1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 MESSAGE Bible But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation. God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
The times that we live in, if not approached in light of the Word of God, will have an opportunity to bring in a spirit of fear that we must guard our hearts against. We live in uncertain times, but for the believer in Christ Jesus they are exciting times. Every day that we live moves us one more day towards the coming of the Lord Jesus! How exciting is that! But our attitude towards world events and the era in which we live will determine how we walk and talk in these last days. It is important that we look forward to the coming of the Lord with faith and expectancy. He promised to return for us and He will keep His word. THE MESSAGE Bible’s introduction to the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians says this:
“The Christian faith had always been characterized by a strong and focused sense of future, with belief in the Second Coming of Jesus as the most distinctive detail. From the day Jesus ascended into heaven, his followers lived in expectancy of his return. He told them he was coming back. They believed he was coming back. They continue to believe it. For Christians, it is the most important thing to know and believe about the future.
“The practical effect of this belief is to charge each moment of the present with hope. For if the future is dominated by the coming again of Jesus, there is little room left on the screen for projecting our anxieties and fantasies. It takes the clutter out of our lives. We’re far more free to respond spontaneously to the freedom of God.
“All the same, the belief can be misconceived so that it results in paralyzing fear for some, shiftless indolence in others. Paul’s two letters to the Christians in Thessalonica, among much else, correct such debilitating misconceptions, prodding us to continue to live forward in taut and joyful expectancy for what God will do next in Jesus.”
Do you have a strong and focused sense of future, charged by faith, love and an expectancy of His return? Or do you fear what might take place tomorrow or in the future that lies ahead of you?
1 Thessalonians 5:24 MESSAGE The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
God is not slack concerning His promises, what He has said He will do! But our walk through life is to be a walk of faith. That means that we might see the larger picture of what is going to happen, but the everyday happenings are hidden from our view so that we must trust Him to lead us through them. Our walk of faith is not a walk of always seeing and knowing what lies ahead; it is a walk that trusts God to reveal our path as we walk it out. We are to focus our eyes on Jesus and walk as He directs us through every day, encouraging one another, loving both the unsaved and the saved and sharing the expectancy of His arrival with all around us.
2 Peter 3:13-15 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, with out spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
We are supposed to be looking forward to the promise of the new heavens and new earth that await us at His return. We have the joy of His salvation within us! He has gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us! What joy it will be when we see Him again, knowing that the life that we have lived here on earth will no longer have a hold on us. We will be totally free to experience our eternity with Him. For believers, we have a hope and a future that is good, but for unbelievers there is no hope and no future. Ephesians 2:12 says that they are “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and with God in the world.” The thing that we are to do as we await the return of our Lord and Savior is to tell the lost about the future that awaits both us us; ours with promise of eternal life with Jesus, theirs without hope of a future with Him. We are to be about our Father’s business!
Friends, which camp are you living in today? Are you in the fellowship of the saved, the redeemed, those who look forward to the coming of the Lord with great expectation of good? Or do you live in the land of darkness, the place where there is no hope and no future expectation of good? The decision to change camps is yours. All you have to do is call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved. You can change residences by simply praying and asking Jesus into your heart, believing that He is the Christ, the Messiah and that He died for you personally, so that you might have eternal life with Him in the Presence of the Father. Won’t you pray that prayer today so you can know for sure that your salvation is secure in Christ Jesus?
Father, I thank You for so great a salvation that reaches down to the lost and dying and pulls them out of the muck and mire of darkness and sets their feet on the solid rock of Your love. Father, I pray today that those who read this blog will be encouraged to place their faith and trust in you, both those who already know you and those who don’t. Father, today is the day of salvation! Today it is not too late for them to come to You to receive eternal life. But tomorrow might be too late. I pray that they will not enter into eternity without You. I thank You for delaying Your coming to give as many as possible the opportunity to come into the fold; into Your family. I ask that You would prepare hearts to receive You today, Lord Jesus. Knock on their heart’s doors and soften them to receive you. Father, I ask You to cause those who do know You to look at the future with great expectancy of the good things that await them. Drive fear far from them and cause faith to arise with in them. Thank You, Father, for Your word and how You direct us by Your Spirit to those scriptures that will fill our hearts with hope. Thank You, Lord, for Your precious Spirit that fills us within with faith, love, and hope. To You be the glory for what You are doing in our hears and lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.