A Thief in the Night 1Thes. 5:1-4

1 Thes 5:1-4 Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

This passage is about the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He describes himself as a thief in the night.  When you think about a thief going through your office or going to your house at night, it scares you and causes you to take certain precautions.  You might put bars on the windows.  You will certainly beef up your locks.  You might even want to have a gun handy.  You would certainly install an alarm system.  You might install security lights.  These and other precautions would give you a sense of security to protect yourself from a break-in.

So, when the Lord describes himself as a thief in the night, he is not only emphasizing that he is coming to take something (Matthew12:29; 24: 43-44), but that his arrival is going to be a surprise.  And, in fact, it will be a surprise, because nobody knows exactly when he will return (Matthew 25:13).

The greatest precaution that you can have to prepare for his arrival is to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour.  After that, there are certain precautions that many Christians are taking that Paul tells us in this text they shouldn’t be taking.  In other words, Christians are occupying themselves with certain preparations that are wasting their time and that are demonstrating their lack of faith in what God said.

Now, here are the 4 precautions that you should not be taking:

  1. Don’t Try To Predict It

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the disciples wanted to know if Jesus Christ was going to restore the Kingdom toIsrael.  He said, “it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power,” (Acts 1:7).  Here, Paul says the same thing.  He says that I don’t need to write to you about the times and the seasons.  In other words, he’s basically saying that you and I don’t need to know when he’s coming, it can happen anytime.  These fellows that are spending your time on nothing more than the times and the seasons are wasting your time.  Their ministries are out of balance.  It’s gotten so bad, that a caller asked one of these radio prophets about salvation and the so-called preacher took him to Revelation 17 to get him stirred up about the Catholic Church being mysteryBabylon.  The poor caller hung up as lost as he was when he made the call and more certain that because he couldn’t understand the connection the radio prophet was trying to make that his chances of getting understanding and salvation were nearly impossible.  That’s a mess.  Jesus Christ is going to come back when Jesus Christ is ready.  So, believe Titus 2:13.

  1. Don’t Be Unprepared

When Jesus said that he was coming as a thief, that’s exactly what he meant (2 Peter3:10; Revelation 3:3;16: 15).  And, he said he was going to be a thief “in the night.”  That’s because the church age is likened to night time in the Bible (John 9: 4-5; Mark13:34-37).  Based upon the watches of Mark 13, we must be getting very close to the coming of the Lord.  Therefore, there are two ways that you could be unprepared.  No. 1 you could be unsaved.  No. 2 you could be spending your time with things here in the earth rather than in anticipation of the Lord’s returns (2 Tim. 4: 8).

  1. Don’t Believe The Media And Politicians

The media and politicians are always talking about bringing in peace and bringing in safety by various treaties and arms controls.  Our President even wants to knock out the nuclear capacity inIraqandNorth Korea.  That’s to give us hope that we can continue living in peace.  However, Paul tells us that these words, “peace and safety” let you know that things or going to suddenly get bad.  Peace and safety spell trouble.

Peace – United States Institute for Peace, Peace Corps, Nobel Peace Prize, International Peace Institute, International Day of Peace or World Peace Day, International Peace Bureau, the International Peace and Cooperation Center, International Peace Movement, Universal Peace Federation,

Safety – OSHA, National Safety Council, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Matters, Homeland Security, DHS Safety Act, National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Safety Network, US Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, Texas Department of Public Safety, International System Safety Society

And of course that is exactly the way it was in the Old Testament (Jeremiah8:11, 15;14: 13-14;23: 16-17).  Notice also the reference to “travail upon a woman with child” as found in Jeremiah13:21.  When that shows up in the Old Testament that is the reference to the tribulation.  In other words, the worst is yet to come.

  1. Don’t Worry About It

A lot of the modern-day preacher/prophet types are stirring up trouble among Christians by getting them to worry about the coming tribulation.  They are telling you that you’re going to go through a part of the tribulation, that things are going to get very rough for you and all that sort of stuff.  While things may get rough, you’re not going through the tribulation.  And, for you to worry about your provisions shows a real lack of faith in God’s word (Philippians4: 19).  Since you are saved, you’re not in darkness (Rom.13:12-13) and therefore that day will not overtake you as a thief.  So, what are you worried about?  Don’t let these guys scare you.