“Like a Thief in the Night…”

It was another busy September morning. Moms fed their children breakfast and drove them to schools. Men and women rushed through traffic to their jobs. Students just sat through their first lecture. Nothing unusual. Just another day.

And then the time stopped.

Or did it actually move faster?

Fear, chaos, disbelief, panic, pain, grief.

How did it all happen?

Was anybody prepared for this?

How come we missed the signs, the “red flags”, the warnings?!

September 11th was a wake up call. Apparently, the life had become so laid back and comfortable, that people were lulled to believe the false sense of security and well-being. The death and destruction came in unexpectedly, stealing thousands of lives and bringing a flood of pain, sorrow, and uncertainty.

There was nothing good about the tragedy that shook America ten years ago. However, the darkness of that time might have just been instrumental to drawing people closer to God. Here is what Denny Burk, an Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, writes in his post “Where Were You on September 16, 2001?”:

“So much has happened in our national life since the attacks, and sometimes it seems less like ten years ago and more like a hundred. But I still remember vividly the emotion of that day. The uncertainty. The questions. The very real concern that more attacks were imminent. The threat of a larger war. The horror of watching all those people die. Everyone felt something like that, and everyone wanted a word of comfort and truth. That is why churches across America were filled on Sunday September 16, 2001.”

People do tend to run to God when their lives are shaken. They also tend to get busy and self-absorbed after a while. Even as Christians we can fall into the trap of daily routine where God is just another “task” on our to-do list.

The Bible says about the Day of the Lord that will come like a thief in the night (1 Thes. 5:2). It will be as swift and unexpected as were the events of September 11th. For some, it would be as tragic, too.

“The Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will disappear with a roaring sound, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:10)

If anyone of us is not ready to meet our Lord and Savior any time He comes,
we should seek Him NOW!

The Bible says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.”
Isaiah 55:6

I have recently come across a great post by Andrew Hess, written partially in response to the failure of Camping’s predictions about Christ’s coming. Andrew writes that some people “suspected Jesus wasn’t going to return anytime soon and now view this false prediction as proof he really isn’t. This is an equally tragic mistake. Jesus said a lot about his return and one of the overarching messages was His followers are to be ready and waiting.”
Here are a few excerpts from 10 Things Jesus Really Said About His Return:

– It will seem like a normal day.

In Luke 17:26-30, Jesus compares the day the Son of Man will be revealed to God’s judgment in the days of both Noah and Lot. In both these times, people were going about the normal business of life: eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, and building. In the midst of this apparent normalcy, God’s judgment and wrath fell. Jesus says this is what it will be like when He comes. It will be a great cosmic interruption that will be like lightening which “lights up the sky from one side to the other” (Lk 17:24).

– Not everyone who expects to make it into the Christ’s kingdom will.

Some of the most sobering words of Jesus are about those who will not be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. […]
At the end, there will be many people who will think they are in because of their ministry credentials. And Jesus will say, “I never knew you” and call them “workers of lawlessness.” Their repentance was in word only. They acted like followers, but didn’t have a saving relationship with Christ based on faith and repentance as the foundation of their lives. Jesus said there will be many people in this terrifying condition, living their lives thinking they were in and finding out in the final analysis they weren’t.

– Be on guard, keep awake.

Jesus continually told his followers to stay awake, to watch their lives, and to be ready for his return. […]
To be awake is to be ready and willing to do Christ’s will. In Gethsemane, Jesus’ disciples slept instead of joining Him in prayer. They weren’t doing what Christ asked, but slept. In the same way, many Christians today are asleep to Christ’s will. They don’t seek him or ask for his direction. Instead, like the disciples in the garden, they sleep. Christ calls in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Awake, awake, put on strength” (51:9).

I do encourage you to read the whole post. I found it very appropriate for today and any day.

As Americans bow their heads in remembrance of September 11, I hope even more people to bow their heads before their God and Creator in humble obedience and acceptance of His Lordship. Jesus is coming soon! How I wish us all to be ready!..



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