1 Thessalonians 4:18
“Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
We are living in uncertain times. Violence rages in the Middle East, the threat of terrorism continues, even increases, despite all of our efforts to eradicate it, the rising threat of hostile nations developing nuclear capabilities, not to mention the domestic violence and uncertainty we face on our own soil. Just today, the headlines on some popular news sites include: “New York store owner funded ISIS,” “South Korea detains Americans,” at least 220 killed in a day in Syria.”
At times, the thought of these things can become overwhelming, and we are struck with fear. While nuclear threats, embassy attacks, and car bombs did not fill the headlines in the newspapers of ancient Thessalonica, these believers had their own set of challenges, trials, threats and fears. In an attempt to encourage them through the difficulties they were facing, Paul broaches the subject of the return of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
While the threats we are currently facing are real, and the rising tensions around the world do cause concern, the Bible teaches that things as we know them, will culminate with the glorious return of Jesus Christ. A day is coming when living believers will be called home to join those who have gone to heaven before us, through faith in Christ. Paul explained to the Corinthians, this would be in a moment, as quick as the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). While it is important for every believer to live a life that impacts the world for the Kingdom of heaven, we must also be living with an expectancy that Jesus Christ is coming back. Jesus said,
Luke 21:28 “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
As you head out the door to tackle your responsibilities, keep in the forefront of your mind the fact that Jesus Christ will be calling His church home soon. Let that impact the way you treat temptation, others, and the way you allow the current events to impact you. In light of the return of Christ, we should be doing all things heartily as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23).