Paul addresses the concerns of this new body about the Jesus’ return. The rest of the world will be blindsided but not His body.
We DO NOT know when Jesus will return. Even Jesus Himself doesn’t. Only God does. But He has given us a lot of indicators as to the timing. We have God’s word with every warning and pre sign in it. NO we don’t understand it all and won’t until it is part of hindsight. But what we do know is that He IS coming back.
Because we know that he will return, our job is to be ready for it. “Live like he is coming back any second and work like it is years away.” In other words, make sure your life is pleasing to Him at all times while also working and planning for the growth of His Kingdom.
Paul was pleased with how the Thessalonians were conducting themselves. He knew they were safe in Jesus’ arms and could stand boldly before the throne; secure in Jesus’ blood and their lives lived for Him.
I think God is vague on His indicators on purpose. If we knew exactly when, or even had a really good estimation, no one would bother getting their heart right with Him until the last minute. There would be a run of “fire insurance” sales. Living the last few minutes of your life for Him would be out of desperation instead of love.
Yes, we are all desperate when we come to Him because we recognize how lost we are without Him. Last second conversions, to me, seem more like a fear of Hell than a desire for relationship with God. I wonder if He sees them that way? It is said that even Darwin denounced his theories and called out to God on his death bed.
Jesus’ parable about the laborers who went to work in the field seems to say otherwise. He said that those who worked only one hour received the same “pay” as those who worked for the whole day. I believe that probably refers to salvation only. He was clear about receiving rewards in Heaven for acts you did on earth in His name, WHEN you have a relationship with Him as your Lord and Savior.
Living your life as an offering to Him is a lifelong labor of love. I guess no matter when you turn to Him, it is the beginning of your new life so it is a lifetime of loving Him. He knows we won’t live that new life perfectly but He loves us anyway. I’m SO glad I won’t be judged solely on the basis of how I lived for Him. My salvation is through Jesus blood, not my works. But my reward will be a just representation of my works.
Paul’s instructions to this group were “keep doing what you’re doing.” They were living lives of brotherly love for one another, spreading the gospel, and living lives pleasing to Jesus. They were not sinless but they did sin a LOT less than other churches he had planted.
Father God, I pray that my life reflects my love for You in the works I do. I also want it to reflect my love for my brothers and sisters in Christ AND those who are lost. I want to live my life as an example of Your love.
I wish I knew how to draw people to You. My own children have turned away. I feel such a failure in this area. I don’t know what to do for them other than to leave them in Your hands. I know I keep “picking them back up” instead of leaving them on the altar. Help me leave them in Your hands. That’s the safest place for them to ever be.