December 07, 2016

Wakeful Hope

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

—  1 Thessalonians 5:8

Just as we look forward to Christmas, Christians hope for the day when Christ will come again, as he promised.

Many people try to guess the time of Christ’s return. The year 2000 was a popular guess. A radio preacher also guessed that the world would end on May 21, 2011. When that didn’t happen, he revised his guess to October 21, 2011. Today, many years later, his predictions still have not come true.

The truth about Christ’s second coming is that we cannot predict when it will be. Today’s verses tell us, “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” Jesus himself said, “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). We shouldn’t worry too much about the precise timing. What’s most important is that Jesus’s second coming is good news for believers because God has promised that he will make every­thing new and whole at that time.

The Bible encourages us to live in wakeful hope as we look forward to the day when Christ will come again. And as we wait, we are invited to begin living already in the ways of ­heaven, as the Holy Spirit helps us. The second coming is not scary for Christians; it’s something we look forward to with hope.

Dear Jesus, we look forward to the day when you will come again. Thank you for the hope we have because of your gift of salvation. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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