When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there were only a few people who even noticed. And those who did came from humble unnoteworthy backgrounds. A simple teenage girl. An ordinary carpenter. A handful of shepherds. Relatively speaking, practically no one noticed that the Savior of the World had been born.
But that won’t be the case when Jesus returns. Look at Paul’s description of the Lord’s Second Coming:
The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.1 Thessalonians 4:16
In verse 15, Paul wrote:
We tell you this directly from the Lord…1 Thessalonians 4:15a
Why would God want us to know what to expect when Jesus returns?
I believe there are two reasons:
- So we won’t be fooled by false Messiah’s.
False messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones . . . so, if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it!Matthew 24:24,26
2. To give us confidence and hope!
No one is going to be standing around with a casual look on their face asking, “Do you think that was the return of Jesus?” EVERYONE will fall to their knees:
…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:10–11
It will be terrifying for those who don’t believe, but for those of us who do Paul added that we will:
…will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.1 Thessalonians 4:17b
And until then, the word “directly from the Lord” tells us to:
Encourage each other with these words.1 Thessalonians 4:18
When the world seems crazy, as it often does. When you and I grieve death and illness and wars . . . we can comfort and encourage each other with God’s promise that we will be with the Lord, and all who love Him, forever.
A Prayer to Wait with Hope for the Day When Jesus Returns
Father, thank you for Jesus! Thank you for sending Him to save me. Thank you for loving me that much! May I be humble like Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. May I daily celebrate the gift He is to me. And may I always be ready for the commanding shout of the archangel and Your glorious trumpet call of His return.
Thank you for the gift of Your Word that I might live with hope. Jesus said there will be wars and threats of war, famines, and earthquakes. (Matthew 24:7) We see people call evil good and good evil. (Isaiah 5:20) So we shouldn’t be surprised when the days are difficult and the news is worrisome.
But You invite me to keep my eyes on You . . . to trust You with my today, my tomorrow, my forever. You promise that I will be with You forever. You promise that Your grace is enough for my weaknesses. You promise that in Your mercy, You forgive my sins. You promise that Your love lasts forever. And because of Your promises . . . I can live with hope. I can look forward with anticipation and confidence to the day when Jesus returns for me personally or for the whole world. I thank and praise you now and forever. Amen.
Can you imagine?
When problems overwhelm me with news reports are the latest tragedies, potential crises, and reasons to be afraid . . . I remember the promises we have “directly from the Lord.”
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.1 Peter 1 :3–4
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4:17–18
So, we can live today with confidence and hope as we wait for the glorious return of the Savior!
On today’s note write:
By God’s grace, I will look forward, with hope, to the day when Jesus will return.
May God bless you today with everything you need to live with confidence and hope in Jesus.
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