Summary: Each Chapter in this wonderful Epistle touches on the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We look briefly at the challenge this brings to us.
THE LORD IS COMING AGAIN
AS FORETOLD IN THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS
There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul believed in the ‘Second Coming’ of the Lord Jesus Christ; in fact he claimed to have a special revelation about it.
In our present time, we find there is a lot of uncertainty, and even confusion about this wonderful ‘God-revealed’ truth. This is something the Lord Jesus spoke of during His earthly ministry, the Old Testament Scriptures also pointed on to the Lord coming in majesty, and in the New Testament Epistles we see this truth presented many times. It is surprising then to see it so neglected in our own day.
For our meditation we shall look at Paul’s thoughts on this wonderful truth, as found in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians. Each of the five chapters of this Epistle touch on this glorious truth; and we shall take just one small section of each chapter to share some great truth.
First of all we have the thought of anticipation, as we are encouraged to be
EXPECTANT OF HIS COMING
I Thessalonians 1:10. And how you look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead - Jesus, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath bringing punishment which is coming upon the impenitent and draws us to Himself investing us with all the privileges and rewards of the new life in Christ, the Messiah. [Amp]
I wonder, how much does the prospect of the Lord’s return affect our lives? This scripture has the though of eagerness, and also patient waiting.
To deal with the subject of the Lord’s Return would take many weeks of real Bible Study, but permit this brief challenge from the Word of God.
Let me ask you, are you really expecting the imminent return of the Lord? Or is this something that might happen sometime! Get into the Word, and you will see that it is very near. Look around at the events of today, and they will re-inforce the teaching of Scripture. What a great privilege is ours to see this truth, and to believe this truth, and to daily live out this truth. Jesus is coming again. We used to have two words on our walls, our desks, and in our hearts – ‘Perhaps Today’.
If this truth grips us, then there will be joy in our hearts and our homes! Paul exhorts us to be
EXULTANT AT HIS COMING
I Thessalonians 2:19 – 20. Who is our hope, or joy, or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy! [Holman]
We can all have our ideas of what will thrill us when Jesus returns, but in these verses Paul speaks of the joy he will have when the Lord returns, because of the Thessalonian Believers. He says they will be
‘Our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when He returns’. [NLT]
Will there be any joy for you, at the return of the Saviour, because of someone you have led to know the Lord, or because of someone you have helped get closer to the Lord? Let us remember that Paul tells us that there will be a testing time.
I Corinthians 3:11-15 Christ is the only foundation. 12-13 Whatever we build on that foundation will be tested by fire on the day of judgment. Then everyone will find out if we have used gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and straw. 14 We will be rewarded if our building is left standing. 15 But if it is destroyed by the fire, we will lose everything. Yet we ourselves will be saved, like someone escaping from flames. [CEV]
That day is surely coming, and we need to take time to ensure we are ready for it.
Is there a sense of eager anticipation in your heart right now? Are you really excited at the thought of the near return of our Lord Jesus? Will you bring joy to the heart of someone, when Jesus comes?
To help us in this, we need to become firm in our belief, and strong in the way we live for the Lord each and every day. We need to be
ESTABLISHED FOR HIS COMING
I Thessalonians 3:13 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. [AV]
How can we become established in preparation for His coming? The Greek word for stablish is ‘sterizo’, and this has a wonderful idea in it.
Stablish: sthrizw sterizo stay-rid’-zo
1) to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix