A lot of people wonder when Jesus will come back. The Thessalonians wondered about it back in Paul’s day. People wonder about it today.
But Paul essentially reiterates what Jesus said: “We don’t know when Jesus will come back. So be ready for his return every day. That way you’ll never be surprised.”
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
While people are saying, “Peace and safety,”destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1-9)
One thing we learn about the last days before the Lord returns is that people will have a feeling of security. That all is well, and that without God. Jesus said people will be feasting, marrying, buying and selling, planting and building. Such were the times before the flood. Such were the days before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. These things in themselves, of course, are not evil in themselves. But these people had turned their backs on God and had become completely immoral, calling good “evil” and evil “good.”
And just as God swept down on them in judgment, so God will sweep down on judgment once again when Jesus returns. And only those like Noah and Lot will be spared. Why were they spared? Because they were ready for the Lord’s coming in judgment.
So Paul tells us, don’t live in the darkness of sin, but live as children of light. Live lives such that if they are exposed, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
Put on faith, believing in the love God has for you, and believing that his way is best. Put on love, love for God and love for others, letting it shape your attitudes and your actions. Put on the hope of your salvation, so that you don’t get discouraged by the hardships you face. Rejoice in knowing that God hasn’t called you to suffer his wrath,but to receive his salvation.
And know that though you will be with the Lord forever someday, that starts today. He desires that we live in relationship with him…today…as we live here on earth. (10)
Finally, remember that though the Day of the Lord, the day of his return to earth, is still in the future, for you, the “Day of the Lord,” the day he comes back for you personally, could happen at any time. You could die in an accident. You could have a sudden heart attack. You could die in an earthquake. Tomorrow is not promised to you. So be ready.
How about you? If the Lord came for you today, would you be ready?