When You Least Expect It: Like a Thief in the Night

The city of Sardis, which is our next stop in our journey through Revelation, has an interesting history. The video below explains it. However, it reminded me of my first major hurricane experience in Miami — Hurricane Andrew in 1992. I had lived through 3 other minor hurricanes in NY and Puerto Rico, but this one was bad. Small, compact, but packing a 150 MPH punch. Though with hurricanes, you get a fair amount of warning, not like with tornadoes or earthquakes, the greater Miami area had grown complacent. They hadn’t had a major storm in over 20 years. Most of the residents there have never experienced a hurricane. That’s our problem. We are not ready! Jesus will come when you least expect Him — like a thief in the night…

A Brief History of Sardis…

From the study, “The Prophetic Gallery Series” in the Bible App.

Just when they thought they were safe… they were not…

The Letter to the Church at Sardis…

“Write this letter to the angel (or messenger) of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:

“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.

“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

Revelation 3:1-6

Similar to Today’s Catholic Church

Again, Jesus tells them that He knows everything they do — and don’t do. Here, He tells them that they are dead. Somehow, this reminds me of the Catholic Church. From what I remember growing up Catholic, it seemed robotic. You had to follow the rituals and do everything a certain way. They totally lost the basic praise and worship of the true early church.

Jesus said, “Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.”

He’s telling Sardis and us to straighten our spiritual walk. If we do, we will have clean garments. Now, there are some charismatic Catholics who believe in the Holy Spirit and salvation. Jesus recognizes them.

Is Your Name in the Book of Life?

When you are saved, you become a child of God, and your name is written in the Book of Life.

What is the Book of Life?

Well, let’s just say that if your name is NOT in it, you’re in trouble.

I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books…

..And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:12, 15

Before I tell you how to get your name in the Book of Life, let’s go back to…

“When you least expect it, like a theif in the night…”

Satan, too, looks for the most vulnerable place in your life to grab a foothold. It could be your health, friends, your job, family — anything. Moreover, it usually happens when things are going good and you think that life is wonderful. BANG! Life happens. It’s up to you to ask the Holy Spirit for protection. With Jesus, you have the best protection from the enemy.

We see that phrase, “like a thief in the night” several times. One is describing when the Rapture will happen. When we least expect it. Paul writes…

For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

1 Thessalonians 5:2

Will you be left behind? I’ll be writing/talking about what will happen to those left behind in future articles and podcasts. I’m soooo glad I won’t be here when the tribulation starts!

Are You Worthy to Walk with Jesus in White?

Is your name in the Book of Life? If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal savior — NO! Believe me, the lake of fire is not going to be a cool place! You are not good enough, by yourself, to get into Heaven! Oh, and by the way, there is no such place as Purgatory! If you’re not in Heaven, you’re in hell. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts!

To get your name written in the Book of Life, to get the protection of the Holy Spirit from the enemy, Satan, and reap all the benefits of salvation including the 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven then you MUST…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…

  1. Start reading the Bible daily to get to know God. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great Bible studies.
  2. Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
  3. Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!

Greater is He than anything in the world…

The 5 Solas

  1. Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
  2. Sola Fide (“Faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
  3. Sola Gratia (“Grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
  4. Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Savior, Redeemer, Lord and King
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to God alone be the Glory.”): It’s all about God not us.

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!