But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief
```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 (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2).```
The expression “a thief in the night” has troubled some Christians for several years. Some don’t understand what it means, while others are terrified by it.
They imagine that if they do something wrong before going to bed and Jesus comes as a thief in the night, they won’t go with Him. But that’s not what it means.
If you look at our opening verse closely, you’ll observe that Paul was writing to the brethren or brotherhood. He said, “…brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you....” The word “brethren” actually refers to those who are in Christ; males and females.
The next verse shows something really important: “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” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
This obviously wasn’t referring to the brethren, because he said: “For when they shall say….” When he referred to the brotherhood, he said “ye.”
“They” in 1 Thessalonians 5:3 refers to the world; those who aren’t yet in Christ. The Bible describes them as the children of disobedience, appointed to God’s wrath: “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:3).
But for you who are born again, the Bible says, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4).
Every place where the Lord Jesus talked about coming suddenly upon people, it had to do with judgement, and He wasn’t referring to the Church.
In John 5:24, He says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life” (NIV). You’re a child of light and of the day; you’re neither of the night nor of darkness!
Serve the Lord with joy and in expectation of His soon return. Declare just like Jesus: “I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5).