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Hide and seek

Many years ago, when I was a young Christian both in terms of age, experience and understanding of God’s Word, I worked for a Christian film distributor which allowed potential customers to watch films so they could decide if they wanted to hire them or not.

On one occasion, we showed the old 1970s Christian ‘horror classic’ Thief in the Night. It’s the one where Jesus’ followers disappear from the earth due to the Rapture.

After a quick shot of some clouds, the film cuts back to an electric razor left dangling in the bathroom, an overflowing food mixer and an abandoned lawnmower — all left behind by the believers who’ve been whisked off to heaven.

Unfortunately, when it was time for us to change the film reel, my colleague and I decided to hide when we heard the customers coming to find us.

Before we did, however, we left the phone dangling from the hook and the large, noisy film checking unit and electric fan running unattended, before reappearing later.

The Lord’s return

1 Corinthians 13:11 reminds us that we may have talked, thought and reasoned like a child but, when we became adults, we put the ways of childhood behind us. So hopefully I’ve matured since then — particularly when one considers the fact that the Lord could return at any moment!

But when the Son of Man comes, will we be like the virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 who came prepared, or the five foolish ones who weren’t ready for the bridegroom’s return?

The Bible contains more than 230 references to ‘fools’, ‘folly’ and ‘foolishness’, so it’s hardly surprising that there are warnings about those who build their house on sand (Matthew 7:26-27), trust in riches rather than God (Luke 12:16-21), fail to make use of their talents (Matthew 25:14-30), or listen to God’s Word and then forget it (James 1:22-24).

There are warnings, too, for those who aren’t ready for the Lord’s return:

Matthew 24:37-44: ‘Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.’

Luke 21:29-34: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near… Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.’

1 Thessalonians 5:4-7: ‘But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief… So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.’

Revelation 16:15: ‘Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.’

As 2 Peter 3:9-10 reminds us, ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness… But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.’

Spotless, blameless and at peace

So let’s ensure that we don’t spend our lives playing hide and seek like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after foolishly disobeying God, or me hiding from the customers who wanted to see Thief in the Night.

Instead, let’s live holy and godly lives, making every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with the Lord, looking forward to His return and speeding its coming (2 Peter 3:14).


Christians are sometimes accused of being so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good. How accurate do you think this criticism is? Do you think it’s possible that the reverse is actually true, and that we’re not as heavenly minded as we ought to be?

• Do we really live as if the Lord could return at any moment? If we knew He was returning tomorrow or sometime next week, what would you do with the time left? What changes would you make? What things do you think you’d do differently – or stop doing?

• Next time you look up at the clouds or lock the front door to keep burglars out, why not remind yourself that the Lord will return on the clouds, coming like a thief in the night?

2 Peter 3:9 tells us that, ‘The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.’ Instead, His timing is different from ours. With Jesus, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. We might be tempted to think, because He hasn’t returned yet, that He will never come. The reality, however, is that every day that passes inevitably brings us closer to the day when He will of course appear. The question is, ‘What can you and I do to speed His coming?’

This devotion is written by MAF UK’s Copywriter and Editor, Gary Clayton.