As discussed previously, a common experience of grace and sanctification are ties that bind the faithful together. Another strong unity builder is the common hope we share for the future. 1 Corinthians 1:7-8 shows that the coming revelation of the Lord is an event for which we “wait eagerly”. What is this revelation? The scripture picture associated with this is Revelation 19…the Lord’s second coming (as distinct from the Rapture , which in itself offers a different distinct hope for current living and “earthbound” believers). Two categories of believers are associated with this “Revelation 19” event. First are those who have died or been raptured prior to this event. This is the experience Paul has in mind here in 1 Cor 1. These sets of believers, already with the Lord, return with Him as His full glory is revealed once and for all to the world (“awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “confirms us as blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ”). Secondly, in the absence of Paul’s immediate generation experiencing this return, are those who have become believers during the tribulation and are alive and present welcoming the Lord and his church upon His “revelational” return to “terra firma”. This second category of believers (“tribulational saints”) are not who he is speaking to here.
What an awesome hope to unite the faithfully like minded in day to day fellowship and in creating a worldview for “doing life”. As we live experiencing and longing for the Lord’s presence we grow in a deferential and “anticipating” lifestyle…fellowship qualities that build a common hope, that fuels like minded unity.