Sunday, August 17, 2008

End Times Living

It is Sunday. Early afternoon. Nausea, chills, and other symptoms that I do not care to share prevented me from going to church today. So I thought I would get back to 1 Thessalonians – I have finished my devotional study, but I am lagging behind in the blog.

I realize that the issues that Paul discusses here are somewhat debatable. Many students of the Bible have different views of the rapture and the judgment. While I present my view, I know that it is not the only view. I believe that there is only one right view, and we will have to wait to see what that is! I do not wish to debate this issue but, like Paul, encourage other believers to live the way God intended us to live until the very end – whatever and whenever that end may be.

The Thessalonian believers are living in expectation of Christ’s imminent return. But they have questions – three questions – that Paul addresses in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11.

What happens to those who die before He returns? For those who die before He returns they will rise first and accompany Christ as He takes those who are alive at the rapture. [The biblical basis for the rapture, in addition to this passage, is John 14:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.] All believers, dead and living will be reunited and live eternally with Christ. This answer is meant to bring great encouragement for those whose loved ones have died. They will not miss the rapture!

How can we know when He will return? The rapture is imminent, meaning that it can happen at any time. There is no way to predict when it will occur, although many have speculated and many continue to speculate. Christ’s return will be a complete surprise. I like to say that each day, we are one day closer. I believe that here Paul changes topics and addresses the timing not of the rapture of the church but of the day of the Lord – the time of judgment to follow the rapture. He says that it will come like a “thief in the night” and it will be like a pregnant woman’s labor pains – sudden, painful, inescapable.

How should we live while we wait for Him to return? We should live godly lives under the control of the truth of God’s Word and under the control of the Holy Spirit. We should live in hope, not in fear.

We are not meant to spend our time speculating about the events to come, but to live godly lives. Using our time to glorify Him and to bring others to Jesus Christ, for He is our only hope.


Kidman Family Blessings said...

I'm really inspired by your story. Is it okay if I write something about you? I'm making an article about Family Blessings. Your story is so interesting and very touching.

googleman said...

I understand you. I guess that’s just the thing if you belong to the human race. That’s what I’ve learned when my wife and I attended a series of Covenant Marriage seminars.