Jesus is Coming Again

A long time ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Jesus is Coming, Look Busy.”  I had to laugh, but at the same time was saddened that the teaching on the return of Christ has been so badly misunderstood for so many years.  It only makes it worse when weird looking people stand on street corners with signs, “The End is Near,” even at times yelling threats to passersby.  The truth is, Jesus is coming again.  The fact that there are many times when people represent that message accurately poorly, doesn’t change the Biblical truth: Jesus is Coming Again.”

That will be our subject for the week.  The text for today comes from I Thessalonians 5: 1-11:

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. [1] (I Thessalonians 5: 1-11)

The first thing we notice is that our being ready for the return of the Lord has nothing to do with us pulling the wool over the Lord’s eyes by looking busy, but has everything to do with vigilance.  Those who are unaware of the coming judgment of God, either because they have not heard or refuse to listen to the gospel, are “asleep” with regard to the danger of their situation. They see no need for vigilance. Similarly those who show no ethical self-control are “drunk” and in danger of divine wrath. Implicit in v. 7 then is the fact that Christians belong to the day and therefore their behavior must conform to the standards of the day and not to the standards of the night, where God is ignored, or worse, disobeyed.

This requires not works on our part, but believing the message that Christ came to take our punishment, receiving that forgiveness and having our lives now in line with living as forgiven, grateful people.  Paul clearly says God has not destined any of us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Are you a child of the light of the Son of God?  If so, whether you are awake or asleep you are living with him.  Notice it’s not living for God, it’s living in Him.  If that’s you today, let your light shine throughout this day.  If you are not in that group, you can begin your journey this day.  Ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life and to forgive you of all of your sins, turn from those sins and walk with Him.  By doing that, you’ll be ready when he comes.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Th 5:1–11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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