We're continuing our reflection on what advice 1 Thessalonians gives us on preparing for Jesus' second coming. Last week 1 Thessalonians 1:9 encouraged us to turn from our idols to serve the living and true God. This week we're going to look at the preparation 1 Thessalonians 1:10 provides: "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath" (NIV). When properly understood, Paul's encouragement "to wait" for Jesus' return presents the basics of the Christian life as the necessary provision for the future. The word "wait" in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 is a staying word; its root is the same root as the word "abide." So when Paul tells the Thessalonian Christians to prepare for Jesus' return by waiting for him, he is not advising them to simply wait around for Jesus to show up, nor is he suggesting that Jesus will return sooner if believers do enough waiting for him. Instead, Paul has in mind what we could call "abidingly awaiting": just as we abide or remain with Jesus now, so we are to adopt that same posture as we await his future coming and continue to abide or remain with Jesus. And the Jesus we get to abide in and wait for is the same Lord whom God raised from the dead and the same Savior who will rescue us from "the coming wrath." Paul generally talks about "coming wrath" as something God saves us from, rather than something God brings or gives to us. Friends, there is a coming storm, but Jesus is the one we can trust to save us from it - because God raised him from the dead! Consequently, the best preparation for Jesus' second coming is to keep on trusting him, keep on abidingly waiting for him, and keep on having a relationship with him. God bless.
By Pastor Nathaniel Gamble