DATE POSTED: Saturday, 2023-03-04
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
OBSERVATION: I remember the words from a scary amusement park ride, that told riders to ensure their safety and intent, as there is no turning back now! ‘No escape’ – the same words used in today’s Scripture about the return of Christ to collect His church (believers in Jesus Christ). Many of us tend to be very organized and make special provisions to ensure we are ready (prepared) and on time for an event. Ready or not, Paul reminds us that there will be no turning back, reassessing, redoing, or making quick changes, when the trumpet of God sounds. There will be no escape. Your eternal destiny is sealed at that point. What will your outcome be?
APPLICATION: For those who read my ‘Observation’ you may be saying that this is just another religious scare tactic. But is that what you say to the neighbor who comes over and, in a sense of urgency and/or panic, tells you that there’s a fire at the back of your house? Do you curse at the weatherman when he warns you of a storm that is likely to cause havoc in your day tomorrow? So let me encourage you to take this word from Paul as a warning from the God who created you. Remember, He’s the One who hung on a cruel cross at Calvary out of His perfect love for you, and He prepared a way to enable you to become righteous in the sight of God – washed white as snow, when you seek His forgiveness and accept Him as Lord of your life. Be reminded that there is absolutely no amount of good you can do, or money you can give away, that will earn you the right into heaven. It is only through accepting the free gift of eternal life through knowing Jesus as your Savior and Lord. So, with that background information before you, let’s address the warning given to the church at Thessalonica by Paul. He gave two excellent illustrations to the church. Just as you wouldn’t dare wait until a specific night to secure your back door, or lock your vehicles because you know that a robber is coming that night, so it is with making your election secure, so that your destiny is grounded and secure, for you also don’t know the day or the hour that Jesus will return to take His bride – the church – you and I. Be sure to also look closely at the analogy about labor pains and how the birth of a baby will happen when least expected. Many mothers will prepare for that unexpected moment right at the very moment they learn they are pregnant. Doctors will tell couples an approximate date the baby should come. Husbands will leave home for work, thinking it will be an ordinary day at work – until they receive a panic call from their wife that ‘it’s time to get to the hospital!’ Friends, just as the dad knew that they would have a baby, so we also know that Jesus will return. Just as the dad declined a trip to a long-distance destination so he could be close enough when the call came to him, so we are to be ready for Christ’s return. Believers accepted this fact as one of the most important parts of their decision to accept Jesus as Lord. Unbelievers are reckless with this decision, just like the father who travels away from home convinced that his child will not come for a few days. He has deep regrets when he realizes that he was mistaken, but he can’t turn back the hands of time so he could do things differently. So it is with the unbeliever who delays the decision to accept Jesus as Lord. No matter the good intentions, and no matter how you had a place and time already planned to accept Jesus, He will return based on a decision by God alone, and not anyone’s good intentions or their timetable. Please, dear reader or listener, don’t be sorry for not making your decision to accept Jesus when you are first called by Him. Called? Yes, when you first realized that Jesus was real and that He loves you like no one else does. How do I know? Because children of the world who are led by Satan will not have thoughts of heaven, or Jesus, or eternal life. It is only when Jesus tugs at your heart that your mind will be turned from the things of this world and towards your heavenly Father. The Bible says that God will only call for so long, then He will give you up to your own choices. Death will come to all, no escape. Your eternal destination will depend on what you did with Jesus. Make it count dear friend, make that vital decision today to accept Jesus as Lord.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: You can avoid ever being told ‘go away from me, for I never knew you’. Listen to Jesus today and be ready for His return which could be at any moment.
PRAYER: You loved us enough to provide the mean of salvation for us; to call us to Yourself and away from the wickedness of this world; and to correct us as necessary even while still here on earth. We really have no excuse to ever be threatened with the words ‘there’s no turning back now’, for as Your child, our aim is to eventually be together with You and the Father, in the glories of heaven. Many doubt the weatherman, but destructive storms come. Many gamble on the day of arrival for their child, but the baby comes when the time is right. Similarly, many have chosen to gamble on Your return date to take Your church home to glory, but they have placed themselves into a wedge where there is no escape. Please Lord, touch the heart of each one who takes the time to read this devotional today. May they clearly see the truth of Your Word and accept the free gift of Salvation only available through accepting You as Lord of their life. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!