If we believe in our hearts that Jesus is coming again, we must be ready for His return; 1 Thessalonians 5:2 says He will come “like a thief in the night.” This chapter, 1 Thessalonians 5, offers four truths about Jesus’ glorious return.
First, it will be a surprising day.
We are certain that He is coming, but we do not know when. As we wait for Him, we should be sharing our faith with others, so that they are also ready for the Second Coming.
Adrian Rogers says, “Jesus Christ is coming; He came on time, He was born on time, He died on time, and He rose on time. He’s coming again in His own time; He will never be late.”
Second, we can escape sudden destruction.
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4). The day of Christ’s return will be a solemn, sudden, and sure day—the calm before the storm of judgment to come. On that day, He will rapture His Church from the world, and believers will escape the Great Tribulation prophesied in Revelation.
Third, we must endure this surrounding darkness.
We live in a world plagued by moral, spiritual, and political darkness. As children of God, we must be aware and wise up, be awake and get up, and be alert and dress up—putting on the armor of God. According to 1 Thessalonians 5:8, we need to get our hearts right and keep our heads right: “But let us who are of the day be sober.”
Finally, we will experience a sure deliverance:
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11).
This passage explains that we can expect to be delivered from His wrath. This assurance is meant to edify us in these Last Days. As God rescued Noah and his family before flooding the Earth in Genesis 6, so will He rapture His Church before the Great Tribulation.
Apply it to your life
As we wait with expectation for Jesus’ return, we should be in the habit of sharing the Gospel. Adrian Rogers says, “Get your head out of the clouds of prophecy and get your feet on the pavement of soul-winning.”
now paul was not setting a date. What he was saying is two things. First of All, the certainty secondly, the uncertainty. The certainty is coming. The uncertainty. We do not know when he comes, but he comes as a thief in the night For over 50 years. Pastor teacher and author. Adrian Rogers preached to audiences and touched lives all over the world with his unique brand of solid biblical teaching. Today. He’ll be bringing that uniqueness to this series of prophetic messages that we’re calling the edge of eternity. Have your bibles ready and join us for today’s message. And as always you can stream this message again and download many other resources related to today’s message all at L WF dot org. Now let’s join Adrian Rogers. Would you take God’s word and find first Thessalonians, chapter five. First Thessalonians Chapter five. And when you found it, look up here, a man parked his automobile in front of his house and he did what no man should do. He left the key in the ignition thinking he’d be right back out when he came out, the automobile was gone. His house keys and other keys were there in the ignition and he felt that horrible sinking feeling that anybody would feel who had done such a thing. He reported the automobile was stolen, but the police did not find it immediately. But behold the next morning that automobile was parked in his driveway washed filled with gasoline, the keys back in the ignition, sitting there Pristine in condition and there was a note and the note said, I am sorry that I took your car. I was in an emergency. I had to have transportation. The car has been washed. It has been taken care of it is filled with gasoline and here are some complimentary tickets to the Dallas football team, the Dallas cowboys for you and your wife. When I read that demand said, well, you know, nobody should steal an automobile, but this man can’t be all bad, whoever it was that stole my car can’t be all bad. And so the man and his wife who normally would not go to see the Dallas cowboys go play football, went to see the Dallas cowboys play football when they return home. The house had been cleaned out. A thief had come. A very clever thief. I want to talk to you tonight or this afternoon, this morning. Whenever it is on this subject, a thief in the night. Look if you will hear. And First Thessalonians chapter five but of the times and the seasons Brethren, you have no need that I write unto you 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 are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the Children of light and the Children of the day. Ye are not of the night, nor of the Darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation, for God have not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord, jesus christ who died for us. That whether we wake our sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together and edify one another, even as also ye do. There are four things that will help you to get ready. Four things you need to understand. Four truths that are in the passage that I just read to you number one. Here’s something you can expect you can expect. You can expect a surprising day. We can expect a surprising day. Look again in verses one and to look at it. But the times and the seasons brethren, you have no need that. I write unto you for you for yourselves know perfectly the day of the Lord. So cometh as a thief in the night. Now, how does a thief in the night comes? Well, he comes surprisingly no thief ever wrote a note to you and said tonight. I’m going to rob your house. He comes when you’re not expecting it. And so it is with the second coming of our Lord and Savior, jesus christ and paul told these people, I don’t need to remind you again of the times and the seasons. Now paul was not setting a date, What he was saying is two things first of all, the certainty secondly, the uncertainty, the certainty is coming. The uncertainty, we do not know when he comes, but he comes as a thief in the night Acts, chapter one, verses six through eight, the disciples were there with our Lord on on the amount of ascension, he’s getting ready to go back to heaven. They like you. They wanted to