“For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape“
Paul now explains in what sense unbelievers left on earth after the Rapture will resemble unsuspecting victims of a thief. Just at the moment they least expect it, judgment will fall upon them.
For when they say, “Peace and safety!”
Paul does not include himself among those in this verse. He views them as “they.” This third-person pronoun refers to those left in the Tribulation after the Rapture. The church will not experience this “sudden destruction.” Paul contrasts believers with non-believers in the next verse (4:4).
Elsewhere, the Bible tells us what brings this delusion of peace. In the Tribulation, a world ruler signs a seven-year contract (Daniel 9:27) wherein the world expects world peace. This is a peace of outward social and political conditions such as will exist in the first part of Daniel’s 70th week. It will seem that mankind achieved inward peace of mind and outward one-world stability.
At the beginning of the Day of the Lord, that is, at the beginning of the Tribulation period, people will say, “Peace and safety!” This slogan spreads around the world.
Peace refers to inward tranquility of mind. The word “safety” means not liable to fall, to be firm. They are under the delusion that man has come to a place of world peace, so they are safe from any form of danger.
The word “when” indicates that non-Christians will say this right up to the moment of disaster. While they repeat their slogan “Peace and safety!” destruction comes on them.
World peace is a delusion without Christ.
Political and religious organizations that pawn off the idea of world peace will delude the world at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. They will attempt to disarm the world. Man left to human nature in the raw will reap the pain of that fantasy.
World peace has always been the pipe dream of man without God. There is no true peace without peace with God. Legislation cannot change the heart of man. The only way to change the world is to change the heart of man. Any other approach is an illusion.
The delusion of world-peace is the great apostasy throughout the world at the beginning of the Tribulation period. There will be an attempt not only to disarm people by state and nationally, but there will be an attempt to disarm people worldwide. People will utter maudlin platitudes about peace. There is no peace apart from the person of Christ.
“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11).