“I didn’t think, I never dreamed
That I would be around to see it all come true
While the believers in Thessalonica were suffering and placing a greater emphasis on the next coming of Jesus than Paul felt healthy, another group of people up the road were demonstrating an equally destructive testimony of the Lord’s future return. But they did so in a different manner.
Rather than abandoning their responsibilities in this world (like some believers in Thessalonica), the church at Corinth became just like the world. They forgot they were not supposed to be of this world, but were to be searching for a city not made by men’s hands. They forgot their Lord’s Kingdom was not of this world and that He promised He would return!
Interestingly, there is not a hint of evidence that the believers in Corinth were prepared (or preparing) for Jesus’ return. These people were even doubting the reality of the resurrection.
Instead, they fell to the snare of an over-realized eschatology. Their pomp and arrogance led them to associate their prosperity with God’s approval. Why look for better day? They believed they had everything they needed already. They had resorted to a lifestyle of self-centered and self-serving demands.
So much so, that the sarcasm reels from Paul’s words as he writes, “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! …We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute (1 Cor. 4:8-10).”
Forgive me for shuddering here, but the worldliness and materialism that led to this church’s rebuke sounds hauntingly familiar (in my own life). As believers in America, are we not the modern-day Corinth?
Don’t we consume our days with ‘eating and drinking and giving in marriage’? …preparing to make life in this world a little better tomorrow? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this game plan… there is, when it causes us to no longer regard all the passages in God’s Word that describe us as stewards of our Lord who are awaiting His return.
Regardless of one’s eschatology, everyone should agree that the Bible declares that Jesus will return.
I have to ask myself if there is a balance in my life. Do I prepare as though Jesus may tarry… but live as though He will return today? I must find myself agreeing with John, “Even so, Come Lord Jesus!”
Slip into your waders… this thing gets prickly from here.
*Nineteen Hundred and Eighty- Five ~ Paul McCartney
- Third Sunday of Resurrection: I Corinthians 15:12-19,The Empty Threat of Death, Part II (apologus.wordpress.com)
- Jesus In The Gospels (gibsongirl247.wordpress.com)
- 1 Thessalonians 1 (saltthroughlight.wordpress.com)