Today's post is a continuation of yesterday's theme on "Can We KNOW the time?" Is Jesus really coming as a thief in the night, so that we will not have any idea when He might Return, as many Christians and pastors try to tell us? What do the Scriptures really teach us on this all-important topic? By reading the tract below, you will discover that Jesus wants us to know that HIS RETURNING IS NEAR, EVEN AT THE DOOR, AND JUST WHY IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN TO KNOW.
IS JESUS COMING AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT?
This is Part 2 in a two-part series addressing the question, "Can We KNOW the Time?" These are two separate tracts that I wrote in the 1990's. The first one, which you should read first, was entitled, "Can We KNOW the time of Christ's Return?" The 2nd one appears below, and will give you TWELVE SCRIPTURAL REASONS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE TIME OF OUR LORD'S RETURN:
Is Jesus coming back like A THIEF IN THE NIGHT, totally unexpected, OR is He coming back at a time when many Christians WILL BE EXPECTING HIM? Is it good enough to know that Jesus is coming back some day in the future? Or does Jesus want us to KNOW the approximate time of His Return? Is so, why? The purpose of this tract is to answer these questions, using the Bible as our source
Ist Thessalonians 5:2--6 says, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as A THIEF IN THE NIGHT. For when they shall say, Peace and Safety; then SUDDEN DESTRUCTION COMETH UPON THEM, AS TRAVAIL UPON A WOMAN WITH CHILD; and THEY shall not escape. BUT YE, BRETHREN (the Christians), ARE NOT IN DARKNESS, THAT THAT DAY SHOULD OVERTAKE YOU AS A THIEF. YOU are all the children of LIGHT, and the children of the day: WE ARE NOT OF THE NIGHT, NOR OF DARKNESS. Therefore let us NOT SLEEP, as do others; BUT LET US WATCH..."
The Scripture could not be any plainer. Jesus is coming back as A THIEF IN THE NIGHT, but ONLY to the UNBELIEVERS and to the Christians who are SPIRITUALLY ASLEEP AND NOT WATCHING THE MULTITUDE OF BIRTH PANGS (verse 3) of the Tribulation hour.
Verse 4 does NOT say the Day of the Lord WILL NOT overtake you as a thief, it says it SHOULD NOT. Verse 6 tells us that those who are SPIRITUALLY SLEEPING will be caught by surprise like A THIEF IN THE NIGHT, while those who ARE WATCHING will at least KNOW THE APPROXIMATE TIME OF HIS RETURN. To which group do YOU belong?
Revelation 3:3 gives us further evidence that this is true, "If therefore, THOU SHALT NOT WATCH, I WILL COME ON THEE AS A THIEF, AND THOU SHALT NOT KNOW WHAT HOUR I WILL COME UPON THEE."
For all of you UNWATCHFUL Christians and ministers who are NOT discerning the signs of the times in which we live (Matthew 16:3), who are NOT sounding the alarm and NOT blowing the trumpet, and who do NOT feel an URGENCY in your spirit concerning the LATENESS OF THE HOUR, may the Holy Spirit penetrate your heart and saturate your soul with the TRUTH REVEALED SO PLAINLY in the above verses.
In Mark 13:29 and Matt. 24:33, Jesus tells us we COULD KNOW when His Return is NEAR, EVEN AT THE DOORS! Again, it does NOT say that ALL Christians WOULD KNOW. It says we COULD KNOW. By watching (as the Scriptures admonish ALL Christians to do OVER AND OVER AGAIN), and studying (2nd Timothy 2:15) all of the MULTITUDE of Biblical end-times prophetic signs, the Holy Spirit is revealing to many Christians that His Coming is AT THE DOORS (EXTREMELY CLOSE)!
Does it really matter if we KNOW the lateness of the hour or not? Does it really matter if we are WATCHING the signs of Jesus' SOON RETURN, or not? Does it really matter if we STUDY end-times Bible Prophecy, or not? After all, what's going to happen is going to happen, anyway. As long as we are saved, isn't THAT what is really important? Why is it important to God that we KNOW at least the approximate time of our Lord's Return?
There are at least a dozen GOOD SCRIPTURAL REASONS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT that we at least KNOW the approximate time of our Lord's Return.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW
REASON #1--Because it is important to Jesus.
Jesus tells us if we will WATCH, we will KNOW. To stress the importance of KNOWING, when asked about the signs of His Return, Jesus responded in GREAT DETAIL about a MULTITUDE OF SIGNS to be WATCHING for. (Matt. 24, Luke 17, Luke 21, and Mark 13). In 1st Thess. 5, the IMPORTANCE OF WATCHING is emphasized, as we are admonished NOT to let that Day of the Lord overtake us as a thief and NOT to be found SPIRITUALLY ASLEEP, as other Christians are, but to be found WATCHING WHEN HE RETURNS. Anything that is IMPORTANT TO JESUS, should be IMPORTANT to us.
