Standing Firm until Christ Returns
“We ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come….Brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, 15)
What’s on your schedule today? Why are you doing what you are doing today, in particular? With my full diary like this, I find myself often questioning why I am doing what I am doing, to be sure that my schedule reflects my priorities. Sometimes, with things I alone control, I have to juggle and rearrange them, realizing I haven’t ordered tasks or activities properly, or need to help someone else rather than do what I had planned. Living according to the Spirit in us, we should be flexible, but there is also a certain rhythm to our lives since God has given us statutes to live by, to help us to stand firm when our circumstances are whirling around us.
In the case of the Thessalonian believers, Paul urged them to remain calm as they awaited the second coming of Jesus Christ, not allowing themselves to be swayed by false teachers. “Let no one deceive you in any way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) The apostle Paul also exhorted the believers in Corinth to be unmovable in their faith rather than be influenced by those who denied the second coming of Christ. “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14) Like soldiers who are prepared and armed, the believers then and Christians today are to live with solid, unshakable faith in the Jesus who was raised from the dead and will return in the proper time. We do not believe this out of something known as “blind faith,” but know these things to be true because Jesus Christ spoke the words to his apostles, who recorded them for us to read. The most logical response to God’s Word is to believe it since it is backed up by history and archeology. But God does not entrust the gospel to the world by objective evidence alone. The Spirit is given to us for our instruction and sanctification, to believe more and more in the reality of Christ’s return, and a government of absolute justice and equality.
Do we put our hope in our perceived order of things, political systems, humanitarian outreaches, economics, or outspoken leaders? “Lord, the wisdom of Your Word can be reflected but never fully captured by any human political project or economic system.” * Let’s hold firm to the Word we have received and live wisely by it today, unmoved by the loud voice of political commentators and the over-enthusiastic media, as those who are prepared for the most significant future event—the return of our Savior.
* Keller, Timothy and Keller, Kathy, “God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life,” Proverbs 12:27; 13:23 (November 7), Viking, New York, 2017.