Are You Ready?

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, ‘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.’


Observations: Paul has been talking about the afterlife (4:13-5:11), and he has first answered the question: What will happen to those who die before Jesus returns? Now he turns to the question: When will Jesus return?’ But the answer to that is so obvious Paul says, ‘about times and dates we do not need to write to you.’ They know the answer ‘the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.’ So why did they know this already? Because this is what Jesus taught. Jesus said, ‘keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. (Mt 24:42; cf. Lk 12:40)’ And then Jesus goes on to talk about a thief in the night (Mt 24:43; Lk 12:39). Paul clearly taught this truth to the Christians in Thessalonica, because he only had to remind them of it. This idea is also taught by Peter (2 Pet 3:10) and John (Rev 16:15). The point is that we do not know when Jesus will return. But while it is unknown it certainly won’t be unexpected. In fact, in every reference to Jesus’ return we are to ‘keep watch,’ and to ‘be alert and self-controlled. (5:6)’ When may not know when, but we do know it will happen.


Application: There are two things that God wants us to know about Jesus’ return. Firstly, that it will happen. Jesus will come again. Just as Jesus ascended into heaven so he will return (Act 1:11). Secondly, we should be living in expectation of his return. That doesn’t mean trying to determine the ‘time and date,’ rather it means we live life as if Jesus could return at any moment. It means that we make the most of our life, living in a way that honours God. It means we shouldn’t put off serving Jesus. It means making the most of every opportunity. It means living for him (v10). Are you living your life in expectation of Christ’s return?


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I know that Jesus will return in glory and power, and that when he does it will mean the end of history, and the beginning of the new heavens and earth. But Lord, so often I don’t live in light of that truth. Lord, I confess that often I live as if this life is all that matters. Lord, help me to live in a way that honours You. Lord, if you returned today may You find me not spiritually distracted or asleep, but faithfully serving You and bringing glory to Your name. In Your name I pray. Amen.

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