know about prophecy and the beginning in verse six when they therefore will come together. They asked of him saying, Lord will thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel and he said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the father had put in his own power. Anybody who sets a date is disobeying the Lord, It is not for you to know. Remember uh in 1988, a man wrote a book called 88 Reasons Why Jesus Christ is coming. In 1988. He made a fool of himself. He made a fool of himself. The bible says it’s not for you to know, but he goes on to say, but ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me. And what does he say. Don’t go around setting dates. Get your heads out of the clouds of prophecy and get your feet on the pavement of soul winning and share and get people ready for the second coming of jesus christ. Here’s the second thing. Not only can you expect a surprising day, but you can escape a sudden Destest. Look now in verses three and 4, 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. Now notice they shall not escape, but he’s not talking to you. If you know the Lord, you will escape the rapture of the church will take you out before this day comes this day of sudden destruction. Now, what what is he talking about? He’s talking about the great tribulation. But there’s coming a day that the bible calls sudden destruction. It’s right there in verse two, he calls it the day of the Lord. Remember when they were crucifying, jesus, He’s going down that via Dolorosa and the women are are weeping and he says, don’t weep for me. We for yourselves. This is your day. My day has not yet come. His day is going to come and it’s going to be a very solemn day. Let me give you some scriptures that talk about the day of the Lord for example, Joel Chapter two, verses one and two blow the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble for the day of the Lord cometh. It is nigh at hand. A day of darkness and of gloominess. A day of clouds and of thick darkness as the morning spread upon the mountains. A great people and a strong. Now notice this phrase, There have not been ever the light, neither shall be anymore after it. Even to the years of many generations. What’s he saying? He’s saying the day of the Lord is a day that is absolutely totally distinct. Never, never has there been a day like this? They’ve been unmitigated horrors of war, torture. We think of ethnic cleansing. But what are you saying here? There has never, never, never been a day like this day. That’s joe two versus one. And to listen to Jeremiah chapter 30 and verse seven, Alas, for that day is great. So none is like it, None is like it. It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, Jacob is the name for fleshly jews, but he shall be saved out of it. There’s going to come a national deliverance for But you out of this great tribulation. He’s going to be saved out of it. It’s going to be a solemn day. It’s going to be a sudden day. Notice again in verse three when they say peace and safety, then sudden destruction. It’s like the calm before the storm and this kind of preaching, you’re called a calamity howler. But this world is going to be caught by surprise because it will not here and it will not heed God’s word. Now. What was it like? Well, the daily round of life was going on. They were having weddings. Uh, they were, they were having parties, they were having business. They were just going on. That’s the day of Noah. And then one day, God said, noah, come on out, come on into the art. And then the flood came and then it was too late. You see, this day is a solemn day. This day will be a surprising day. They’re eating, drinking, marrying, giving, marrying and giving in marriage. And then I’m going to say, folks, it is assured a look again, if you will in this passage of scripture verse three for when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as travail upon a woman with child. You see, the world is pregnant with judgment and this solemn day, this sudden day is assured a what what he’s saying is, it’s like a woman who’s going to give birth one woman was about seven months along and somebody said to his her husband, is your wife expecting, He said, she’s not expecting. It’s a sure thing. And so it is. So it is with this judgment. Now we can’t escape this judgment And I’m going to tell you about that later on. First of all, we can expect a surprising day. Number two, we can escape a sudden destruction. Number three, We must endure A surrounding darkness looking verses four through 8. But ye Brethren talking about the saved 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. You’re not of the night, nor of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for an helmet. The hope of salvation for God hath not appointed us to wrath. Now, we must endure a surrounding darkness. Uh, the world right now is already in darkness. Moral darkness. Spiritual darkness, Social darkness, political darkness. And we must not be asleep. The world is asleep. The world has been chloroformed by the devil and the world is asleep in a drunken stupor. Now, let me tell you what you should do as a child of God. Today, listen to me, Number one, you should be aware And wise up, look in verse five. Uh Ye are all the Children of the Light and the Children of the Day. We are not of the night, nor of the darkness. And so what you need to do is to be aware to wise up, we’re the only ones, the only ones in this world today who can make sense of what is going on and we need to be aware. Are you aware of these things? That’s why I’m preaching a series of messages. We we may not see a new millennium jesus is coming. You say, well everything looks fine. That’s exactly my point. When they say peace and safety then sudden destruction, we should be aware and wise up and we should be awake and get up, Look in verses six and 7, let therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober for they that sleep sleep in the night and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night, folks come to church on sunday morning with a sign around the neck