WHEN WILL THE LORD ARRIVE?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
There is a branch of theological study called “Eschatology.” It is a compound word, originating from two Greek words: 1) “ἔó÷áôïò” , and 2) ëüãïò . The first is an adjective and means “end”, but when used as a noun it means “ends of time;” the second means “a word or saying, also means an account which one gives by word of mouth.” Thus, “eschatology” is the study about the end of times.
Due to the importance it holds in the Christian Doctrine, eschatology is the object of an enormous body of teaching in the Bible, as well as the basis for a larger body of heresies and false teaching. We will focus our search in the Eternal and Unique Word of God, the Bible and allow the Bible to enlighten us on the topic.
This sermon will address the question: “When Will The Lord Return?” In order to answer this question: first, the assurance of His Coming will be addressed; second the time of His Coming; and finally, the Christian’s preparation for His Coming. We should take to heart the words of D.L. Moody, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to transform our lives.” Nothing we study or consider in regard to Bible teachings is worth anything if we are not willing and ready to allow it to transform our lives as believers in our Glorious Lord!
I. The Assurance of His Coming
Is the Lord coming? Has He come and gone and we did not notice Him? These questions appear to go on the other sight of the “telephone call” in Thessalonica. The Christian faith is centered on Christ. From the Genesis to the Malachi the message of the Bible is “Christ is coming!” The Gospel accounts would speak loudly the message, “Christ has come!” And them from the last chapters of gospel accounts all the way to Revelation the message is “Christ is coming again!” The Hebrew Scriptures speak about the Hebrew nation as much as they were the tool to bring about Christ in the world. From Genesis 3:15 all the way to Malachi they are filled with prophecies about the coming Christ. Christ came once in the baby Jesus, who grew up, lived a perfect life and gave His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). His sacrificial death provided to mankind the opportunity to be with God forever. Those who claim this sacrificial death, do so, by placing their trust on Him (John 8:24), repenting of sin in their life (Acts 2:38; 17:30), confessing Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and being baptized in His name for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38), having their sins washed away (Acts 22:16) to walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:4) placing hope in His return and to take them to be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17; see also John 14:1-3).
Paul, Silvanus and Timothy (1:1) wanted to assure the Christians at Thessalonica about the coming of the Lord. Since they were forced to leave Thessalonica quickly, because of fierce opposition, they did not have adequate time to teach them about many things, especially about the Second Coming, the Return, or the Advent of the Lord. While they wanted to answer the brothers in Thessalonica about the destiny of the brothers who had died since the evangelists left the city, they provided the assurance of the Lord’s Return for generations who would read the Word of God after them, namely us. They wrote, “According to the Lord’s own word” (4:15). This teaching rests assure in the power of the Word of God. It is the same power who said at creation, “Let there be…” and as result “…there was…” It is El Shaddai, by His power and might that will cause it to come. The assurance lies in the belief “that Jesus died and rose again and…that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (4:14, emphasis added.)