1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
We shall not fully understand the New Testament pictures of the Second Coming unless we remember that they have an Old Testament background. In the Old Testament, the conception of the Day of the Lord is very common; all the pictures and apparatus that belonged to the Day of the Lord have been attached to the Second Coming. To the Jew, all time was divided into two ages. There was the present age that was wholly and incurably bad. There was the age to come that would be the golden age of God. In between, there was the Day of the Lord that would be a terrible day. It would be a day in which one world was shattered and another was born.
Many of the most terrible pictures in the Old Testament are of the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 22:5; 13:9; Zephaniah 1:14-16; Amos 5:18). Its main characteristics were as follows:
(1st) It would come suddenly and unexpectedly.
(2nd) It would involve a cosmic upheaval in which the universe was shaken to its very foundations.
(3rd) It would be a time of judgment.
Naturally, men were anxious to know when that day would come. Jesus himself had bluntly said that no man knew when that day or hour would be, that even he did not know and only God knew. But that did not stop people from speculating about it.
To these speculations, Paul has two things to say.
(1st) He repeats that the coming of the day will be sudden. It will come like a thief in the night. But he also insists that that is no reason why a person should be caught 'unaware'. It is only the person who lives in the dark and whose deeds are evil who will be caught unprepared.
(2nd) The believer lives in the light; no matter when that day comes if he is watchful, it will find him ready. Waking or sleeping, the Christian is living already with Jesus and is, therefore, always prepared. The person who has lived his life with Jesus is never unprepared to enter His presence.
We know that Jesus is coming, so be ready all the time. Be sure to invite someone to be ready to go with you.
Praise God! I may not know just when the sound will take place, but I will always be listening. If it happens in the night when I am sleeping,
I know He will awaken me at that moment. Hallelujah! Amen!