REASON #2--So we can be blessed by the Lord.
In Luke 12:37--38, Jesus says, "BLESSED are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find WATCHING...And if He shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, BLESSED are those servants." If you will WATCH, you will not only KNOW, you will be BLESSED BY THE LORD.
REASON #3--To get our eyes off the world, and onto God BEFORE IT IS ETERNALLY TOO LATE.
Lot and his family were a type of the Rapture before the Great Tribulation. God said that before He could destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, the righteous people had to be removed (Genesis 19). Luke 17:32 is a WARNING to the Christian IN THE LAST DAYS, "Remember Lot's wife." Lot's wife had a ticket out of there, but she did NOT make it out, BECAUSE HER AFFECTIONS WERE ON THE THINGS OF THIS LIFE ON EARTH. May each one of us, as Christians, be able to DISCERN THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES in which we now live, and get our affections off the things of the earth, and onto the things of God, BEFORE IT IS ETERNALLY TOO LATE!
REASON #4--To deal with any sin in our lives, BEFORE IT IS ETERNALLY TOO LATE.
In Matt.24:48--51, a Lord--Servant relationship was already established, but the servant began committing sin. Why? BECAUSE HE DIDN'T THINK HIS LORD WAS COMING BACK SOON! "The Lord of that servant shall come IN A DAY WHEN HE LOOKETH NOT FOR HIM, AND IN AN HOUR THAT HE IS NOT AWARE OF, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
These verses are VERY, VERY sobering verses for any of you who think that KNOWING THE APPROXIMATE TIME OF OUR LORD'S COMING IS NOT IMPORTANT. Christians, are YOU sounding the alarm? Pastors, are YOU WARNING your people of the LATENESS OF THE HOUR?
REASON # 5--To MOTIVATE Christians to INTENSIFY and ACCELERATE our efforts and to develop a real sense of URGENCY about how very little time we have left to win souls and to work for the Lord.
THIS MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON WHY GOD WANTS US TO KNOW!!! In 1st Peter 1:1--11, it talks about working for the Lord with great DILIGENCE and concludes, "For so an ENTRANCE shall be ministered unto you ABUNDANTLY INTO THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST."
The word "diligence" in verses 5 and 10 means to haste unto, to speed, to hurry up, to ACCELERATE OUR EFFORTS. When you become convinced of the reality of your Lord's Soon Return being AT THE DOORS NOW, it should MOTIVATE YOU like nothing else ever has before.
2nd Peter 3:13--14 says, "...we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, where in dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, SEEING THAT YE LOOK FOR SUCH THINGS, BE DILIGENT, that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." "BE DILIGENT" means to ACCELERATE AND INTENSIFY YOUR EFFORTS AS YOU SEE THE TIME GROWING SHORTER AND SHORTER. Let the Lord develop that urgency in your spirit as He brings you to greater understanding concerning the CLOSENESS OF HIS COMING.
In 1st Corinthians 9:24, we are told that we are in a race. When a runner hears the gun, it signals one more lap. It's time to "kick it into high gear", or ACCELERATE. It is time to get INTENSE. It is time to realize the URGENCY of the situation, and it is NOW time to PUT IT IN OVERDRIVE. Can you see the parallels for the end-times Christian? Oh, how much the Lord could accomplish through us if we would ALL realize how very little time we have left! Sadly, that is NOT the case.
REASON #6--Satan knows his time is short, so we should, too.
In Revelation 12:12, it says that Satan knows when his time is getting short. 1st Peter 5:8 says, "...your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." If Satan KNOWS there is but a VERY SHORT TIME LEFT, AND YOU DON'T KNOW, he has you at an unfair advantage. He's thinking short term, and you are thinking long term. Because of this, he is devouring many Christians who are becoming discouraged, who are giving up too easily, who are yielding to temptations, and who are easy prey for the wiles of the devil.
Fellow Christian, do NOT give up now--THE RACE IS ALMOST OVER AND THE FINISH LINE IS JUST AHEAD! HANG ON TO JESUS BECAUSE HE IS COMING VERY, VERY SOON TO TAKE US HOME!!! SOON AND VERY SOON WE ARE GOING TO SEE THE KING!!! HALLELUJAH!
REASON #7--To get as many people into the Ark of Safety as we possibly can, BEFORE IT IS ETERNALLY TOO LATE.
Matt. 25:43 says, "But KNOW this, that if the goodman of the house HAD KNOWN in what watch the thief would come, HE WOULD HAVE WATCHED, AND WOULD NOT HAVE SUFFERED HIS HOUSE TO BE BROKEN UP."
Jonah gave the people of Ninevah a warning from God to REPENT OF THEIR SINS OR BE DESTROYED IN 40 DAYS. When confronted with the reality of HOW VERY LITTLE TIME THEY HAD LEFT BEFORE GOD'S JUDGMENT WAS GOING TO FALL ON THEM, THEY REPENTED!!! We need to confront people today in the same manner. We have just a VERY, VERY SHORT TIME LEFT. It is our duty to WARN them. It is up to the Holy Spirit to convict them. Let's ALL do our part. Do EVERYTHING you can to get your loved ones saved and ready to go into the ARK OF SAFETY--BEFORE IT IS ETERNALLY TOO LATE.
