Thursday, November 8, 2018

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.


The year was 1888. The place, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. A number of engineers paid a visit to this town to conduct an inspection of the dam that controlled the waters flowing down the valley. After concluding their inspection they pronounced the dam unsafe and issued the warning that the residents of the valley were in danger. No one paid attention. That same fall the engineers returned, re-examined the dam, and again issued their warning. Still, no one listened. The following spring the engineers warned the people a third time, but the warning once again, inexplicably, fell upon deaf ears. Two weeks later the dam broke. Within a short time the swirling waters inundated the city of Johnstown. Over thirty-seven hundred people perished. The city was completely destroyed.

The Savior, similarly, has issued a warning which millions have failed to heed: "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:35). The majority living in the world continue on in unbelief, foolishly rejecting the Gospel Good News of Jesus Christ crucified for their sins and raised to life for their justification. Tragically -– unless by God's grace they are converted to faith in Jesus -– they will end up cut off from God forever in the misery of hell. Now is the time to pray the Holy Spirit to use us more and more as witnesses for the Savior so that a few more souls will escape the final catastrophe of eternal death:

Knowing You and Your salvation, Grateful love dare never cease
To proclaim Your tender mercies, Gracious Lord, Your heavenly peace.
Let us sound the Gospel tidings To the earth’s remotest bound
That the sinner has been pardoned And forgiveness can be found.

Savior, shine in all Your glory On the nations near and far;
From the highways and the byways Call them forth, O Morning Star.
Guide them whom Your grace has chosen Out of Satan's dreadful thrall
To the mansions of Your Father -– There is room for sinners all.
(Lutheran Service Book, 498:4, 6)