Trouble hits the world we live in. From the inception of sin the world groans for its redemption. People of the world search for answers according to their own wisdom. None are to be found to bring the peace longed for. Christians tend to also look for their escape. When the weight of trials bear down on our souls often we long for the coming of Christ. The answer He has given us is wait, watch and keep walking. It is the same response found in 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
The coming of Christ for his church, I believe, is the beginning of the day of the Lord. Please, don’t let this be a dividing point. The important thing to remember is to be ready when it happens.
“And the Lord make you to increase
and abound in love one toward another,
and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
To the end he may stablish your hearts
unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father,
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
When Christ returned to the Father after his first advent He left this record for us.
“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said,
Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven,
shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
Paul addressed the Thessalonians concern for the followers who lay in the grave. How would the event recorded in Acts happen for the dead?
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
- even so them also which sleep(die) in Jesus will God bring with him
- . For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,
- that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
- For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
- and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
- Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,
- to meet the Lord in the air;
- and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
- Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18.
So begins the Day of the Lord. A day, a period of time, when the wrath of God is poured out on all ungodliness. It finishes after Christ takes his throne, defeats Satan’s final attempt to overthrow him, and casts Satan, death, hell, and all the ungodly into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:10-15). When will these events take place?
- “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
- For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night …
- For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child;
- and they shall not escape.
- But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief…
- For God hath not appointed us to wrath,
- but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ …
- “Let no man deceive you by any means:
- for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,
- and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
- Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;
- so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God …
- and now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
- For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:
- only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
- And then shall that Wicked be revealed,
- whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
- Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
- because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4,9; 2Thessalonians 2:3,4,6-10). For more on the sequence of events you can check out Matthew 24.
During the time of covid and national unrest many looked for Christ’s coming. That’s not a bad thing. We as Jesus declared need be in readiness.
for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
Some take believing Christ’s return imminent means sitting and waiting so as not to miss it. It’s not in agreement with God’s instructions.
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together,
and edify one another, even also ye do …
But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil …
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God,
and into the patient waiting for Christ …
But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
2 Thessalonians 5:3,5,13.
“The doctrine of the Lord’s return requires a balance between waiting and working. It is a perspective that should encourage holiness, not idleness.” (New Open Bible introduction to 2 Thessalonians.)
At the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
- Our deliverance is fulfilled. (1 Thess. 1:10)
- Our perfection is realized. (1 Thess. 3:13)
- Our sanctification completed. (1Thess. 5:23)
Paul’s prayer and mine:
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself,
and God, even our Father,
which hath loved us,
and hath given us everlasting consolation
and good hope through grace,
Comfort your hearts,
and stablish you in every good word and work.”
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.
Let’s keep our eyes on the sky, our hands on the shovel, and our feet on the path.