St. Paul commissions the spiritual battle gear for the faithful in saying: “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10).
Paul also told the Thessalonians that they, “…are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.” Paul told the Thessalonians that the believers should look forward with joy for the time when Christ would come again. But for the ungodly, “… the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night…then sudden destruction will come upon them.”
When will Christ come again? We hear all sorts of predictions of when it will happen. On the one hand it is not for us to know when He will come again. On the other hand we all should be aware of Christ’s coming again. For each of us our time of preparation for His coming is somewhat defined. We have the length of our natural life to prepare.
There is an unknown here because we don’t know for sure how long we will live. If we live for eighty years we can sort of pace ourselves in preparation for Him. How confident can we be as to how much time we have? I like to remind myself that when I took out a life insurance policy, I was betting the insurance company that I would die before they thought I would.
If we seek salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, we need not worry about the darkness of night. Christ’s light shines so bright that even as we sleep we are not in darkness. Part of the new life in Christ is to bring as many as we can to Him. We must not rest while there are still lost brothers and sisters wandering in the darkness. Jesus wants us to find His lost sheep and help bring them home. St. Paul says, “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other…” Every person is called to this ministry. In it we must, “…put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”
God does not want to bring His wrath upon us. He wants salvation for us through His Son Jesus Christ. He thought enough of us to send Jesus to endure death on the cross so that we might better understand Him and have His forgiveness. We have an unknown length of time to prepare for His coming. How are you coming with your preparations? At what point in your life are you betting that you will need to know the Lord? If you are already there, are you encouraging others?