By Allen White
Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, 9-11(NLT)
Our oldest son tried to come seven weeks early. In fact, we were at our annual small group retreat in Pacific Grove, California. My wife was completely miserable all weekend. This was our first pregnancy. She still had nearly two months to go. I felt for her discomfort, but we didn’t expect an arrival any time soon. Thankfully, with good doctors, we delayed the arrival for a couple more weeks.
God is with us, yes, but Jesus is also returning for us. What started with His birth will culminate with His return. But, even that will be just the beginning, if you will, of eternity.
According to this passage, God made a choice between salvation and anger. Salvation won out. He chose to save us through His Son and to one day collect us from this planet. What we face on this earth won’t last forever. Even by virtue of the fact that this earth won’t last forever.
In light of this, Paul directs us to “encourage each other and build each other up.” What we have is not all that there is. There is far more beyond this life.
Who do you need to encourage today?