Today’s passage discusses a subject that fascinates most Christians – the End Times. The books of Revelation, 1 Thessalonians, Daniel, and Ezekiel also address this in great detail. The details found in today’s reading are also recorded in Matthew 24.
The difficulty with prophecy is that the prophet records what he sees – and although it is sequential order, it may not occur all at the same time. This is one of the things that caused the Jew’s so many problems as it related to Jesus being the Messiah. Remember how many times they asked Him when He was going to destroy the current leadership and sit on the throne? Well He is – but that’s not until the 1000-year millennial reign. It was all prophesied – but it wasn’t clear to them when everything would occur. It appeared as though it should happen all at once – but that was not the case.
Today’s reading is a similar example – recorded in this passage are prophecies about what the world will be like immediately before the return of Christ, during the tribulation time, and prophecy about the second coming. It’s not real clear here – and this causes some confusion.
Here’s what I believe End Times will play out like:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
What can I learn from this? How can I apply this to my life?
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6
- Be alert
Too many Christians live like the return of Christ is a fairy tale. Live your life like you believe Jesus is coming soon.
- Be warning
You do realize that once Jesus comes it will be too late for your family and friends to repent and be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:11) right? You have to warn them now!
- Be ready
Make sure you know Jesus and that you’re living a life that glorifies Him. Be ready to meet Him at any time.
- How does knowing that Jesus could come at any minute motivate you to prepare?
- Who do you need to warn?
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor