“Repent for the end is near!”
This is a message that preachers have been preaching for centuries, even since the time of Jesus, and theologians have been debating when the rapture is going to happen for just about as long.
People get all caught up in current events and try to make themselves and others believe that the Antichrist has made themselves known and that certain current events are lining up with how Scripture describes the end of the world as we know it.
Personally, I have never been one to give into all of the chaos.
Look, Jesus is going to come back and, when He does, it’s going to be awesome. When that will happen, only God knows . . . literally. Who is the Antichrist? We have no way of knowing until Scripture is fulfilled and, believe me, it will be crystal clear. There will be no debate.
In our reading today, Paul is writing to Thessalonian believers who are in the midst of such debates. People of the time were saying the Rapture already happened where others are making claims about the Antichrist.
How Paul responds is amazing.
Pastor John MacArthur writes, “Unlike most contemporary teaching on eschatology (end times), Paul’s motive was not sensational but pastoral. His goal was not to gratify curiosity about the end times but to comfort confused Christians.”
As you read through our reading today, identify the encouragement that Paul gives to the Thessalonian believers. Throughout the reading, he encourages them, when false teaching arises, to remain calm, use discernment, and stay firm in the teaching you were previously taught from Scripture among others.
We live in a world where people are quick to sensationalize the future when we have no way of knowing when things are going to be set into motion.
Why not focus on living and enjoying the lives we have now and pointing people to hope in Christ so that, when they see Jesus coming through the clouds, they are overjoyed rather than fearful for their eternity?
How often do you allow yourself to be drawn away from the hope of the Scripture? Do you find yourself getting caught up in the “the end is near” talk? Are you fearful for what’s to come?
If that is you, friend, I implore you to read the words of hope from the Bible! The future isn’t something that we need to fear but something that will be amazing!
I pray that Paul’s encouraging words to the church in Thessalonica are encouraging to you still today!