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To Save Us

To Save Us

29 August 2015

Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5; Proverbs 10

Scripture:

9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:9–11 NLT)

Among a wealth of other good teaching and instruction about life, the letters to the Thessalonians contain a good bit of explanation and encouragement about the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Somehow, perhaps due to the persecution they were experiencing, these good folks had really latched on to the promises of Christ’s return. So much so that some of them had quit their jobs, sold their homes, and were just sitting around waiting for it to happen (and sponging off their friends in the meantime)! Paul addresses this in a very balanced way, assuring them that Jesus will return as promised, but that there’s plenty to do in the interim and we should stay busy doing worthwhile stuff.

I used to have an inherited mental picture of what Christ’s return might be like—a sudden surprise disappearance of all the “Christians” and the world thrown into turmoil. Or would it be a Victorious Christ returning at the head of heaven’s armies to conquer evil and claim those who are his own? And heaven—I inherited ideas about heaven and eternity and “Mansions Over the Hilltop” and streets of gold. Now the mental image of Christ’s return is not so clear for me, and it’s not so important to me as it once was (the mental image, I mean!). The pictures of heaven and eternity aren’t so clear, and I never fancied sitting on a cloud playing a harp anyhow!

Anymore, I don’t tend to get involved much in discussions about the when and the how of Christ’s return. Like Paul, I’m confident it will happen in God’s determined time and I’m just as confident that I cannot know the day or the hour, but I can be ready any day and any hour!

This I do know: When Christ returns, whenever and however that is, if we’ve already died or if we’re still alive, we’ll be alive with him forever, because he chose to save us!

Prayer:

Father, May these words encourage and build up my friends who read them. Amen!

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