What We Do Until When

Our focus should not be on trying to figure out WHEN Jesus will return but on WHAT we should be doing until He does.

When our daughter was in the 8th grade, she came home one day and informed us that there would be no school on Monday. My wife and I must have missed something. Monday wasn't a holiday or a scheduled break. Why were they canceling school on Monday? And then our daughter shared the news. "Jesus is coming back on Saturday."

I lived through Edgar C. Whisenhunt's bestseller 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Happen in 1988. The third revision of that book was something about 23 reasons it would happen in 1993. And as ridiculous as those books sound now, I vividly recall the anxiety they brought me then. 

When Christians try to figure out the WHEN of Jesus' return, it brings about fear and confusion. Jesus told us not to worry about the WHEN, but to rather get busy with the WHAT (Acts 1:7-8). 

One of the oldest books in the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians, is written to a group of believers who are worried about the WHEN. Like Jesus, Paul tells them to get busy with the WHAT. So WHAT are we supposed to be doing until then?


We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers.

1 Thess. 1:2

We do not need to add prayer. We need to replace some things with prayer. 

Unfortunately, we have neglected the priority of prayer. As a result, much of what we do is in our own power rather than God's power. 

Until Jesus returns let's put a priority on prayer.


Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thess. 1:3

Notice that Paul refers to their "work of faith" AND "labor of love." 

The work of faith is our faithful, obedient response to Jesus. He is the master. We are His servants.

The labor of love refers to the compassion and emotion with which we work. We do not labor for Jesus begrudgingly but lovingly. We serve others not out of obligation but out of compassion.

"Work" reminds us that it takes energy. "Labor" reminds us that it is not easy. So we do our work in "steadfastness of hope" until He comes. Until Jesus returns, stay steady in your labor for the Lord.


But your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.

1 Thess 1:8b

People often quote, "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." For people to be saved, we must certainly practice the gospel, but we must also preach it.

Paul was not saying he WOULD not say anything. He was celebrating what had already been said.

We do not know when Jesus will return, but until then, we are to share our testimony and preach the gospel.

Bible Study

Read 1 Thessalonians 1.

  • What does this passage teach us about the church?
  • What does this passage teach us that pleases God?
  • What does this passage teach us about Jesus?


Are you laboring for the Lord until He returns? We are more likely to follow through when we make a commitment and have accountability. Commit to serve in some capacity regularly in your church or local gospel-based organization. Connect your prayer life to your labor and witness.

the walk by Brian Branam book

Do you feel stressed and rushed? If so, read chapter 1 of my book #TheWalk, Pace, by clicking here.


lebron durham said…
keep preaching it, good reads and thank you

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