…you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us
from the wrath to come .
Warren Wiersbe, a solid Bible teaching pastor from a generation past, tells the story of when he was a young man preaching on the last days with all the events of prophecy clearly laid out, and presented with a very clear plan. At the end of one such sermon an older fellow came up to him and quietly said to him, “I used to have the Lord’s return planned out to the very last detail, but years ago I moved from the planning committee to the welcoming committee.” Wow,what a great perspective and style of life for the believer!
Knowing the signs of the Lord’s return is of tremendous value to the believer. Yet even more important is the desire to welcome and to be with Him. Knowing His soon return ought to have profound effect in the way we live. Foremost if we do not know Jesus as our Savior then it should motivate us to be ready for eternity, as time is short!
Related to the shortness of time, it ought to motivate we who are believers to share the gospel… the good news that we uniquely have to share as “ambassadors for Christ.” Paul implores us to do just that (see II Cor. 5:21).
Thirdly, a correct understanding of the Rapture ought to produce a life of holiness and purity. A focused awareness can powerfully motivate our desires to living a pure life. I John 3:2-3 addresses that,
“…we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
To Titus Paul writes,
“…denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Comfort… particularly this week in our country, is on the minds of many. Did you know the Rapture is actually a subject of great comfort for those who are hurting? The last verse of chapter four in this first letter to the Thessalonians, is closed by these words, “therefore comfort one another with these words.” What words? Read the preceding several verses of I Thess. 4!
Finally consider the admonition of Paul in I Corinthians 15:58 that we as believers are to be “steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.” This is clearly attached in the knowledge that Christ will someday soon receive us to Himself. The realization that Christ could return at any moment is to make us energetic, and delighted about serving our Lord.
It is interesting that the first two questions Saul, who would become Paul, asked on the road to Damascus were “Who are you, Lord?” and “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:8). Many believers never do move past the first of these two questions. As one pastor comments “Many believers in Christ are spiritually unemployed!”
If the soon return of the Lord is a reality to us, it will motivate us to work faithfully for our Lord. May the Lord find us serving with vigor with brightly burning lamps (see Luke 12:35).