1 Thessalonians 5:2
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
Here we have a striking comparison — one which, to all appearance, had passed into a recognized formula, yet one which no Christian would have dared to use had it not been hallowed by our Lord's own lips. And so we find it first of all in His own parable (Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39, 40). Next we find it caught up by His disciple Peter (2 Peter 3:10). Then we find it adopted by Paul; and last of all we hear it again from our Lord (Revelation 3:3; Revelation 16:15). The formula means —
I. That as the thief comes UNEXPECTEDLY, So His coming will be stealthy, under cover, as it were, of darkness; when the children of night and darkness, the dreamers (Jude 1:8), do not in the slumber of carnal security, even momentarily think of His approach. But if this were all, the idea would lack much of aptness and dignity. Therefore —
II. As the thief comes TO STEAL, So the day of the Lord comes to take away by force the so-called goods — the possessions of the worldling. The children of the night have their most valued substance snatched from them. They are robbed of their soul (see Revelation 16:15). Vigilance is needed that the garment may be kept — not torn from him — that he may not be found robbed of the robe of the Redeemer's righteousness, but clothed therewith, and accepted at last.
(J. Hutchison, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.