Daily devotion

The End is not Nigh

At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. 

2 Thessalonians 2
 
Belief in a final judgement would mean that any announcement that such an event was about to take place would be greeted with excitement. Paul’s remarks in 1 Thessalonians 2:16 would have also made them expect God’s imminent wrath on unbelieving Jews. But what if there was an announcement that the event had already taken place and you have missed out? Some people were telling the Thessalonians that Jesus had already come again.
Paul deals with this by reminding them of the things that Jesus and said about his coming, as recorded for us in the Synoptic Gospels and also in Paul’s teaching. Jesus warned people, as well, about false messiahs and mistaken signs of his coming. Both Jesus and Paul use the image of what happened in Jerusalem in 167 BC under Antiochus Epiphanes IV as a paradigm of what will happen in the future. Whether we think Paul is referring to the fall of Jerusalem or the end of the world, the message is clear–the end is not yet. There are other event to take place first and the Lord Jesus is in control both of the timing and the final destruction of all that is evil.
We should not be so distracted by these future events that we forget that we are to share in the glory of Christ. Our prime task is not to try to calculate when Jesus will come, but to stand firm in the faith that we have received and concentrate on the Spirit’s sanctifying work in us so that we share in the glory of Jesus.
May the Lord Jesus encourage our hearts and strengthen us.

 

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