Both Matthew and Paul tell us that Christ will return to Earth physically as a ‘ thief in the night’. Yet, many misunderstand to who this refers; believers or unbelievers? Context shows us.

In Matthew 24, it is all about the Second Coming of Christ and not about the Pretribulation Rapture. In verse 29, we see that these prophesied future events will take place AFTER the Tribulation period.

Jesus says in verse 29,
“Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days …”

“42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch THE THIEF would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24: 42-44 KJV)

The context here is addressing UNBELIEVERS who survived the Tribulation period. To them Jesus’ Second coming will be a shocker. It will be as a thief in the night as they are unprepared for the event.

We also see Apostle Paul telling believers about the Day of the Lord, which is the Second Coming of Christ event that they understood from the Torah:

“1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3 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.”

》》 4 But ye, brethren, ARE NOT in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

》》 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

(1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6 KJV)

》 Believers know the Lord is coming!

And we are COMPLETE IN CHRIST (Colossians 2) and are children of the light. And for us BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, “…God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thessalonians 5: 9 KJV)

Paul continues in the same chapter offering words of COMFORT to the believers in contrast to Jesus warnings in Matthew 24.

》 Unbelievers are warned to obtain Salvation before it is too late.

For UNBELIEVERS Christ’s appearing will be a shock! As a thief in the night. Warnings are given in Matthew 24 to the unsaved,

48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 24: 48-51 KJV)


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