These two letters that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians are packed with information for us, today. He covers the main tenants of Christian living that we should follow in our daily lives. Furthermore, he reiterates that we have a blessed hope of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. The Good News of the Salvation of Jesus Christ means that if the believer dies before Jesus’ return, that person will be with Jesus immediately upon their death. When Jesus comes back for His born-again believers, they’ll be snatched up instantly and be taken to heaven with Jesus. Once you believe, you are a child of God and a citizen of heaven.
“If you have made Christ your Savior, you can claim the biblical fact that you “have eternal life,” present tense, right now. You are already immortal. Jesus promised that “whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:26). We simply step from time into eternity, from this life to the next.”Dr. Jim Denison
That is our blessed hope! We should not be afraid of death! Let’s look at Paul’s final prayer and final greetings…
2 Thessalonians 3
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. 2 Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. 5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
An Exhortation to Proper Living
6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. 7 For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. 8 We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow. 10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”
11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.
14 Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. 15 Don’t think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister.
Paul’s Final Greetings
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.
17 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL. I DO THIS IN ALL MY LETTERS TO PROVE THEY ARE FROM ME.
18 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Be Alert and Sober
As we wait for Jesus’ return, we are to stay alert and sober — to be ready. To not live idle, lazy lives. I see laziness every day. Like why can’t a person take a piece of garbage and throw it in the trash can? Or walk the shopping cart to the store or at least to the designated area. Don’t be lazy! God is watching all that you do!
We need to continue working for a living. Being productive. Yet, we must live according to the Word of God.
In the past, the Thessalonians had become “sons of light and sons of day.” They had already received this special status in the eyes of God, and they had become faithful, loving and hopeful of salvation. Because they had experienced salvation in the past, Paul insisted that they had an obligation to continue in salvation in the present: “let us be alert and sober.” And beyond this, Paul stated that the reason Christians must remain alert and sober, steadfast in faith, hope and love, is that our future salvation depends upon it. God has not appointed us to suffer his wrath, but to receive salvation. But he has also appointed our present faithfulness as the means to obtaining our future salvation.https://thirdmill.org/
Obey the Word
God gave us His Word for us to follow. He also gave us prophecies so we could be prepared. It’s not enough for us to just read the Bible and not do what it says. Or to read it and not ask God to help us understand it. One of the ways God speaks to us is through the Bible. If God says that certain things need to happen before something else happens, then watch for those things. Pay attention!
Paul reiterated that a number of things had to happen before the Second Coming of Christ. Since these things had not transpired, it was clear that Jesus had not returned.
Paul pointed out that Christ’s return was further away than the Thessalonians thought in order to open their eyes to the significance of their present lives. And for the same reasons, whenever we are so concerned with the nearness of Christ’s return that we are tempted to neglect this life, we need to remember how important it is that we engage in the responsibilities and struggles of life in the “already but not yet.”ThirdMill
Peter wrote… and I love quoting these passages…
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.2 Peter 3:8-10 NLT
The Holy Spirit is who can give us patient endurance as we wait in this crazy world for Jesus to come and get us. Moreover, the only way to feel the hope, peace and joy is to invite Jesus into your heart.