Like A Thief In The Night


Without warning.

Utterly impossible to anticipate.

Like a thief who slips into the house at a time you could never predict.

That’s the way the Apostle Paul describes the coming moment when the time runs out on this world as we know it. He wrote these words to the church in Thessalonica:

“Now conceding the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

1 Thessalonians 5.1-3

These believers had been taught by Paul and his team that there was a time coming that every person who has trusted Jesus for their eternal hope would be taken out of this world, those who have died will be raised from their graves and those who are still living will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air. This is a strange and wonderful promise.

But those who have not responded to the message of hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus will face the wrath that all mankind has justly earned by our rebellion against our Creator.

Paul reminded his readers of what they had been taught about these things. He warned about the shadowy, veiled perception of “peace and security” that will lull many into a complacent comfort. And he assures us that this day of reckoning will come.


Without warning.

Utterly impossible to anticipate.

Like a thief who slips into a house at a time you could never predict.

So… what does that mean for us?

It means that the time for our work in this place will be up. It means that we won’t know when the clock is running out.

I love watching football. However, it has always been a frustrating thing to me when a team has built a comfortable lead and begins to milk the clock with the aim of shortening the game.

I understand the strategy of it and I don’t begrudge the wisdom of it, but as a spectator, I sometimes think that it would be better if they couldn’t see the clock and had to just keep playing until the final horn sounded to end the game.

Our time on this earth will be much like that—while we may by certain circumstances see the expiration of the clock approaching for our own lives, we won’t know when the horn will sound at last. But what does that teach us?


Live well.

Live every moment as though it matters.

Live the day you have before you in a way that invests in things that matter—people first and foremost.

Live as though this world and everything in it are indeed temporary.

Live this life for the next one, the real one that never ends.

Live like you’re trying to run up the score on your opponent.


Father, show us how to invest this day in the eternal things and to live every moment we are given.

One response to “Like A Thief In The Night”

  1. Reblogged this on Call to Witness.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: