By Rev. Dr. J. Patrick Bowman
Several years ago, my friend’s house was broken into. The thieves took some valuable electronic stuff from a workroom and some not so valuable snack food from the kitchen counter. They even got into the refrigerator and left the door open when they left. Such punks! My very nice Nikon camera had found its second home at their house, and yes, it was taken also, along with several computers and other cameras.
And the thing is, this all happened in the middle of the night when they were at home sleeping. They had no idea anything was missing until they woke up, saw the refrigerator door open, the snack food gone, and then began to notice the things of substance that were gone. The thieves were either very quiet with their actions or my friends are very sound sleepers.
Our country is asleep and very soundly. The church is asleep, too, and snoring to boot. America is losing freedoms it paid a high price for and may not have what it takes to get them back. The church is not exercising the privileges it has left in an environment that is noticeably more hostile with each passing year. And still we sleep, and snore, occasionally rolling over and stretching to get more comfortable for the next round of slumber. Fluffing the pillows just won’t do it.
For some, the dawning of a new morning will bring exceeding joy, to others great pain and a sense of doom. Yes, Jesus will come like a thief, too. For those who know Him, He will steal away all pain, sorrow, and inadequacies we have borne in this life. For those who do not know Him, the clock will stop. Time to repent will be stolen away. Regret will remain. They will say, “If only we had woken up in time.”
“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. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thess. 5:1-9).