Monday, December 2, 2013

Peace, Safety, and the Thief in the Night

On this blog, I occasionally post various signs happening in the world that point to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, such as my recent messages
Urgent: Jesus Christ's Return is Imminent!,
Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality

It's interesting to see the responses I get.  Most people are thankful for these articles, but here and there I sometimes get someone who cautions me that we will not have any advance warning when Christ is about to come back.  This leads me to ask myself the question: Does God give us warnings to alert us of His coming?  If these warnings cause someone to be afraid, does that mean the message is not from God?

I think the popular message of today is one of "peace and safety."  This is what everyone wants to hear, but it is false. The antichrist and the false prophet are also saying “Peace, peace” when there is no peace.  The prophets of old spoke about this, as did our Lord Jesus and the apostles.

Jesus Did Not Come to Bring Peace
Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Mat 10:34-39)

He said He did not come to bring peace on the earth.  Until the day when He rules and reigns as King over the earth, there will be no peace.  Until then, even the members of your own family will be your enemies.  That’s why we must love the Lord more than them.  We’ve got to take up our cross, follow Jesus, and lose our life for His sake.  Only then will you find your life.

"Peace, peace," But There is No Peace
The Lord declared through Jeremiah, regarding the false prophets, "They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace." (Jer 6:14; cf., Jer 8:11)

The Lord declared through Ezekiel, regarding the false prophets, "It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash; (Eze 13:10)

This is always the strategy of the enemy.  He seeks to put people to sleep. He seeks to numb them to what’s really happening, so they will follow him.  Then they become unaware of the signs of the times, and they are unprepared for the return of Christ.

Understanding the times
In fact, many Christians have fallen for the lie that we cannot know the season of Christ's appearing.  They believe that predicting the season of our Lord's return by observing signs is not biblical.  But Jesus did predict the signs that would occur right before He returns (Mt 24; Mk 13; Lk21).  The apostle Paul also spoke of specific signs that would happen before Christ returns (2 Thes 2:1-12; 1 Tim 4:1-3; 2 Tim 3:1-9).

Occult peace symbol
The enemy always preaches peace without Christ at the center.  This is the message of the UN and the antichrist himself.  They even have a symbol for it, called the peace symbol, also known as the Cross of Nero, who despised Christians.  Many Christians like to wear this symbol, because they are unaware of its true meaning.  If you research it, you will find that the peace sign is an occult symbol, used in satanism.  It is a broken, upside-down cross, and a mockery of what Christ has done to redeem mankind.  It’s like a wish to reverse Christ’s redemptive work and instead bring souls down to hell.  It’s a symbol of false peace, because there can be no true peace without Christ.  The world will never know true peace without Him as King, and neither will any individual, unless Christ becomes their Lord and Savior.

The apostle Paul said, “While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” (1Th 5:3-6)

We are living in the very days that Paul spoke about.  They are saying, “Peace and safety,” in many different ways right now.  For one thing, look at the Middle East peace process.  That’s been going on for as long as I can remember, and there has been no real peace there.  In fact, it has been heating up and tension has been building steadily to the point that they are on the brink of war. 

The antichrist does not want Israel to defend itself against her enemies, because he plans to betray her and lead the nations to attack and divide Jerusalem.  So he speaks empty words about peace and safety, while just the opposite is coming.

Sudden Destruction...Like a Thief in the Night
The Lord Jesus is coming now to collect His Bride.  And He is ready to punish the wicked.  Sudden destruction is now about to come upon this world.  You can see the labor pains.  The nations are in anguish, the earth is reeling, and even the heavens are being shaken.  Soon our Lord will pierce the clouds in glory with His holy angels, and He will rapture up the saints to be with Him in heaven forever. 

This will come like a thief in the night for those who are not ready.  They will think they have made the house safe and secure, when in fact it is not. Since they live in sin, they are not safe and secure, but vulnerable to total destruction.  They will not expect it when it hits them. 

Jesus said to the Church in Sardis: “'So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.’” (Rev 3:3)

His warning to the church in Sardis implies that if you repent and wake up, His coming will not surprise you like a thief, and you will know the season when He is coming.

He also said, “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Rev 16:15)

The one who stays awake and dressed will be blessed, for they will not go naked and be shamefully exposed before the Holy One, when He comes.

The apostle Paul said, “…you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”

The coming of the Lord will not overtake the elect like a thief, if they are true sons of the light and sons of the day, not walking in any darkness at all.  If we are not asleep, but alert and sober, then we will be expecting His return at any moment.  We will see all the signs that our Lord prophesied would happen before His return (Mt 24; Mk 13; Lk 21), and we will know it is the season for the rapture.  We will look up, for our redemption draws near, and it is even at the door.  But those who sleep will not be aware of the hour.

The parable of the ten virgins teaches the same thing.  For those who are alert, whose lamps are lit, and whose flasks are full of extra oil, they will be ready when He comes.  It’s the ones who are not alert and who do not prepare themselves who are shut out of the wedding (see Mt 25:1-13).

Putting it All Together
The people of God have historically rejected the true messengers that God sends to warn them, and it is the same way today.  The peace and safety message has always been the popular one that false prophets proclaim.  But the only ones who have peace in their hearts are those who know the Prince of Peace.  Nevertheless, the Word clearly teaches that there are calamities coming upon the earth.

There are definite signs that Scripture says will happen before the Lord returns, and we see them taking place all around us.  It’s time to wake up, repent, and live a life of daily repentance.  We need to produce the fruit of repentance, walking in love and in the light, and serving the Lord.  We need to watch and pray, always being ready for Jesus’ return.  Then that day will not overtake us like a thief in the night.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: You must take responsibility for your own actions. Nobody knows the day or the hour, and in no way am I date setting. This is only to provide you with information, so that you can make your own decisions, for which you will be accountable to God.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Urgent: Jesus Christ's Return is Imminent - 2013, Outline of Endtime Events, my daughter's poem, The Midnight Hour, her music video call The Coming, and the other posts in this blog available through the links in the side bar.  You may also visit our Signs of the Times Directory, and access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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