You are not in Darkness
Many sincere people are asleep at the wheel. Some are cavorting with the devil, veering increasingly off course toward destruction. Others see the dangerous direction we are heading, but they naively hope that Jesus will come and save us before we hit the rocks. Escaping the coming tribulation would be wonderful, but I’m convinced that we must go through some of these tribulation events. After years of studying the Scripture, I find little evidence that Jesus is going to return for Christians before the difficult times of Revelation begin to happen on earth. Although I’m certain Jesus is coming, we may indeed be here for what Jesus called the “beginnings of sorrows,” (Matthew 24:8, NKJV) and perhaps much more. We need to understand the signs of the times and recognize the events leading to the Lord’s return.
In churches all across America, I’ve asked congregations, “How many of you believe that Jesus is going to come for us like a thief in the night?” It’s a bit of a trick question, but I use it to make a point.
Most hands go up. Nearly everyone has a vague familiarity with the idea that Jesus will return when we least expect Him. Those who have made headlines in recent years for their foolish, unbiblical predictions of Christ’s return tend only to further convince us that we cannot know when Jesus is coming.
But if you look at the Scripture carefully, you may be surprised. The Word does not say that He is coming like a thief in the night for believers.
“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 birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should 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. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 NASB).
Do you see that? You are not to be in darkness. You are not of the night. You are to be watching and waiting, already prepared for the coming of the Lord. You will have advance information, namely, signs you can recognize that His coming is near. You will not be caught unaware. Or at least you should not be.
Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” They recognize not just the sound of His voice, but the truth of His words. If you are a fan of John Grisham novels, you recognize the author’s voice in each of his books. If you’ve read the great writers from the past, such as Shakespeare, you recognize their style. Similarly, if you study the Scriptures, you can know the voice of Jesus and recognize the truth of His Word. By becoming familiar with His voice, you will be able to recognize when something is consistent with what Jesus said or whether it is an idea concocted by someone else, well intentioned though they may be. There is no reason for you to be caught off guard by the cataclysmic events that are about to happen. Revelation will help you to be ready.
(excerpt from Time Has Come)