“Ye turned unto God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven.” Many people have failed to recognize that that is a part of the foundation of the Christian life, and that it is a part of the Gospel of our salvation, and it is fundamental to a really right kind of Christian life, such as is here. “… to wait for his Son from heaven.” What did that mean for them? We know what Paul has to say about the coming again of the Lord Jesus. Amongst a great many other things, it means this one thing, that everything of hope for us and for this world is bound up with the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from His coming and bringing in His kingdom, there is no hope. For the Thessalonians it implied that all the natural pouring out of their lives had been a hopeless thing; that they had no future really for which to live; that life and the world was a great enigma.
But when they came to the Lord they did so on this basis: God’s Son is coming again, and that will put everything right. Everything is bound up with Christ’s kingdom which is coming. It is, of course, one of those strange enigmas that the world still has false hopes of putting itself right. Someone has said that “all that we have learned from history is that we have learned nothing from history”, and that is just what is happening. We are learning that we have not learned anything, and yet men hold on for a better world. They are getting into deeper and deeper mire and perplexity, they do not see any way through, and yet all the time they are seeking expedients to save the situation and save the world, but it is a counsel of despair. The Word of God makes it perfectly clear that there is no hope for humanity and for this world apart from Jesus Christ being in the place of absolute Lordship in His kingdom. And these Thessalonian believers came to see that. They did learn something from history. What they learned was that it gets you nowhere except into more and more trouble, more perplexity, more and more despair. Then they saw that God’s Son is coming from the Heavens to set up His kingdom, introduce His reign, and all will be well.