The Return of Christ - Your Daily Forward Devotional

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The Return of Christ

 

June 30

 

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ESV)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

Reflect

What confidence and comfort do we have as believers in Christ?

 

If there’s one thing Christians agree on about the return of Christ, it’s that He is returning. But the details are debated. Even in Paul’s day, there were misunderstandings about the second coming of Christ. In fact, based on his first letter to the Thessalonians, it seems that many people were concerned that those who died before Jesus’ return would miss it.

 

Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians in approximately 51 A.D. while he was working in Corinth with Silas and Timothy. He had received a positive report from Timothy about the church in Thessalonica. So Paul wrote to commend them for their steadfast faith even in the midst of persecution. He wrote that their “faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son… “(1 Thessalonians 1:8-10).

 

Paul also reminded them of his pure motives and good conduct. Apparently, his enemies were spreading rumors about Paul’s character. He reminded the Thessalonians that Paul had declared the Gospel to them even though he suffered for it and that he didn’t seek the church’s financial support, but, instead, worked night and day so that he wouldn’t be a “burden to any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). He also expressed his gratitude to God that the Thessalonians had accepted their message as the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Paul then urged them to continue to walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord, specifically calling them to abstain from sexual immorality and instead learn self-control and live holy, honorable lives because “this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). At the end of chapter 5, he gave additional instructions on how to live peaceful, obedient, holy lives.

 

In the midst of calling them to holy living, Paul transitioned to teaching them about Jesus’ second coming. In today’s verses, it seems like Paul is correcting a misconception about the return of the Lord. He assured them that those who are already dead will not miss out on the resurrection! Rather, they will be the first to rise when the trumpet sounds and Jesus returns. Because of that assurance, we still grieve when our loved ones die but not as those who have no hope. He also mentioned that they already knew that Jesus would return “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) so he urged them to be ready! He told them that they are not in the dark about this but rather they are “children of light, children of the day” (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

 

Friends, we are also children of the day! We know that despite our struggles and sorrow here on earth, we have the hope of Christ! Whether we are dead or alive, we are always with the Lord. That truth has been brought to light. So, “since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). All of us here at Back to the Bible are praying for you just as Paul prayed for the Thessalonians: “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

 

Pray

Lord, what a gift it is to know that whether I am dead or alive, I am always with You! I know that You are coming back soon. While I wait, help me be ready. As a child of the day, help me to live in the light of Your truth and in the assurance of my salvation through You. Amen.

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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a day ago
Thank you Lord for helping me live in your light and giving me hope in your salvation. In Jesus Name Amen
3 days ago
Lord I believe you are coming back for your people those that have put their trust in you ,thank you for that assurance oh that we might be ready
5 days ago
Lord Jesus, I believe with all my heart and soul that You are coming again to establish a new heaven and a new earth. Lord, prepare me so that I may meet You in that prepared place - New Jerusalem.
5 days ago
Hallelujah, amen. 🙏💕💕💕❤️❤️❤️😇🙏
5 days ago
Amen
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