The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
1 Thessalonians 1:8-10
Hebrews 9:27-28, Romans 8:18-23, Philippians 3:20
Let’s Break It Down:
Notice the characteristics of a life that has been transformed.
- You turn from idols. An idol is anything that’s bigger than God in your life. And you’ve turned from idols—all of them—to the one true, living God.
- You’re not the same person and you don’t live for the same reasons.
- You’re waiting for the soon return of the Son of God from Heaven. The Bible said, “In the moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we shall be changed.” We’ll leave this world. Millions will disappear. That’s what scripture teaches profoundly. It is not a fairy tale. One-third of the Bible is prophecies about the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Notice that they had something about them that wasn’t just saved, transformed, turned from idols, born again, baptized. They were a people who were eagerly, earnestly waiting for Jesus to come back again. They were fully expecting the return of the Son of God from Heaven. They turned from their idols.
What scripture is saying is that everything that God made in creation—the stars, the moon, the sun, the earth, the trees, the plants, the flowers—they are anxiously, eagerly awaiting the moment that the trumpet sounds and our new bodies are given to us. We’ve got something to look forward to; something better than a sporting event; something better than a job promotion; something better than a new car or a new house. We, and the whole creation, are eagerly awaiting.
That’s why sometimes the earth has birth pains. We would call them earthquakes and hurricanes. We would call them freaks of nature, storms and tornadoes. All the earth has been under a curse since Adam and Eve fell, eagerly awaiting the moment that they can be restored. As beautiful as the world is, it’s still under the curse.
There should be something in us that makes us live every day knowing Jesus could come—today!
Am I ready for His coming? Am I eager for His coming? Am I yearning for His coming? It could happen today. It needs to be on our mind all the time. We should live in such a way that we wouldn’t be ashamed if He came today. You can love this life, and you can love this world, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying your life. But you have to remember; this is our second citizenship. This isn’t our home. Our primary residence and citizenship is in a place somewhere beyond the clouds.
Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy. Dear friends, I warn you as temporary residents and foreigners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.
I Peter 2:10-11
Heaven is a real place. Heaven has one door, and that door is Jesus. Heaven has one gate, and that gate is Jesus. Heaven has one road, and narrow is the road, and there will be few that enter in. Heaven has dimensions. It has measurements. It has streets. It has mansions. It has housing. It has cities. It’s a real place. There are no limitations on our physical bodies when we get to Heaven.
You had better get off the edge. You better stop playing with sin, and playing with pornography, and playing with wickedness, and looking at filth, and filling your soul with the lies and deceptions of compromising Christians who tell you, you can sleep with whomever you want.
It’s sin. It’ll sin you to hell. The Bible says it. I’m just going to tell you that it still takes holiness. It still takes purity. It still takes repentance. It still takes turning away from your idols, and being washed in the blood of Jesus, and eagerly awaiting the coming of the Lord.
- If Jesus were to come back tonight, would you be ready to go? Or would you be depressed over all the things you SHOULD have done or said? Or would you be ready for Him to say, “Well done good and faithful servant?” What needs to change for you to feel ready?
- Have you ever stopped to consider He really could come back ANY TIME? If He were to come back tonight, what is left undone? What do you plan to do about that?
I’m concerned. We have to get the fire in our walk. We have to get that eagerly awaiting spirit. We have to get sanctified. We have to get filled with the spirit. We have to see our children filled with the spirit.
I still believe that when you get sold out to God, you’ll give up anything. I’ll give up anything to be eagerly awaiting His return. I want that fire in my soul. Do you hear what I’m saying today? I have not come this far to grow cold, and lukewarm, and indifferent, and watch my family go the same route. Let’s catch on fire today and say, oh God; I eagerly await the sound of the trumpet.