This post is Day 20 in a series of studies about “Suddenly”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Suddenly – Day 20
This sounds like a severe warning from Paul in his first letter to Thessalonican christians. He had visited this Greek city on his second missionary journey, and had converted several listeners in the synagogue there. But he had been forced to leave because the Jewish leaders rose up against him.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3
You know very well that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
This sounds like a severe warning from Paul. It is found in his first letter to the church in Thessalonica, which is thought to be the earliest letter he wrote to any church (about 51AD).
He had visited this Greek city on his second missionary journey, and had converted several listeners in the synagogue there. But he had been forced to leave because the Jewish leaders rose up against him (Acts 17:1-9). Knowing he had left some believers there who were young in their faith and would need teaching, Paul wrote this letter to encourage them.
This closing chapter of his first letter to this small church begins with an encouragement to his readers to not worry about times and seasons, because they already know that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). No matter how much we prepare for it that day will still surprise us when it happens.
Paul’s message encouraging the believers is that no matter what disaster happens, they have nothing to fear. Once they have become Christians, then it doesn’t matter when the world ends. Because they would all be taken up to heaven leaving the non-believers and the destruction of the evil society they are part of.
Think today about your attitude to the end of the world. Are you expecting it, preparing for it, or afraid of it?
Have you had any teaching on that subject in your church meetings?
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7 and reflect on the fact that two thousand years have passed since Paul’s message. It is still relevant today.
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