Despite the fact that it’s seemingly one of many earliest Christian paperwork, 1 Thessalonians makes it clear that Paul considers the suddenness of Christ’s return to be obvious to believers. “…for you know very well,” he writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
However he goes on, in verse 4, to explain a significant facet of what it means to be a follower of Christ: “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”
In a current sermon, my pastor paused mid-message and requested, “What
if he comes proper now?” He waited for laughter. Or, since nobody was more likely to be brash sufficient to chuckle throughout a sermon, he watched us a second for extra refined indicators of incredulity… What if he comes proper now? He wished to know if we took that query as severely as Paul did.
To the secular world, that is in all probability on the core of what makes Christians appear absurd. In spite of everything, it has been about 2,000 years. What are we anticipating at this level? The place is your God? Paul consigns these folks to the night time—to a time for sleeping and drunkenness (5:7), a time when thieves break in and steal.
However to the followers of Christ, he writes, “…since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” (5:8). And allow us to do these items now, not regarding ourselves with “times and seasons,” as he says in 5:1. God is outdoors of time. What’s 2,000 years? What’s 2 seconds? What if he comes proper now?
This sort of anticipation and ready doesn’t, Paul is saying, assume our immobility. I’m motionless if I’m ready for the bus as a result of I’ve (roughly) the precise time of its arrival in entrance of me. If I depart to get a espresso, I threat lacking it. However Christ “died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him” (5:10).
Jesus Christ, being past human scheduling, and relieving us of the paralysis of “times and seasons” by his promise, expects us to proceed in our energetic lives of religion. Ready whereas on the transfer, so to talk. Placing on religion in keen expectation. If God needs our lives to be greater than a wait on the bus station, how can his second coming be something however sudden? Sudden, however not unlooked for by these to whom he has revealed himself.
What if he comes proper
It’s a startling query, and the one with which my pastor adopted it up that Sunday morning was much more so: Assuming Christ doesn’t come proper this minute (i.e., throughout church), however does come later right now, what’s going to you be doing at that second?
I’ve been fascinated by that recently. Will it mirror poorly on me if I’m watching TV when he exhibits up? Heaven assist us all if it does, however I lean on 1 Thessalonians 5:10 once more right here. I feel the aim of the query above has extra to do with mindset. What if we lived our day-to-day lives below the fixed assumption that Christ might come at this actual second? How may we reside otherwise if we believed now (and in addition now, and in addition now) that he may arrive?
This is able to imply that Jesus stay on our minds nearly on a regular basis. Paul, in any case, is in search of us to attract this conclusion. A number of verses later, in his last directions, he exhorts us to “pray continually” (5:17).
A be aware on 1 Thessalonians 5, from the Halley’s Bible Handbook—which will be discovered within the Examine This sidebar on Bible Gateway—places this anticipatory mindset of the Christian life within the following context:
“…the Thessalonian epistles are commonly regarded as the earliest written New Testament books. Both are about the Lord’s coming again. The last of the New Testament books to have been written is Revelation; its final words (except for the benediction) are ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’”