The time has come for Christians to stop arguing about times and dates- when the end will take place, when the anti-Christ will come on the scene, whether the rapture will take place pre-trib or post-trib, and other subject matter that only lead to division, confusion, and distraction- and simply keep watch and be ready like Jesus told us to do.
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
(In other words, do not concern yourself about times and dates).
for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
(If we knew when the thief was coming, we would stay home and protect our belongings and most likely call the police in advance, but since we do not know the day or hour, God wants us to keep watch and be ready at all times. Because God's ways are much higher than ours, who are we to think we can figure Him out? If He didn't tell Jesus, who is right up there with Him, when these things will take place (Mk 13:23), who are we to think we should be privy to such information? If He wanted us to know about times and dates, He would have told us, but He didn't, so we must simply keep watch and be ready).
While people are saying, "Peace and safety,"
(Regardless of how things appear, the time will actually come- most likely when prosperity is abundant in the land- when people will think there is peace and safety. Imagine that!).
destruction will come on them suddenly,
(Boom, there it is! Don't be caught off guard).
as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
(Once labor pains get started, there is no turning back. They are not designed to get lighter, only more and more frequent and intense).
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
(If we are keeping watch of the signs of the end of the agew and of the coming of Jesus Christ, we will not be caught off guard).
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith
(Keep watch and be ready, believing that Jesus will do what He said He will do, while faithfully doing what He tells you to do).
and love - as a breastplate,
(If we know that the rapture, the tribulation, and the coming of Jesus is near, we should love God, ourselves, and one other enough to prepare everyone for these events)
and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
(Since it is appointed unto all men, once, to die- Hebrews 9:27a KJV, and when we die, Christians will live for eternity in paradise, what difference does it make whether we die before or after the rapture? Either way, both the dead and the living in Christ will be caught up. One group just goes before the other, but we all go, and we all meet up together with Him in the air! Yippee!- 1 Th 4:15-16).
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath
(Some pre-tribbers believe this is why we will not have to endure the Tribulation and/or Great Tribulation period). Even if we do escape times of tribulation, many of those who will come to know Jesus in truth, will not escape., and will be left behind to endure the devastation. Therefore, AS ONE BODY, we must love them enough to feed and take care of them while we can.
but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.
(Since we will all be going to the great family reunion in the sky, what difference does it really make how we get there? The important thing is that we get there. We had no say-so about our arrival to this earth, why do we feel the need to be in control of our departure from this earth?)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. - 1 Thes. 5:1-11 (NIV).
(Thank you, Brother Paul. We will. Won't we, children of God?)
Hope and pray for a pre-trib rapture.
Prepare for a post-trib rapture.
Join us in loving God's sheep enough to feed them..