The talk about the end times, and the second coming of our Lord has often made people very opinionated and caused varied reactions. There have been times when thoughts about all what is going to happen, and what is a right theology about the second coming, have divided some Christians and churches. But the Bible does give a vivid picture of the coming of Jesus, and the times preceding it: War, rumors of wars, natural disasters, famine, political upheavals, and more of the same.
It might come as a surprise that a basic Bible statement about the knowledge of the return of our Lord is: ‘This should by no means disturb you, or cause any alarm’. On the contrary, as Christians, we are supposed to know what is going to happen, so we remain in peace!
And that peace is ours, not because circumstances are beneficial to Christians, but because we know that in spite of all that happens, and obviously is going to happen, God is in control. War in many places, radioactivity leaking into air and water, earthquakes and revolutions, yes, but God is in control! He’s not taken by surprise, and He doesn’t want His people to be taken by surprise either.
That’s the point where He gives a word of revelation, and of strong warning to us: There will be people, who not only will be in turmoil themselves, but who want to unsettle others by painting frightening pictures of what will come. They will call what they produce ‘revelation’ or ‘prophecy’. Paul is very clear: ‘Do not be deceived by such words`, God is not in the business of scaring people to heaven, not even in the Church. He’s always calling, never frightening, us to action.
But amidst the darkness all around us the peace of God is all the more wonderful, and the unshaking peace of those who trust in Him a strong witness that our God is real.
Paul wanted the Thessalonians to have a healthy respect for what was going to happen, and a deep knowledge of the plans of God for days to come. That would keep them in peace, and the same will also make us stand firm and overcome all the evil powers that now rise up against the Lord and His people.
Remember, news of what happens in the world comes from TV, papers and other media, but peace and assurance comes from the Lord! Your Lord! Your Father God!