“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”-1Th 5:6
The coming of Christ is the great incentive to Biblical Christianity. A sincere belief in this doctrine has had much to do with orthodoxy; for those who have entertained this hope most heartily and intelligently have never denied the deity of Christ, nor disputed the infallibility of the Bible, nor declined from the faith that was once delivered to the saints. But that is not all. The acceptance of this truth also inspires watchfulness and constancy. God has removed us from Satan’s kingdom of darkness and placed us into God’s kingdom of light (cf. Col 1:13).
“Darkness” was a common negative figure in antiquity. In the Old and New Testaments it describes those who are ignorant of or opposed to the Lord (cf. Job 22:9-11; Psa 82:5; Pro 4:19; Isa 60:1-3; Rom 13:12; 1Co 4:5; 2Co 4:4-6; 6:14; Col 1:13; 1Pe 2:9). Paul exhorted the Thessalonians therefore to remain alert (watchful) and sober (self-possessed), not asleep (insensible) to things that God has revealed.
To some people in today’s America, the idea of being “Woke” has taken on a negative connotation. It seems like some kind of post-millienial slogan to which the appropriate reaction is a massive eye roll. But the idea of being emotionally, intellectually, historically and, yes, spiritually alert and aware is a very old metaphor. Christians should endeavor to become more alert and aware of God, first and foremost. But also, much time must be spent on introspection and being aware of our own spiritual condition in relation to that of Jesus’ (2Co 10:12). We don’t need to interpret the exhortation to "watch" as an exhortation to scan the heavens for immediate signs of the Lord's appearance. We should rather see in it an admonition to be awake, to be alert, to be prepared, to be active in the work of the Lord, or we could be overtaken by sudden calamity.
So. Are you woke? Or are you asleep? Let us know what you think about this wakefulness that the Christian is supposed to exhibit.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”- Jesus Christ
Thiessen, Henry. Lectures in Systematic Theology (pg. 444). Eerdmans Publishing Company 1951.