“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
There is something special about going home. With my job I travel out of state a couple of days per week and I always look forward to the day I come home to my family. Once a year I typically make it a point to travel to Georgia where I grew up to see my dad and my siblings. Home is a special place!
As Christians, we should look forward to going to our Heavenly Home to be with God and our fellow saints. Just before He left them, Jesus told His disciples, “In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3). It is fitting for those who follow Christ to look forward to the time when He will come again to take us home!
However, can one spend too much time, energy, and effort in looking forward to going to our Heavenly Home? As strange as it may sound, the answer is “yes”. Perhaps, because of all the persecution they faced (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2:14), the Christians at the church at Thessalonica placed a heavy emphasis upon going to their Heavenly Home. In fact, some of them had quit their jobs in anticipation of the Lord coming again at any moment to take them home (cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:7-10, 11). Furthermore, there were some that were falsely teaching that the Lord had come already (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
With the 2 letters he writes to the church at Thessalonica, the apostle Paul takes time to teach them regarding the Lord’s Second Coming. He teaches them that the Lord’s coming will come suddenly without notice or warning as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3). Jesus’ coming was not imminent because there would be a falling away first and the son of perdition would be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10). When Christ comes, the trumpet of the Lord will sound, the dead in Christ will rise first, and those faithful Christians who remain on earth will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Paul writes, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Thinking about going home to be with the Lord is a source of great comfort to Christians (1 Thessalonians 4:18). It is a time when we receive from the Lord the rest which He has promised to us who faithfully follow Him (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10). We are to be watchful and be ready so that the Second Coming of the Lord does not take us by surprise (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8). However, we are not to consume ourselves with looking for “signs” of His coming, but rather are to devote ourselves to faithfully serving Him and glorifying Him by our lives (Mark 10:43-45; Matthew 5:13-16). While others may look for signs of Jesus’ 2nd coming as they look at the latest headlines in the news, I will be watchful of the Lord’s Second Coming by continuing in faithful service to Him. Jesus said, “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes” (Luke 12:43).
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).