Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A thief in the night - 1st Thessalonians 5:1-6

"Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, 'Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. (1st Thessalonians 5:1-6)
There is a day fastly approaching where this world and this creation will be dissolved and a new one takes it place. King David prophesied of this time when he said, "Of old You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; and all of them will wear out like a garment; like clothing You will change them and they will be changed." (Psalm 102:25-26) And John the Apostle likewise saw the end of all things in the revelation given to him. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.'" (Revelation 21:1-3) However, Jesus also made it clear that no man know the time of His return and of the end of the age. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." (Matthew 24:36) And, prior to His ascension, He said to His disciples, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority." (Acts 1:7

Jesus is returning again at a time and hour we do not know and with Him is also coming the end of the age; the destruction of this present creation and the ushering in of a new creation "in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:13) Knowing these things are to happen, and the manor in which they are to come to pass, Paul's advice to us is to remain ready. Paul uses the metaphors of light and darkness, awake and asleep. There are those who live in spiritual darkness; unable, or unwilling, to see the light of the gospel. In their lives they are asleep to the truth of what is around then; the truth pertaining to their lives, the truth pertaining to what God has purchased for them, and the truth pertaining to the ultimate end of all things. The world plunges deeper and deeper into darkness and they willingly and joyfully follow along towards destruction. "And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:26-27) Jesus came to wake us up from our slumber and to deliver us from darkness unto the light so that that day might not overtake us "as a thief in the night" but rather that we might be found worthy to inherit the new creation that God is about to bring forth.

However, some still prefer the darkness. Jesus said, "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." (John 3:19-21) It is true that there can be no coming into the light without our deeds becoming exposed However, without exposure there can be no release or forgiveness for our deeds done in darkness. God is calling us to be people of light; to brave the darkness, to let our sins to be seen for what they are, especially by us, and to allow the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God to wash over our lives and our sins and to cleanse us and make us truly children of light. In the end, darkness will be banished and only light will remain. Let us now learn how to walk in that light today that we might not be shamed when it does appear; that for us it will not come as that thief in the night,

David Robison

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