Christian believers across the globe have been waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10, Paul talks about Christ’s return and informs the believers in Thessalonica about this event which will be the culmination of their faith and their entry into eternal life. This teaching on the second coming of Christ is a vital one for Christians and here are some nuggets on the Day of the Lord.
When will Christ Return?
The return of Christ as Judge of the world is certain, though nobody knows the exact time and date. In fact Paul writes to the Thessalonians that this is a detail they did not need to know (1 Thess 5:1) because the second coming of Jesus will be like a thief breaking into a house, totally unexpected (1 Thess 5:2). This is also a warning for just as a thief arrives without prior notice; there will be no clue as to the exact time of Christ’s return.
Why should Jesus come back?
Christ must return to complete the redemption of mankind. On His return, He will gather His children to live with Him forever in heaven, free from pain, hurts and distress. Jesus once said, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 (KJV). Soon after His resurrection, Christ was taken into heaven to prepare a place for all those who choose to trust Him. Only if Christ returns, Christian believers can inherit the promise of Eternal Life.
Who will be taken?
When Christ returns, He will gather His faithful followers including those who are alive and those who died living a life of trust and take them with Him to the glorious place prepared by Him in Heaven for His children. Paul calls these faithful ones as ‘sons of light’ and ‘sons of day’ who are never surprised by a thief for they are the ones who are always ready to meet their coming King. However those who live without faith in Christ, remain in the dark with no escape. (1 Thess 5:3,4,5)
How to prepare to meet Christ?
Paul devotes a large part of 1 Thessalonians 5 to explain in detail how a believer needs to be on guard to meet Christ. His advice to Christians here is to be sober, alert, watchful and cautious in the way they live. This detailed benchmark is one against which every believer in Christ must evaluate him/herself and decide whether they are ready to meet Christ.
What happens to those who don’t qualify?
Not everyone qualifies to be taken with Christ. Only the ones who trust in His salvation and order their lives aright, eagerly expecting His return will be taken up. Just as these chosen ones enter a life free from pain and sorrow forever, those left behind will face a life of unending doom and destruction.
How can I be counted with the ones to be taken with Him?
Taken up with Christ to live with Him in heaven is an option available for anyone who chooses to accept Jesus’ death and resurrection! Jesus Christ, the Son of God lived the ordinary life of man, felt his needs, saw his weakness and remained flawless before God. He chose to pay the penalty for men’s sins and died the death of a sinner. In so doing He opened a way for anyone to reach God through faith in His Name. He proved His power over death by rising up to life three days after He was crucified and His promise to the ones who believe on Him is eternal life. The only requirement is faith on Him and His promise.
Paul conveys this in very clear terms to the Thessalonians, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.” 1 Thess 5:9,10 (NIV)
The second coming of Jesus is at hand. Are you read to meet Christ?