Will the Thief in the Night Take You by Surprise?

If we are not seeing the stage being set for the tribulation, how do we explain the days in which we live? It’s difficult to deny, and for some, it is a scary proposition. Now, of course, believers in Jesus will be rescued from that wrath that is to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10), so we can live in confidence that Jesus will forever be our Refuge in the storm!

But will His return take us by surprise, as a thief in the night? Let’s turn to Scripture for the answer.

5 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. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

~1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

Indeed, the time and season is upon us. Paul (the writer of 1 Thessalonians) tells us that, when people are preoccupied with the affairs of this world, sudden destruction will come, and they will not escape. If only they had been ready!

But for those of us who know and follow Jesus, Paul says there is no need for him to tell us these things because we experience heightened awareness that our Lord is returning soon! In fact, we are looking for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:11-14)! We will not be in the dark concerning His return. Those of us looking for Him will not miss Him when He comes!

So, are we to sit idly by while we await His return? Heavens no! We must never be so fixated on heaven that we neglect God’s purposes in our lives. When Jesus ascended to heaven following His resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit, and according to Acts 1:8, we received Holy Spirit power and we are now witnesses of Jesus to the uttermost parts of the earth. The promise of His soon appearance should spur us on to fulfill that calling!

The power of the Gospel at work in our lives causes us to be fully alert. Therefore, Paul has no need to write to us about the coming of our Savior!

Do you know Him? Are you ready for His coming? Are you living as His witness? Now is the time!

If you know Him, but are not living out His calling, I encourage you to meditate upon 1 Thessalonians 5, asking the Lord what His marching orders are for you today. Then, go do what He guides you to do!

If you do not know Jesus personally, time is running short and you will, indeed, be caught by surprise at the coming of Jesus to rescue His children on that day. You will be left behind to face the wrath of God. But good news! You can surrender to Jesus today! I am praying that you do!

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