REASON #8--To WARN people of the SOON--COMING SUDDEN DESTRUCTION AND GREAT TRIBULATION THAT IS ALMOST HERE.
Rev. 6:17 says, "For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? If you saw a blind person walking down the tracks toward a fast-approaching train, how long would you wait before you yelled out a WARNING. Hebrews 10:25 says, "...as you SEE THAT DAY APPROACHING. That is one of the reasons we NEED TO KNOW, SO THAT WE CAN HAVE SPIRITUAL EYES TO SEE THE FAST-APPROACHING DESTRUCTION.
THERE IS AN UNPARALLED APOCALYPSE OF UNBELIEVABLE MAGNITUDE MOVING LIKE A FREIGHT TRAIN DIRECTLY TOWARD US EVEN AS YOU ARE READING THIS!!! The more convinced one becomes that the Day of God's wrath is NOW almost upon us, the more we can convince the spiritually blind and give them proper WARNING. 2nd Peter says, "The Lord is...not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentence."
When Christians KNOW that time is getting short BEFORE GOD'S JUDGMENT IS GOING TO FALL, they become God's WATCHMEN. Ezekiel 33:6 gives a SERIOUS WARNING TO ALL WATCHMEN, "But if the WATCHMAN see the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity. BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THE WATCHMAN'S HAND." Do you want their blood on YOUR hands? Then God says to WARN THEM BEFORE IT IS ETERNALLY TOO LATE!
REASON # 9--TO NOT MISS OUT ON THE EXCITEMENT AND JOY THAT COMES WITH ANTICIPATING OUR WEDDING DAY.
When you KNOW that day is VERY VERY NEAR, you can "look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption DRAWETH NEAR." (Luke 21:28), as opposed to being content that it will happen some day, you just don't care when. 2nd Peter 3:12 says, "LOOKING FOR and HASTING UNTO the coming of the day of God." "Hasting" means eagerly awaiting and anticipating. Many Christians are missing out on the excitement and joy that comes with KNOWING THAT DAY IS ALMOST HERE! EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS!
REASON #10--TO OBTAIN THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
2nd Timothy 4:8 says, "Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day: and not me only, but unto ALL THEM ALSO THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING." Be honest, Christian friend, do YOU love His appearing or are you hoping He puts if off for several more years?
REASON #11--TO PREPARE FOR THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.
2nd Corinthians 5:10 says, "For we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Every Christian is going to have to give an account of himself (Romans 14:10) before God, for what he has done since he was saved. What an awesome and humbling thought! How much thought have YOU given to that lately? Positions in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, different crowns, and many different ETERNAL REWARDS are being established in Heaven, even as you are reading this.
How will YOU fare at the JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST? It is IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW that you have but a VERY SHORT TIME LEFT to alter your account in Heaven. Your words, your deeds, your attitudes, and the motives of your heart will be judged. It will happen VERY SOON, SO GET READY!
REASON #12--TO NOT MISS THE RAPTURE OURSELVES.
It is VERY important that you read our very popular tract, "Are All Christians Going in the Rapture?". Could the Rapture be a REWARD for faithfulness and service? Ten virgins went out to meet the Lord, but the door was shut behind the five virgins who were spiritually asleep and had run out of oil, which represents the Holy Spirit.
Look up the following verses to see what may happen to the worldly, backslidden, unwatchful, compromising, and lukewarm Christians at the time of the Rapture: Rev. 2:4--5, Rev. 3:10. Rev. 3:15--16, Matt. 24: 48--51, Matt. 25:26--30, and Rev. 7:9--14. PLEASE do not assume that it does not matter what kind of life you are living and what your spiritual condition is, when the the Rapture takes place. That is not only non-Scriptural, but a VERY, VERY DANGEROUS ASSUMPTION. Looking up those verses, and reading the tract mentioned in the paragraph above, may be the most important things you have ever done.
Yes, Christian friend, it is VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU KNOW at least the approximate time of our Lord's Soon Return, as Jesus WARNS YOU NOT TO LET THE DAY OF THE LORD COME UPON YOU UNEXPECTEDLY in Luke 21:34--36, where he is talking to the Christians, not the unbelievers. "AND TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting (partying), and drunkenness, and CARES OF THIS LIFE, AND SO THAT DAY COME UPON YOU UNAWARES. For as a snare (TRAP), shall it come on ALL them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. WATCH YE therefore, and pray always, that YE MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man (Jesus)."
Jesus is coming VERY, VERY SOON!!! It is EXTREMELY important that we ALL KNOW this!!! LET IT RADICALLY CHANGE OUR LIVES, LORD!!!