“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
One of the problems at the Church at Thessalonica was that many believers there were speculating about the date of the Lord’s return. Some had even quit their jobs and sold their possessions and so had become burdens on their brethren such was their obsession with being ready for the imminent return of Jesus. Paul reassured them that certain signs would take place before that happened. Although when see these signs we can interpret them as heralding His return, in fact no one knows when the return of Christ will actually occur. Jesus will return unexpectedly like a thief in the night to set in motion a series of events which no one can change or forestall. We who are in Christ do not have to worry for we will be spared the wrath of God which has already been poured out on Christ for us.
Meantime we believers must continue to meet, to fellowship together so as to encourage each other especially during this ongoing pandemic. Church is different. Currently, social distancing makes fellowship and witnessing quite difficult. We can still meet regularly via electronic media which allows us to see one another and converse in real time. It is still encouraging to see each other online but even more so when we see each other in person. I and several other church members regularly attend our in person service. What is so encouraging about this is that, first of all we see and interact with fellows believers and we also see those we have not seen for several months. We are also encouraged by sharing the Lord’s Supper, albeit in a different manner. We witness and share in the great miracle of bread and wine and the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus. And we partake of Christ’s Body and Blood which blesses us with forgiveness and the assurance of God’s mercy. Therefore, we should not let the fear of COVID interfere with the Lord’s work. We should always be ready for Christ’s return by living lives of righteousness and charity, testifying at all times to the gospel of love and mercy, spreading the good news of forgiveness in Christ, so that when the master returns He will find us doing His work.