July 14, 2024 – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

Lesson Date: July 14, 2024

Focal Scripture Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10

AIM: To lead students to contrast some biblical descriptions of lost people and saved people, and to evaluate themselves to determine if they are saved or lost.


Before class: Read the notes on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Prepare a wall display based on the table below.  Make the display out of separate strips of paper that can be posted individually to create the completed display.  Place one of the descriptive words or phrases face down under each chair.  (An alternate method would be to write the headings on the board and then write the descriptive phrases below the headings as they are discovered.)  The completed display should look like this:

Unsaved People Saved People
Deception Understanding
Darkness Light
Sleep Wakefulness
Drunkenness Sobriety
Appointed to Wrath Obtained Salvation


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Tell the class about a time when you felt like you didn’t fit in.  Use an example from work, school, or a social situation, rather than something about not fitting in spiritually.

The following are some possible examples you could share: you arrived at a social event terribly over-dressed or under-dressed; you found yourself in a group of people who talked about interests or experiences they shared in common with each other but not with you;  you found yourself as the only person standing up for a particular opinion.   Whatever the story, stress the fact that you felt like an “oddball” who didn’t fit in with the rest of the group.

Tell the students that Christians are the “oddballs” in our modern secularized world.  The Bible makes it clear that if we live for Jesus we won’t fit in the world.

Tell the class the title of today’s lesson is Stark Contrasts.  Tell them we will discover some of the stark contrasts between saved people and lost people.



  1. Review.
    • Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of 1 Thessalonians.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (The Rapture of the Church; we discovered what will take place when Jesus returns to snatch His church out of this world).
    • Ask: “Were you able to use what you learned to comfort someone this week?”  
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
  2. Deception vs. Understanding.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2.
    • Ask: “What times and seasons do you think Paul was talking about?” (the Day of the Lord).
    • Explain the following:
      • The Day of the Lord refers to a time of future judgment in which the Lord will execute divine judgment upon the wicked.
      • It is not merely a 24-hour day or a single event, but a period of God’s judgment.
      • The Day of the Lord includes all of God’s judgment upon the wicked in the end times.
    • Ask: “What did Paul say the Thessalonians knew about the Day of the Lord?” (that it’s coming would be sudden and surprising).
    • Explain the following:
      • Only the Father knows when Christ will return (Matt. 24:36; Mark 13:32).
      • Anyone who predicts a specific date is wrong; they are false prophets inspired by the devil and should be avoided by God’s children.
    • Read 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
    • Ask: “What will the lost be saying just before destruction comes upon them?” (“Peace and safety!”).
    • Explain the following:
      • The word travail refers to the pain a woman experiences during childbirth.
      • Throughout her pregnancy she knows that labor will come, but she doesn’t know when.
      • When labor starts, it continues until it is completed.
      • In the same way, God’s judgment will come, but we don’t know when.
      • When it starts, it will not stop until it has come to completion.
    • Ask who has the words “Deceived” and “Understanding,” and add those words to the display (or the list on the board).
    • Summarize: Lost people are deceived, but in contrast, saved people have been given understanding of the things of God.
  3. Darkness vs. Light.
    • Read 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5.
    • Ask: “According to verse 4, saved people are NOT in what?” (darkness).
    • Ask: “What does verse 5 call saved people?” (children of light and children of the day).
    • Ask the class what strips need to be posted next.
    • Ask who has the words “Darkness” and “Light,” and add those words to the display.
    • Read 1 Peter 2:9.
    • Explain that lost people are in spiritual darkness and cannot understand the Bible or the things of God; after we receive Christ as Savior, however, God gives us more and more spiritual light (understanding).
    • Summarize: Lost people are in spiritual darkness, but in contrast, God gives saved people spiritual light and understanding.
  4. Sleep vs. Wakefulness.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Thessalonians 5:6-7a.
    • Explain that the word “sleep” in this verse refers to spiritual carelessness or a lack of spiritual watchfulness, as opposed to the way it was used in last week’s lesson (referring to the physical death of believers).
    • Ask: “What words do you think describe the contrast between lost people and saved people?” (sleep and watchfulness or wakefulness).
    • Ask who has the words “Sleep” and “Wakefulness,” and add those words to the display.
    • Summarize: Lost people are spiritually asleep and unresponsive, but in contrast, saved people are wakeful and watchful.
  5. Drunkenness vs. Sobriety.
    • Read 1 Thessalonians 5:7b-8.
    • Ask: “What words do you think we should add to our list of start contrasts?” (“Drunkenness” and “Sobriety”).
    • Ask who has those words and add them to the display.
    • Tell the class that just as Christians should be awake and alert, they should also be sober-minded.
    • Ask: “Based on verse 8, why do you think Christians must be sober?” (because we are involved in spiritual warfare; see also Eph. 6:10-17).
    • Explain the following:
      • Lost people believe that peace and safety are just around the corner, so they feel free to be drunk and sleepy.
      • Christians recognize the seriousness of the day in which we live and the destruction God will one day send, so they must stay alert and sober.
    • Summarize: Lost people are spiritually drunk with the pleasures of sin, but in contrast, saved people must be sober-minded and alert.
  6. Wrath vs. Salvation.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10.
    • Ask: “According to verse 9, what are lost people appointed to?” (wrath).
    • Ask: “In contrast, what are Christians appointed to?” (salvation).
    • Ask who has the words “Wrath” and “Salvation,” and add those words to the display.
    • Explain the following:
      • The word “sleep” in verse 10 refers to physical death, just as it did in chapter 4.
      • Verse 10 reminds us that Christians are blessed to have fellowship with Jesus Christ whether we are living or dead.
      • Death cannot separate us from Him (Rom. 8:38-39).
    • Summarize: Lost people are destined to receive God’s wrath, but in contrast, saved people have been appointed (chosen, picked out) to salvation in Jesus Christ.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the class that the title of today’s lesson is Stark Contrasts.  Direct everyone’s attention to the completed lists.  Tell them we have discovered some very stark differences between saved people and lost people.

Explain the following:

  • Lost people are spiritual deceived, walk in spiritual darkness, are spiritually asleep and drunken, and are appointed to be objects of God’s wrath.
  • Saved people have been given spiritual understanding, walk in light, are spiritually awake and sober-minded, and have been appointed to receive salvation.

Ask: “Has this study confirmed in your mind and heart the fact that you are a genuine child of God?  Have you found your life marked by the biblical descriptions of a believer?”  Tell the class that if they are genuinely saved, these truths should comfort and edify them.  Remind them of the introductory activity and tell them they are “oddballs” in the world because they have different priorities and standards than the world.  Explain that a child of God is not supposed to “fit” in this lost world (Rom. 12:2; James 4:4).  Tell the class if they know they are saved they should thank God that He made them oddballs who don’t fit into this lost world.

Ask: “Do you, on the other hand, feel that you ‘fit’ very well into the lost world around you?  Do you find that your life matches the descriptions of unsaved people more than the descriptions of saved people?”  Tell the students if any of them have realized they are not really saved, they can be today.  Encourage any who need to get saved to turn away from their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ now.  Voice a closing prayer.


CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:9.  Tell them to thank God every day that they do not walk in darkness.

Explain that since Christians are not appointed to wrath, God does not want them living under the condemnation of the devil (1 Tim. 3:6).  Tell them the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10) who wants Christians to feel guilty and worthless.  Urge everyone to quote 1 Thessalonians 5:9 whenever the devil sends an accusing spirit or thought against them.


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