spiritual activities.)

E. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11. Commentators
understand the phrase “whether we are awake or
asleep” to mean whether we are alive or dead at
the Second Coming. What troubles me about this
interpretation is that Paul has previously used
that phrase to mean whether we are alert. Must we
be alert to be saved? (I think the commentators
are missing an important point. Our salvation does
not turn on our correct understanding of end time

1. Why is an understanding of end time events,
and being alert, important? (Just like
obedience to God makes our lives better, so an
understanding of what is going on at the end
of time will give us confidence and peace.)

F. Look again at 1 Thessalonians 5:8. Does this
suggest that understanding end times and being
ready is like being in a war? (It is a spiritual

1. Think about the views of God’s followers
concerning the First Coming of Jesus. How many
of them had it right? (Very few, if any.
Consider that Jesus’ disciples, even after
having spent three years being taught by Him,
did not have it right. Acts 1:6.)

2. My church teaches that among the obedience
issues involved in the end time, the Sabbath
is the most important. What is the danger of
absolute certainty in our understanding of end
time events and challenges? (The errors
regarding Jesus’ First Coming were based on an
understanding of Old Testament prophets and a
misunderstanding of what Jesus taught. Since
we need to prepare for war, I don’t think we
should underestimate our ability to get things
wrong. We should also prepare for the

G. Read John 7:17-18. What does Jesus say is the
foundation on which we should base our
understanding of end time events? (Jesus refers to
relying on teachings from God. He suggests that we
can, if we are willing, be able to distinguish
truth from error.)

1. What is the key to having this kind of
understanding? (Read John 16:13. The guidance
of the Holy Spirit allows us to have this
discernment. That is why Ephesians 1:13-14
refers to the Holy Spirit as the seal for
those who are saved.)

II. The Spotlight of End Times

A. Read Revelation 18:1-2. What do you think it means
that the earth “was made bright with his glory?”
(Among all the darkness and worry during the final
struggle, there is a bright light of truth.)

B. Read Revelation 4:4-5. Why do you think that the
spirit of God is represented by fire? (Read Acts 2:1-3.
Fire is a common representation of the Holy
Spirit. In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit came in power to
teach the people about Jesus.)

1. What is the great thing about the conflict
between the Dragon and God’s followers at the
end of time? (This conflict helps to bring
attention to the issues. Darkness likes to
stay hidden in the dark. Turning on the light
makes people aware of the issues and helps
them to choose.)

C. Read Revelation 5:6. Perhaps you noticed the odd
“seven spirits” reference in Revelation 4:5. Here
we see it again. What do you think this means?

1. Read Ephesians 4:4-6. How many Holy Spirits do
we have? (We have only one Holy Spirit.)

2. What, then, does this reference to “seven
spirits” mean? (Seven is the perfect number.
It means that the Holy Spirit is working on
earth in full power mode. The light of God is
shining at its brightest.)

D. Read Revelation 21:8 and focus on the first two
descriptions: cowardly and faithless. Amid the
spotlight of God’s truth against the darkness of
the dragon, what are we called to do? (Trust God!
We must trust in God and the power of His Holy
Spirit in this difficult time. We must not be
cowards by shrinking back in the face of evil. We
must hold onto faith. We must be bold!)

III. New Heaven and New Earth

A. Read Revelation 21:1. What has happened to the
earth and the struggle between good and evil? (God
has triumphed. He is making everything new.)

1. Why would God need a new heaven? (Some say
this merely refers to a new atmosphere. I’m
doubtful about that interpretation.)

B. Read Revelation 21:2-3. What do we know has
happened to the old heaven? (God has moved His
primary residence to the earth made new. He has
brought the New Jerusalem down to earth. I think
those two events are sufficient to note a serious
change in the old heaven.)

C. Read Revelation 21:4. What do you like least about
our current earth? (Death? Illness? Pain? Sadness?
All of these are gone forever.)

D. Read Revelation 21:7. Are you a conqueror? Have
you chosen to rely on God rather than human
philosophy? (If so, the new earth is your heritage
and God is your Father!)

E. Friend are you prepared for the final battle
between good and evil? Are you immersed in God’s
word so that you will rightly understand the
issues of the end time? Will you be guided by the
Holy Spirit to be faithful and bold against evil?
To understand what is right? If so, there is a
wonderful future that awaits you. You will live
with God! Will you determine, right now, to be

IV. Next week we begin a study of the New Testament book of

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail,
but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.