June 19, 2012
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 19 JUNE 2012
The theme of 1 Thessalonians is living faithfully because the Lord will return. There are different words used in Scripture to describe this return. One word is parousia, which is translated “coming” in 1 Thessalonians 4:15, and in that passage refers rather specifically to an imminent return of the Lord. The same Greek word, parousia, is used in Matthew 24:27 and is accurately translated “coming” with regard to the Lord’s return to earth. Parousia literally bears the idea of presence associated with the Lord's coming.
Another word used with regard to the Lord’s coming is apokalupsis. The three uses of this word in 1 Corinthians 1:7 and 1 Peter 1:7 and 4:13 are also references to an imminent return of the Lord. Apokalupsis simply means “revelation.” In the Corinthians passage and the two references in 1 Peter, the Greek word refers to the time when the Lord Jesus comes for His people, that is, He will reveal Himself to His saints (all those who are "in" Christ). Christ will reveal Himself in a different manner toward those who do not know Him as Lord and Savior. When He returns to earth, the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself as Lord of lords and King of kings to the entire world. There is a day in which Christ will reveal Himself for who He is; in the present time, we live by grace through faith, and anticipate that day with readiness.
A third word used is epiphaneia, which simply means “manifestation.” Christ will certainly manifest Himself to His people. Epiphaneia is used in 2 Timothy 4:8 and Titus 2:13 with reference to Christ manifesting Himself to those who belong to Him. The same word is used in 2 Thessalonians 2:8, which refers to the time when Christ destroys all opposition to His person and rule. When the Lord Jesus manifests Himself by His coming, it is literally an epiphany.
Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thess 4:18).
The events of the Lord’s return will be dramatic, and all will witness His return to earth. Just as the Marine Corps Band often plays “Hail to the Chief” to announce the arrival of the President of the United States, so it is that the Lord Jesus will return “from heaven with a shout.” Accompanying the shout of the Lord will be the voice of the archangel and the sounding of the trumpet of God. What a glorious moment for which to be ready, and to encourage our perseverance until that day!