says please don’t disturb, I hope that this sermon will not be a lullaby, it will be a revelation, It’ll be an alarm clock to wake you up. The stage is being set and the second coming of jesus christ is not a theory to be discussed. It’s a truth to be lived. You’re not supposed to put on a white robe and go sit on the mountaintop, jesus said, you occupy until I come. What does that mean to occupy if you have an occupation, that’s your job, Get busy bringing this world to jesus christ, Here’s the third thing. Not only should you be aware and wise up and be awake and get up. You should be alert and dress up. Look in Verse eight, let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of Faith and Love and for an helmet The Hope of Salvation, the two things that you need to be wearing when you walk out of this auditorium. First of all, you need to get your heart right, That’s the breastplate of Faith and love. That covers your heart. You need to love jesus. You need to love one another. You need to put your faith where God put your sins on the Lord, jesus christ, that’s the breastplate. You need to wear that. If you don’t wear that, you’re not ready to live in these dark days. And then not only keep your heart right, but you keep your head right? Put on the helmet of Salvation, the helmet of the Hope of Salvation. Now, what does it mean? The hope of Salvation? Does that mean I hope I’m saying no, that’s not what that means at all. You’re not to have a hope so Salvation, You’d have a no. So Salvation, Then why is the bible used the word, the Hope of Salvation because the bible uses the word Hope in a way that we don’t use it today in the bible. The word Hope means absolute certainty rock, ribbed certainty based on the word of God, for example, the Second coming of jesus is called the blessed hope. You are to have your heart covered with faith and love and you are to have a helmet salute, certainty that you’re saying I would not go one day without knowing that I’m saying, listen God in heaven is listening to me, I would not go one day not knowing that I’m saved, willingly go that day for one million, Our $1 billion. Not one day you need to know that you know that you know that you’re saying we are living in surrounding darkness, put on the breastplate of faith and love and put on the helmet of the hope, the certainty of Salvation, you need to be alert and dress up. Now, here’s the fourth and final thing. I want to say that this passage teaches us what we we can we can expect a surprising day. Um, we can escape a sudden destruction. We we must endure a surrounding darkness. We’re not, the world is in darkness, we’re not, we’re Children of light. But here’s the fourth and final thing. We will experience a sure deliverance. If we’ll do these other things, we will experience a sure Deliverance. Look beginning in Verse nine. Now, look at this, there’s some theologians who believe that the church is going to go through the great tribulation this day that I told you there’s none of the like it. But look at this for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord, jesus christ. The word salvation means deliverance, deliverance through our Lord, jesus christ, who died for us. That whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Now watch this. Wherefore comfort yourselves together and edify one another even as also ye do Now. The fact that jesus christ is coming at any moment is a fact that will comfort and it will edify. Now. I want to tell you why I believe that the church is going to be taken out before the great tribulation. And I want to give you three reasons you want to find them right here. I want you to write these three words down, explanation, expectation edification. Now an explanation. Look in verse nine, how does paul explain it for God hath not appointed us to wrath. Remember that the tribulation is the great day of his wrath. God chastises his Children. But God never pours his wrath upon his Children. God’s wrath is for the unsaved and God hath not appointed us to wrath. Go back to the first chapter of this book. First Thessalonians 1: verse nine. Look at it, for they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had among you, how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his son from heaven, whom he raised up from the dead, even jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Jesus delivered us from the wrath to come. I’ll give you two classic examples we’ve talked about in the day of Noah, in the day of Noah, the flood did not come until Noah was taken out and put in the art. The other classic example, as as as the day of law And by the way, in Luke chapter 17, Jesus also said as it was in the days of lot when God destroyed Solomon and Damar with brimstone. That’s the way it’s going to be when I come again. And what were the days of Lot marked by? Do you know what? The days of Lot. Lot lived in solemn. The days of Lot were marked by sexual perversion and the days of Lot were marked by economic prosperity. The dow jones, If they’d had one, would have been very high the day that the fire fell on sodom. How do you know that Adrian the bible says in the book of Ezekiel, this was the sin of your sister sodom, idleness and fullness of bread. And they were not ashamed when they committed abomination. They didn’t strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy. But you think about this? Uh the sexual abomination? Uh Sandy used to slink down back alleys, struts down main streets. They were not ashamed. They couldn’t blush. But there was so much idleness, fullness of bread. They didn’t even need to work. I’m telling you it was a time of economic prosperity and it was a time, it was a time of sexual perversion. And and and jesus said as it was in the days of Lot, as it was in Noah as it was in the days of Lot. Now listen, before the flood came, God took Noah out and God put Noah in the ark before God destroyed sodom with fire and brimstone, the Angel said to Lot, come and get out of the city. I can’t do anything until you come out of this city. God would not pour his wrath upon his man a lot, even though