There are people who think that living for self has made them successful. They think that their efforts alone are the source of their achievements. They have accomplished their goals and reached their mountaintops—but to what end?
Whatever steps our life plans contain—whether we achieve riches or suffer poverty, whether we are cultured and well-traveled or never leave home, whether our opinions are respected or we are forgotten—all our life stories end the same: in death. What comes after death? That day when each of us will stand before the Lord and give an account of what we have done. The Day of Judgment is coming, and from that day there is no escape.
Paul says there are three ways to know that you have been transformed from spiritual darkness to spiritual light.
So the question is: How do we know we are walking in the spiritual light of Christ? In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul says there are three ways to know that you have been transformed from spiritual darkness to spiritual light: renewed character, radical conduct, and reliable compensation.
Those who live in spiritual light have a renewed character. The old ways of living are gone (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Now, when we sin, we cannot rest. We cannot just forget our sin, but immediately we repent and turn from that sin and receive the Lord's forgiveness. Why? Because we are like someone who is wearing a white garb: Even the smallest stain shows up, and we cannot rest until we take care of it by the blood of Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, those who are living in spiritual darkness are like someone who is dressed in filthy clothes; one more stain cannot be seen. One more stain doesn't make any difference.
Those who are awaiting the return of the Lord not only have renewed character, but radical conduct. According to the apostle Paul, a person radically changed is walking by faith, not by sight. He stands firm against the schemes of the devil, not inviting the devil to come in and set up a stronghold in his life.
Believers who live in the spiritual light of Christ not only have renewed character and radical conduct—they also have reliable compensation. They know that, in Christ, their destiny is sure; their reward is certain; their compensation is definite. Our eternal reward is based on the fact that we have accepted the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as our only hope for salvation—and because the blood of Christ covers us, we have no reason to fear.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the guarantee of eternal life through Christ. Help me to live daily in the light, to put off sin, and to live every day for Your glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Until Christ Returns: Living Confidently in Turbulent Times: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW