Thief in the Night
By Dennis Huebshman
Matthew 24:42-44, “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know on what day your lord will come. (43) But understand this, if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. (44) Therefore, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (all emphasis is mine)
Next, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; 9-10, “For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. (3) Now when they are saying there is peace and security, then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape. (4) But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness, for the day to overtake you like a thief would. (if we have studied the prophecies) (9) For God did not destine us (believers) for wrath, but for gaining Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (10) He died for us so that whether we are alert (alive), or asleep (have died), we will come to life together with Him.”
These passages seem to somewhat contradict each other; however, if we add a bit more information to put it in perspective, we can look at events today in a different light.
Jesus said we need to “stay alert”, because we don’t know the day or hour of His return. This one has to do with the Rapture, as the actual second appearing of Him on the earth is given as 7 years after the beginning of the Wrath, which will introduce the antichrist.
Paul goes on to say that even though we don’t know the exact day our hour, he gives some information to let us know the Lord will show, through completed prophecy about the end times, that believers won’t be in “darkness” like the rest of the world. We should be able to look at events leading up to the Wrath, and realize our time here is limited.
Matthew 24:32-34, “Learn this from the fig tree (Israel); whenever its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. (Rebirth of Israel May 14, 1948) (33) So also, when you see all these things, know He is near, right at the door. (34) I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”
We are nearing the 70th week of Daniel which will be the 7-year tribulation period. This officially starts when Jesus opens the 1st. Seal Judgment and releases the antichrist to complete the prophecy about him, and start the Wrath. His first major act will be to get a peace plan signed between Israel and all her enemies that are left after the Ezekiel war, and which he will break at mid-point and start the “Great Wrath”. Believers are to be kept from any part of the Wrath, so before the antichrist is introduced, we are raptured from here. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-7, Paul says he will be restrained until “the one who holds him back is taken out of the way.” That’s the Holy Spirit who resides in all believers, and when that influence is removed, we go to be with Jesus.
In Verse 7, it does say the “hidden power of lawlessness is already at work.” This is obvious today with the major shifts away from anything that has to do with real Christianity.
We already have the false prophets and “minor” antichrists at work trying to tear down any reference to God’s True Word. Satan’s forces are at work full- time in attempts to turn as many as possible away from God. They have been laying groundwork ever since the Cross almost 2000 years ago.
Church themes have gone from giving the actual word of the Lord, to giving ear-tickling messages so as not to lose membership. Messages about what God sees as abominations are now being twisted to say they’re suddenly acceptable to Him. All “religions” worship the same god, is another false statement. Jesus was not impressed with organized religion as it was more man-centered than God-centered. The messages may seem good, but they are soul destroyers.
The straight and narrow way as given in Matthew 7:13-14 is getting more and more obvious. It seems morals are changing for the worse daily. The speed of the approaching tribulation is almost like a runaway locomotive with no brakes about to crash into the station.
Never before has the coalition that will attack Israel for their resources, been in place – until now. It’s exactly as God said it would be in Ezekiel 38. The conditions for the attack are ripe, as each country involved has their economies getting to a critical state. Soon, the urge to attack Israel for their wealth (gas and oil deposits) will be too irresistible, and God will be in full control. It will happen precisely as He said it would. He’s setting the “hook”.
The staging ground is Syria where foreign countries have military forces there. Isaiah 17 tells of Damascus becoming a heap of ruin overnight, and this also is becoming a very real possibility daily. This very well could be the spark that sets off the invasion. There will be a lot of activity, but it will be God that takes care of Israel’s enemies, and in a manner that could only be His doing.
There are some believers that have accepted Jesus that are not looking for His coming as they should. They will still be raptured, but totally surprised when it happens. This will become obvious at the “rewards” ceremony at the Judgment Seat of Christ. There are others that are watching, waiting and praying for it to happen soon. Though we will be completely overjoyed, it will be an answer to prayer, not anything unexpected. There are those who have not accepted Jesus that will wonder where we went.
The changes for the worse in this world are only just getting started, and they won’t be improving as much as people think. This is one way the Father is telling His children to look up, as our deliverance is nigh. All who call on the Lord before that happens will be saved. Go to Romans 10:9 for the process. Then believe John 14:6 which disputes all false prophets and says Jesus is the Only Way to heaven.
Just don’t wait too long. The station is in sight!