In 1988, there was a publication that gained quite a bit of popularity in certain circles entitled “88 Reasons the Rapture will be in 1988.” The author spoke with certainty, even narrowing the Lord’s return to three days in September—11, 12, 13. Needless to say, it caused a stir for many, me included.
One woman I know didn’t preserve anything from her garden that summer or buy her son school supplies since they wouldn’t be needed anyway. She was scrambling for school necessities on the 14th when she was still here and her son brought home a school supply list.
Others, like me, anticipated those days with trepidation. I was pregnant at the time and dealing with a good bit of anxiety. I remember laying down for a nap one day listening to a flock of birds raising a raucous in the trees outside my window. They were suddenly completely quiet and my immediate thought was, “He took the birds first!”
Well, here we are almost exactly 32 years later and we are still waiting and watching and expecting for the clouds to burst open, announcing the arrival of Jesus. Please don’t misunderstand…I am excited to be gathered together with the Lord in the sky. I just think about it differently now than I did then.
We aren’t the only ones who have waited nor are we the first to question the signs of the times. Apostle Paul wrote two letters to the new believers in Thessalonica and both letters include encouragement to maintain the course despite what they heard about the Lord’s return.
The most outstanding bit of advice Paul gives these new believers is at the beginning of chapter five:
Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
It reminds me a lot of Jesus’ admonition to the disciples in the book of Acts.
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.”Acts 1: 6-7
I guess it must be human nature to want to know what happens next and when. But Jesus says it isn’t for us to know. So what are we to do with this in-between time until the Lord returns? Hang with me this week as we explore what Paul said to the new believers in Thessalonica and what we can do today!
Happy Monday! God is good. He is still in control. He is coming again! I encourage you with these words!!