Christ is Coming Soon, Therefore, Encourage
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
For eight years, this message has been sent out each week. Occasionally, I will receive an appreciative response regarding a particular “Encourage.” Most weeks though there is no response. It’s like a sermon on Sunday, I simply pray that the Word accomplishes what God intends. The uncreative goal has been to offer encouragement to the church workers, leaders and people of God in Missouri District congregations and schools.
However, the specific context of 1 Thessalonians 5:11 is regarding St. Paul’s teaching about Christ’s return. In the preceding verses, the apostle explains that our Lord’s return will be sudden, “like a thief in the night.” With this in mind, he calls on the saints of God to be vigilant as they live, “as children of light.” The teaching of Christ’s return is such a confusing topic because of the false teaching of so many evangelicals. This means Christ’s return has become a cause of fear for some Christians.
However, the promise of our Lord’s return is intended to be a source of hope for the people of God. Paul writes, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10) As we live in these dark times, what a comfort to know that Christ is coming soon.
As we bear the cross and suffer all kinds of griefs and hardships, we are filled with joy in knowing that Christ is coming soon. As parents bring a child to the life-giving waters of Holy Baptism, they are blessed in knowing that Christ is coming soon. As we grieve the loss of loved ones who have gone before us in the faith, we press on knowing that Christ is coming soon. As servants in churches and schools prepare for busy seasons of Advent and Christmas, we are encouraged by our Lord’s second Advent and that He is coming soon. That’s why St. Paul writes, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” May you encourage one another and build one another up because we know that Christ is coming soon and that’s a good thing for all who believe!
Prayer - Eternal God, merciful Father, You have appointed Your Son as judge of the living and the dead. Enable us to wait for the day of His return with our eyes fixed on the kingdom prepared for Your own from the foundation of the world; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan