Thief in the Night
The thief in the night passages are being taught as proof of a pretribulation rapture. When Jesus gathers His elect secretly and quietly while the rest of the world goes through the tribulation giving them a second chance to turn to God. It is being taught that there is no need to know the signs because Jesus will return at any given moment. What do these passages really mean?
Matthew 24:43 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.
Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
Jesus is teaching that if you knew a thief was coming to your home, you would watch for him and be ready. If you do not watch and are not ready, the thief would come in and take all that is precious to you.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye 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.
That day will not overtake us because we will be watching and ready. We may not know the times or seasons but, we do know the signs.
Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
This is quite clear. If you are not watching the signs He will come on thee as a thief and you won’t know when because you are not watching the signs.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
This is hardly quiet and leaves no room for a second chance since the heavens and earth will be burned up and pass away. These passages have nothing to do with a “secret rapture”. He will only be like a thief in the night to those who are not watching, waiting, and ready for His return.
Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.