1 Thessalonians 5:1-8
As followers of Jesus, we have a hope and expectation that Jesus will come back one day. Of course, some have different eschatological views, meaning some of us are historicists, preterists, idealists, and futurists. Some have studied deeply and have concluded which eschatological “camp” they belong to. Regardless of the “ists” that a person identifies, namely, in relation to Revelation, Jesus-followers can all agree that one day He will return. We know this because His Word tells us, and we can trust Him. In fact, many of our Bibles have the title, “The Day of the Lord,” preceding 1 Thessalonians 5. Pastor and author John MacArthur writes, “The important biblical term the day of the Lord describes God’s cataclysmic future judgment on the wicked…It will be a time when God pours out His fury on the wicked.” In those verses, the Bible gives some understanding of the events around the time of Christ’s return. Make no mistake; there will come a day when Jesus will come back in all His glory. For those who are believers, this will be a celebratory time. Though it will be a welcomed event to believers, “the people who will be caught by surprise are the unbelievers, the great masses of people throughout the world” (Anders). The Bible tells us that some have rebelled against God and His salvation, and some continue to do so, but that day [The Day of the Lord] will be a great and rewarding day for those who have turned from their own ways and trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
No Date To His Return
There will be a day when Jesus comes back; however, we are not privy to the exact month, season, or day. Max Anders says, “God never gives us specific dates or times for Jesus’ return.” Similarly, David Chapman writes, “Many wish to know when Jesus will return to establish his kingdom fully. The disciples asked this question (Matt. 24:3; Mark 13:4; Luke 21:7). In Jesus’ reply, known as the Olivet Discourse, he affirms that, though signs will presage his return, the actual timing of his second coming is not for us to know (Matt. 24:36-44; Mark 13:32-37). Instead, believers should wait patiently and always be prepared for his appearance (e.g., Matt. 24:45-25:13; Luke 12:39-46). In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul also answers questions about the timing of Jesus’ return, and he carefully models his response to Jesus’ teaching. It may be that a letter had arrived from Thessalonica or that Timothy had brought back news, thus signaling the Thessalonians’ desire for more instruction on the timing of Jesus’ second coming.” In the end, it is not meant for Jesus’ followers to know the day of His return. The apostle Paul was not given that information, and neither was the apostle John. The main point is that, yes, there will be signs of His return (Matthew 24), but trying to figure the exact time is unwise. Many had tried before and failed. As followers of Jesus, we must be vigilant in continuing to evangelize, disciple, worship, and encourage each other until He comes. We do not know the exact day or time when He is coming, but we can be prepared. Further, we can live boldly for Him now, sharing His love with others and growing in Him.
Jesus is coming back one day. “As history continues to unfold the eternally planned purposes of God, one event looms large on the horizon: the Day of the Lord” (MacArthur). Of course, we are one day closer with each passing day. In a culture such as ours, we must be “salt and light” for a world that desperately needs Jesus. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author, and Perfecter of our faith, knowing that He is coming back one day.
Are you anticipating the return of Jesus?
Who do you need to share the Gospel with?
Max Anders, Holman New Testament Commentary, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Holman Reference.
John MacArthur,The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Moody Publishers.