Tim Warke continued the ‘Living In-between’ series by asking us: “Are you having a good day or a bad day?” He reminded us of the most important day that everyone must face – the day when Jesus returns in glory and power.
1. An unexpected peril
Paul reminds his readers of Jesus’ own description in Matthew 24:42-43 about how his return would be sudden and unexpected. He adds the analogy of labour pains – you know they are coming but just don’t know when. Scripture teaches that this day of darkness and judgement is for those who reject God’s offer of salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Those who follow Jesus are not in darkness and should not be surprised, even if they don’t know when it will happen. Yet the question we all face is: “How can I best prepare for the day of the Lord?”
2. A watchful life
Paul is teaching the Thessalonians that they are not like those living in darkness who do not know to expect the return of the Lord but are children of the light who must stay alert and sober (v.6) and live a watchful life.
As followers of Jesus and children of the light, are we ready and alert, and living a life that is pleasing to God?
Amid busy lives that clamour for our attention, Paul encourages believers who are living in the in-between to deliberately focus on the goal by setting their minds on things above (see Colossians 3:2).
3. An encouraging hope
Paul reminds the Thessalonians, and us, that our salvation and our future hope are based on two wonderful truths:
- we didn’t rescue ourselves – It was God’s purpose to do this
- it’s based on Jesus’ death when he took the punishment we deserved
What reassurance to know that, whether we live or die, we are guaranteed to spend eternity together with Jesus.
Allow the magnitude of this quotation to sink in for a moment, that Jesus’ resurrection is the guarantee of our future resurrection.
This is what we are required to do as followers of Jesus.
Tim concluded with an illustration from The Last Battle, the final book in C.S Lewis’s Narnia series, an allegory of the Christian life. He said that painful and difficult as this life can be, it is only the title page of our story. We look forward to the sure hope that one day Jesus our King will return, beginning chapter one, in which every chapter will be better than the one before.
- What better time to encourage one another and build each other up than at the start of a new year?
- Can you say with all honesty, “Come Lord Jesus, come today”?