In today’s sermon at Baxter, I will be preaching from Luke 3 and the preparatory ministry of John. He appeared as a prophet like those of the Old Testament. This would have been amazing because God had not spoken through his prophets for 460 years since Malachi’s ministry. In a similar manner, many will be shocked when Jesus returns. I mean, it has already been 2,000 years, and Messiah still has not returned! So easy to get lulled into sleep and indifference! Paul does not want the Thessalonians, or us, to so easily begin to doubt. Sure, there are “those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2:10). However, the Thessalonians, and we, must not be counted among those; rather, Paul encourages, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word” (2:15-17).
View the present through the promise, Christ will come again.
Trust despite the deepening darkness, Christ will come again.
Lift the world above its grieving through your watching and believing
in the hope past hope’s conceiving: Christ will come again.
Match the present to the promise, Christ will come again.
Make this hope your guiding premise, Christ will come again.
Pattern all your calculating and the world you are creating
to the advent you are waiting: Christ will come again. --Thomas H. Troeger (2002)