Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 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. – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Paul spoke of the day of Christ’s triumphal return as a surprise to those who live “in the dark.” In other words, those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will be blinded to the events that will forecast His second coming. On the other hand, those “not in darkness” (Christ-followers) will be, due to spiritually evident signs of the times, “alert and sober” when the Lord returns.
Why is it that so many popular authors and preachers have presented such a different picture? Whether a person takes a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation position on the rapture, if a child of the light and the day, he or she will not be “overtaken.”
We should develop our eschatology (end-times theology) from a solid scriptural base. While there are certainly many unanswered questions surrounding Christ’s return, there are also many assurances. Let us be wary of those who seem to have all the solutions charted out for us. In fact, remember the words of Jesus Himself when His closest followers asked, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” For He answered, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:7-8).”
When the author walks on the stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right, something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left. For this time, it will be God without disguise, it will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. – C. S. Lewis