1 THESSALONIANS 5:2
“For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.”
Now, why in the world would Paul call Jesus a thief? First of all, we have to remember every word of Scripture is inspired by God. So, these are His words, not Paul’s. Secondly, Paul is not calling Jesus a thief. He said He will be “like a thief.” This word for thief describes someone who comes in silently, covertly to take something. We actually get our word “cleptomania” from it.
Jesus will return for His bride, the church, without fanfare or warning. He will suddenly appear, and we will be taken. Poof! He will literally “steal” us away without notice. The lost world will be reeling, wondering what happened. I am sure they will explain it away, but there will be no explanation for millions of people simply vanishing. But we will know, won’t we?
Trying to explain this to children can be challenging. The idea of a thief is frightening to everyone. Make sure you emphasize that Paul is just comparing the suddenness to Christ’s return to an unexpected thief, not that He is one. Get your children to act out how they think Christ will return. Remember, His character is still portrayed in everything He does.
How do we get them to apply this to their lives? Ask them who Jesus will NOT be taking with Him? Any and all unbelievers will be left behind. Ask them who they know who are not believers. And ask them to explain how they think the world will look when the Lord takes ALL believers out. Probably not too good. If all good is gone, what is left? Evil! I certainly don’t want to live in that.
So, what can you do to ensure as many people as you know get “stolen away” by the Lord? Speak the gospel. Spread the good news. Preach truth to your neighbors. Share it with a friend. Just do whatever you must to get them to receive the Lord before it’s too late.
Thank You, Lord, for giving us warning through this verse today. We know You will return soon and without notice. Help me to be even more vocal about You to others.