UNEXPECTED THIEF

1Th. 5:4-6 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.

Parris and I were exhausted as we passed out in our hotel room in Moscow. We were at the end of a two week mission trip preaching on the streets in the Ukraine. We had flown to Moscow to spend the night before flying back home. I woke up from a deep, deep sleep to see some stranger walk out of our hotel room door. It was shocking, terrifying, and totally unexpected. We had been robbed by a thief in the night. He took my wallet and four hundred dollars. Security from the hotel returned my wallet minus the cash; imagine that.

The lesson, of course, is the one often taught by Jesus. Just as we were unprepared for that crook to come into our room that night, the Lord Himself will return suddenly and unexpectedly. He told us to stay ready.

“LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT. This metaphor, or symbolic description, means that the time when the day of the Lord begins is uncertain and unexpected—particularly for those who are unprepared and do not have a personal relationship with Christ. There is no way one can set a date for it.

It is the unbeliever—one who is not spiritually saved and does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ—who will be saying, “Peace and safety.” This could mean that the world will be expecting and hoping for peace. The day of the Lord and its worldwide distress will come on them suddenly, destroying any hope for peace and security.

“Be alert” means more than simply focusing one’s attention at the moment. This word carries the sense that one is to “stay awake and keep watch.” Paul is not challenging his readers to “be alert” for the “day of the Lord”, but rather to be spiritually prepared in order to escape that day of wrath—God’s justified anger, judgment and punishment.”
So we were unprepared for our unexpected visitor that night. First, I should have hid my wallet somewhere other than laying out by my head on the night stand. Secondly, lock the door!!!. The rooms at that hotel didn’t lock automatically; how convenient. We can also take steps so we are ready when the great day comes. How can we be ready? Don’t fall asleep!!! Be alert and waiting for no one knows the day or the hour of our Lord’s return.

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