The End Is Near
Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5
1Th 5:1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
As this was being composed, there were some across the world who were wondering if the Mayan calendar had any bearing on the end of the world. Naturally, well-grounded Christians knew that it didn’t. So here we are, in the year 2014, and the world now knows that the Mayans, as smart as they were, did not correctly predict the end of the world. We know that God Himself is the only One who knows when that time will come.
This passage clearly tells us that mankind will not know when the end is coming. It will come at a time when mankind is feeling safe and sound. It will come very unexpectedly, and most will not be prepared to meet their Maker. In fact, most men will be surprised that they have a “maker,” or be surprised about who that maker happens to be. It will be too late to change the course of their destiny.
Verses 4 and 5 have an important message for those of us who know Him. We “are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” We “are all sons of light and sons of the day.”
Knowing this, what effect should that have on our lives? The answer is simple. We should not be like the others, who are asleep. We must be alert and self-controlled. Now, what are some things we can do which help us to be prepared and ready at the Lord’s coming?
- Live each day as if it were the last time we had an opportunity to show the world a living example of Christ-likeness. Live each day in the knowledge that the only things which will count for eternity are those things we did that day for the cause of Christ. Live as though we were going to have to give account to the Lord for every thought, word, and deed at the end of that day. That is true.
- Live in such a way that there will be no regrets. Refuse to participate in gossip or in tearing anyone down. Make a conscious decision NOT to tell ANYONE how someone else has “hurt us” or caused us any distress. Instead, make a determined effort to say something positive at every opportunity which arises.
- Spend a substantial amount of time in prayer and bible study, asking God to give us purpose and direction for the remainder of the day. Be in tune with the Spirit, so that we will clearly hear His call when He urges us to act in His behalf.
- Keep our minds focused on Him and His will for our lives, all day long.
Next, what things should we avoid? We’ll only list one, as a generalization. Let us refrain from thinking, saying, or doing anything which has any remote connection to same-sex lusts or actions. None of those things have any use in keeping us prepared for His return. It need not be mentioned, but we will do so anyway; those things do great harm to our preparedness. They hinder and thwart all the things we could be doing which keep us alert and prepared. We don’t want to be like the others, surprised and ashamed when He returns.
Prayer: Oh Lord, we have such great trouble keeping our minds focused upon You and Your will for our lives! We do not want to be surprised and unprepared when You return to call us home. Keep us in the light, so that we will not participate in any more deeds of the darkness. We are already ashamed of our past violations against the instructions from this passage. Help us to minimize and eliminate further offenses against You.