How Will Jesus Return 'As a Thief In the Night?'

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   The Bible describes the return of Jesus Christ as being like the coming of a burgler or thief in the night. Matthew 24:43, “Understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” 

   This is the event many call the “rapture,” a word that means “to snatch away.”  How will the second coming be like a thief in the night? First of all, no one will know when He will return. Just as a thief surprises his victims, Jesus will catch unbelievers by surprise when He returns. Life will go on as usual, just as if they have all the time in the world. But then, before they know it, Judgment Day will be upon them as it says in Matthew 24:40-41. Paul tells it like this in 1 Thessalonians 5:3: “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.”  Believers shouldn’t fear the coming sudden judgment, but should be looking forward to it and be welcoming it....because the “thief in the night” won’t catch them by surprise. Christians are in a separate category as we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:4-9: “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” It will be the people still living in darkness that will be taken unawares, but we as believers “are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”  Praise the Lord, “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” As believers we still won’t know the exact date or hour of  the “rapture,”  but we will know it is getting closer as we see the signs of Matthew 24 unfolding before us. We need to have our hearts right with God so we are ready every minute of every day as Jesus’ warning: “Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Matthew 24:44). 

   How can we be ready? God has provided the way for us.... only through Jesus Christ (the Way), as found in  John 14:6.  By accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are given forgiveness of sins, mercy, and salvation and the promise of everlasting life, see John 3:16. 

   If you are reading this and the “rapture” hasn’t happened yet, you can still become “a child of the day.”   Don’t put it off .......2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

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