How to Believe in the Second Coming of Christ and Not Sound Like an Idiot
One of the Bible's most hopeful teachings has become one of the church's most divisive doctrines.
Jesus made it clear that He will return and make all things new. He told us the "what" but he did not tell us the "when."
Jesus is like that friend of yours that shows up unannounced. You're glad to see them, but it would have been nice to have a heads up.
But it's this unknown "when" that has caused a quag for the church. We have turned various opinions into ridiculous arguments. We need to believe in Jesus' return, but how can we talk about it without sounding like idiots? Here is some helpful advice from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (read the passage and then continue).
Read the Bible (1 Thess 4:13-15)
The big issue with the return of Jesus is ignorance (4:13). Ignorance is a lack of information. So Paul begins to dispense the information and calls it "a word from the Lord (4:15)."
YouTube is not a wise source to alleviate ignorance. YouTube is Grand Central Station for idiots.
There are lots of books about the second coming of Jesus, and you may have a favorite author. But your favorite author does not supersede the authority of Scripture. Reading a book about the Bible is not the same as reading the Bible. Read the Bible!
As far as the second coming of Christ is concerned, there is a lot that the Bible says, and there is a lot the Bible doesn't say. If we say what the Bible says, we are in a safe place. If we try to fill in the gaps with books and YouTube videos, we may end up sounding like an idiot.
Major on the Major (4:18 - 5:2, 5:11)
What the Bible says about the return of Christ was written to be an "encouragement." It was not revealed to us to engender argument. We are encouraged that evil will not prevail, that our Savior is aware of our suffering, and that He has not abandoned us forever.
The other reason God has given us this revelation is for our readiness. We don't need to know the "when" (5:1); we need to be ready for the "what" (5:2).
Maybe the reason that God chose not to reveal the timetable of Jesus' return is because He knows you already wait until 30 minutes before company comes to clean up the house. An immanent return encourages us to keep our souls ready.
Have Hope, Live Holy (5:4-5:11).
The purpose of the second coming of Christ is not to scare people out of Hell. It is to give Christ's followers hope and help them live holy (5:8-9). We have hope and live holy BECAUSE He is coming again.
We need urgency, not arguments.
Jesus is coming again, but we don't know when. This reality should shape our lives, not our arguments. We share with the lost what we do know. Our King will return. Repent and join us in living for Him.
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
- What does this passage teach us about the return of Christ?
- What are the commands in this passage?
- How does this passage challenge me to live today?
1 Thess. 4:18 tells us to "encourage one another with these words." Send 3 fellow followers of Christ a text message of encouragement based on this passage.