Lot was a compromising worldly christian lot was taken out before the fire fell. Uh Noah was taken out before the flood came. And so first of all, there’s an explanation. Look at it again, in verse nine, for God hath not appointed us to wrath. Now, not only is there an explanation, but there’s an expectation. Look in verse 10 who died for us that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Now, Paul was expecting christ, he says, we paul was expecting jesus in his lifetime. Was paul wrong? No paul was right. You go back to Chapter four and verse 17, Paul is explaining this rapture and he says, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up with him. He included himself. I mean, that was 2000 years ago, 2000 years ago. They were living on the edge of eternity. We’re always on the edge of eternity? The apostle john said in his first epistle, little Children, it is the last time. And so paul was expecting christ, you should be expecting christ. Now, here’s the point, here’s the point. If the tribulation comes first, then we’re not looking for christ, we’re looking for any christ. Paul was looking for the Lord, jesus christ when you’re looking for the tribulation to come rather than looking up, you’re looking around now, here’s the third and final reason and I’m finished, I’m giving you, I’m telling you folks why we need to be looking for jesus at any moment. First of all, there’s an explanation, were not appointed to write. Secondly, there’s an expectation where Jesus can come at any moment. Thirdly, there is the edification. Look in verse 11. Wherefore comfort yourselves together and edify one another even as also you do now. The fact that jesus is coming at any moment is a great comfort and a great edification if I believe that the church is gonna go through seven years of a day. So horrible, So terrible that jesus said, and Jeremiah said, and Daniel said, and Joel said, There’s never, never, never, never, never been a day like that, do you think that will notify me? Even so come, Great tribulation! No, even so come, Lord jesus, even so come, Lord, jesus, I’m not looking for any christ, I’m looking for christ, I’m I’m waiting for the trumpet sound at any moment. Just as God said, Noah, going to that art. And just as God said, lot get out of this city, he’s going to say to Adrian, come up hither and the trumpet will sound, We’re going to meet jesus, just like that. Now folks, this is serious business. We can expect a surprising day. We can escape a sudden destruction. We must endure a surrounding darkness and friend, we can experience a sure deliverance. Would you bow your heads in prayer? Heads about and eyes are closed. You can put on today the breastplate of faith and love. You can put on the helmet of salvation. You can be saved today once and for all now and forever by trusting jesus christ And I want you to pray this prayer and I want you to pray from your heart. Dear God, I know that you love me and I know that you want to save me, jesus, you died to save me and you promised to save me if I would trust you, I do trust you, jesus Right now, this moment with all of my heart like a child come into my heart, forgive my sin, cleanse me. Save me, Jesus, pray that from your heart. Save me, jesus, Did you ask him then, thank him, pray this way, jesus. I believe you’re the son of God. I believe you paid for my sin with your blood. I believe that you were raised from the dead and I now just thank you for saving me. You’re my Lord, my savior. My master. Begin now to make me the person you want me to be. And I’ll live for you, not in order to be saved, but because I am saved and I will not be ashamed of you, I’ll make it public if you just give me the strength in your name. I pray amen Friend one More time. I want to remind you that our Lord says, cast all your burden upon me for I care for you. One of the burdens that we share is the burden of sin Unforgiven. Do you have that burden? I let Amanda christ one time and after he prayed, he said mr It seems to me that I’ve been carrying around a load of rocks and I just set them down. Would you like to sit down that load of rocks and let the Lord jesus christ lift that burden. Would you pray this way? Oh God! I am a sinner. I’m lost. I need to be saved. Thank you for loving me in spite of my sin. Thank you for sending your son the Lord jesus to pay my sin debt with his shed blood. Lord jesus come into my heart, forgive my sin, cleanse me, take control of my life and begin now to make me the person you want me to be. If you pray that prayer trust the Lord to do what you ask him to do and then write to us so we can rejoice with you and we’ll send you some literature to help you to get started in your christian life. God bless you. We hope that today’s message has been an encouragement to you. If so, remember, you can stream this message again, share it with a friend and download other resources related to this message all at L WF dot org or the my L WF app. You can also subscribe to our daily heartbeat emails. Each heartbeat contains the daily devotional thought from Adrian Rogers as well as a link to our daily radio programs and other resources delivered directly to your computer or mobile device each day. And if you’re looking for some inspiration or encouragement to get you through the week, check us out on social media at L WF ministries and don’t forget you can catch up with our program each week on our facebook page or Youtube channel or on the my L WF app. Thanks for joining us for our program today. We’ll see you next time this month, Love Worth finding wants to help you anticipate christ’s return as we live on the edge of eternity. That’s why when you donate to the ministry this month, we want to thank you by sending a copy of tapestry promises and prophecies. This journal explores the meaning and symbolism of the Book of revelation using Adrian Rogers five step process for examining God’s word, request This journal, when you call with a gift at 1 806 47 94 100 or give online at l WF dot org, understand the profound truth of revelation in a practical way, call or go online today.