We know from the Gospels that the Lord will come down out of heaven. Jesus said that every eye would see Him in the clouds. The Lord also mentioned that the angels would accompany Him on that day.
The Lord said there was going to be a trumpet call. Paul mentions all of these things. Also, if you remember, Jesus said that He would gather His saints “from the four corners of the earth and from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31)
So we find that both Paul and the Lord describe that last day – the Day of the Lord – in exactly the same way. Of course this shouldn’t be any surprise, because the same Holy Spirit inspired both of them.
Now, Paul is going to move on to answer the second question posed by the church – when is it all going to happen? We’ll find that his answer is the same as Jesus’.
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 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.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
Paul is talking here about those that are not prepared. Jesus used different words to convey the same meaning. The Lord said that to those not ready, He was going to come like a thief in the night. But He also said that the saints were not going to be caught unprepared. Even the way Paul describes it shows this truth.
Paul said that it was going to come suddenly like labor pains on a pregnant woman. Please realize that most women make it to the hospital in time. A mother-to-be knows that there’s a baby on the way. She even knows, within a few weeks, when the baby will arrive.
The woman can feel that there are things happening in her body. Sometimes they can even say, “It’s only a day or two now.” Why? Because she can feel within her that something is going on.
And then finally, when the labor pains arrive, she knows that it’s time to get to the hospital. She can feel them mounting. She knew what to expect, and it didn’t take her by surprise. Very few women experience labor so quickly that they don’t make it to the hospital.
That’s what it’s going to be like for us. We know what to expect. We’ll not be taken by surprise. The labor pains may come upon the world quickly and unexpectedly, but the delivery – the coming of the Lord – will not be a surprise to the church.
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
1 Thessalonians 5:4
That’s why we, as believers, should not be worried or anxious about all we see happening around us. We have the light of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We know what’s coming.
We should be living for Christ with the knowledge that God is bringing all things to the fulfillment of His will. This should cause us to be excited about the future, not worried.
We know how the Book ends – WE WIN!!
Question: What is your anticipation level when you think about the return of the Lord?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016