Q. My question is regarding 1 Thessalonians 5:4 which reads, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” I’ve looked at several other translations and it almost seems to imply that Christians won’t be surprised when the Day of the Lord comes. Why would it surprise us if we’re not even going to be here for it?
A. The answer is in 1 Thes. 5:5 .
“You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”
The coming Day of the Lord should not surprise believers because God’s word (the light) has made us aware of the signs leading up to it, not because we’ll be here to witness it. We can see the signs so we know it’s coming. On the other hand, unbelievers don’t read God’s word so they’re in the dark. They can’t see the warning signs and will be taken by surprise (1 Thes. 5:3).