We began our comments on this epistle by noting that the primary emphasis and theme is “Jesus is Coming!”. The latter part of chapter 4 reassures the brethren that those Christians who have died will be no means be left behind when Jesus returns.
Chapter 5 then opens with the timing of the Second Coming. Paul reminds them of their own knowledge that Jesus will come as a thief in the night. This is not the only text that speaks of the Second Coming using the thief analogy (cf 2 Pet 3:10).
In view of the innumerable (failed) Second Coming predictions, and in view of the last seventy years of failed premillennial prophecies regarding the secret second coming of Jesus, commonly called the Rapture, and in view of the continued false teaching concerning the “signs of the times” or “end time signs,” let’s take a look at a couple of things concerning Paul’s statement about the Second Coming.
First, when was the last time you heard of a thief calling a business or homeowner to let them know when they intended to break in? When was the last time a thief provided some hints or “signs” that would give rise to diligence in watching for his coming? I think we all know the answer to those questions.
Second, statistically speaking, most of us can expect to be the victim of a thief at some point in our lives. However, we can prepare ourselves against a thief by readying ourselves (e.g. locking doors and windows, installing motion lights and/or alarm systems, planting thorny shrubs under the windows, keeping dogs, etc) and being diligent to maintain our readiness.
Given all of this, one should not give heed to anyone who claims to have some knowledge of the Lord’s second coming. Those who do claim more knowledge than Jesus Himself, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Because we know with absolute certainty that Jesus is coming again to judge the world (Acts 17:31), we can and must prepare ourselves for that inevitability. This is done by obeying the Gospel (1 Peter 4:17, Mark 16:15-16) and living in such a way as to be ready when Jesus comes again (Matt 24:42-44; Rev 3:3, 16:15, 1 John 1:7).