Paul responded with these words of assurance: “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, NKJV).
Rather than focus on trying to predict the future, Paul urged them to be encouraged by what would take place when Christ returned. “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Paul was essentially saying, “There’s no need for you to be overly concerned about all the fearful signs and calamities. You well know what this is about. It’s all signaling the coming of the Lord Jesus to take away his people.”
The truth is that history is going somewhere. We can be sure that the swift current of unfolding events today is carrying us toward God’s eternal purpose. The world is not adrift; the Lord hasn’t abandoned the earth, no matter how wicked and faithless humankind has become. Rather, God has simply picked up the pace. What we are seeing now is a swift movement of events toward the “one divine event” ahead: the re-creation of a new heaven and earth where Christ will reign supreme for all eternity.
As followers of Christ, our focus is not to be on daily news reports. We are not to dwell on wars and rumors of war. When Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28), he tells us where our focus should be.