Paul, the converted legalist, once a persecutor, now among the persecuted, blinded so he could see, and fully convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, continues to instruct the church in Thessalonica about “the final days” – the second coming of Jesus. The church there was beginning to worry because Jesus hadn’t returned as soon as they thought he would. Will he ever return? We tend to be discouraged by the same question today. Paul says that Jesus’ return will be unexpected “like a thief in the night” and it will be painful like child labor, but he is sure to come. It’s often said that we overestimate what we can accomplish in one year and underestimate what we can do in 5 years. Paul instructs the church to “put on” faith (not just mental believing but commitment and actual, physical follow-through), hope (the absolute expectation of coming good because of the character of God), and love (preferring others over ourselves). We are called to encourage one another, walking alongside each other, reminding each other “the Holy Spirit is with you.” We are called to build each other up, and we’re called to live. What if we were to live with urgency as though Jesus were coming tomorrow and with endurance as though he’s coming 5 years, 10 years, 2,000 years from now?
- 1 Thessalonians 5:1 - 11