He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20
The world is in an uproar as I sit here writing. There is a global pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. The virus has gone viral. It’s reached every country in the world.
Some news accounts say the virus was released by another country, possibly on purpose. Biological warfare. In my country, protests are turning into riots, killing people and destroying the livelihoods of small business owners. Wars, plagues, pestilence and death.
I should be on my knees at all this evil running rampant. I should be praying “Come Lord Jesus!” But I can’t. Yet.
Perhaps you’re feeling this too? I’m wondering if your “why” is the same as mine?
I have been walking through scripture with the apostle Paul. I’ve allowed his words in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 soak into my soul. The actions taken by Paul, Silas and Timothy caused me to examine my own life.
The missionaries were emboldened by God to speak the Gospel. They proclaimed the Gospel, while working hard night and day. God had entrusted them with His good news, and they shared it gladly.
In addition, they exhorted (encouraged, comforted), encouraged and implored their listeners.
So that the saints in the church at Thessalonica would walk in a manner worthy of God.1
Have I done this enough? Have you?
Proclaim the Gospel.
Have we done this enough so that other believers can walk worthy, live abundantly, stand firm and believe with all their heart that Jesus loves them enough to give His life for them? Have we done this enough so that those who don’t know Jesus will be saved because we have told them about what Jesus has done for us? Have we implored (begged, beseeched, prayed, asked, urged) others to trust in Jesus for the salvation of their souls?
Paul praised the church in their obedience to God, in living their lives to please God, and in their love for the brethren. But he also tells them “Do this even more.2” Through Holy Spirit power in us, we can live fruitful lives for Jesus, and love others even more than we are doing now. We can encourage others and proclaim truth even more.
But you know what happened? Paul had to write a second letter to this church. There was some confusion about when Jesus would return. Because of mounting persecution, many believed the day of the Lord, Christ’s return, would be any moment.
It kind of feels like that to me too, in this crazy world!
In light of this misunderstanding, the believers in Thessalonica decided to be idle, disorderly and sit around waiting for Jesus’ return. In a nutshell, Paul told them “No way! Continue doing what you have been commanded! Continue the Lord’s work!”
“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NASB)
This is a lesson for us today. The world looks like it’s going crazy. It seems like Jesus could be appearing at any minute. As we gaze hopefully toward the east, waiting, may we continue to do more and more. May we continue to do the work God has called us to and be good stewards of the Gospel that has been entrusted to us. May we never, ever stop or grow weary of doing good for the honor and glory of Jesus.
And always, let this be the prayer on our lips: “Come Lord Jesus!”
1 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NASB)
2 1 Thessalonians 4:2, 10 (CSB)