Sermon – August 9, 2020

1-2 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – Life at the End of Days (mp3)

This week, even today, we remember the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Perhaps these two events, as well as a smattering of others, have prompted our great desire to think about and ponder the end of the world. Yet, our generations are not the first to be preoccupied by such things. For Christians, these “things” primarily swirl around the return of the Lord – when and how he will return for his people. Today, we come to a text that deals directly with that day and moment. But while we may have many questions about the end, what does God deem best for us to know? What must we actually know and do to prepare for the end?

1. Fight all apathy
We are not meant to know the time that Christ comes back. Rather, the secret is for our good, so that we might always be anticipating it. The images of thieves in the night and labor pains point us to two aspects of the second coming for those who do not believe in Christ: their unpreparedness and the pain and distress that follows. We cannot lose sight of the coming of our Lord, letting our apathy about the last days take over. Be vigilant!

2. Know your identity
We are to stay vigilant because we are not those in the darkness, who live without fear of the Lord’s coming and never account for it in their thoughts and actions. But, rather, because Christ has died for us and God has appointed us for salvation, we are children of the light, always waiting for the return of our Lord.

3. Live with consistency
Therefore, we must live with consistency. If we are children of the light, we ought to live like we are in the light. That means we are not sleepy and unprepared; we are not drunk and filled with foolishness. Rather, being awake and sober-minded, we act in ways that are consistent with our faith. We live with faith, love, and hope, knowing that the return of our Lord is certain and true.

4. Encourage the community
But this is not just for ourselves – we must also encourage one another to press on in the faith. The road is tough, life seems long, and we can easily lose focus. Apathy can drip on us and erode our attention. The world pulls for us to become drowsy and drunk. Let us then press on, awaiting the return of our Lord, and press others for the same. Let us say, loudly, and in unison, “Come, Lord Jesus!”