Here they had had contact with the man whom Jesus said there had never been anybody born of a woman who was greater than this man. (See Matthew 11:11.) He was more than a prophet. He was a special messenger sent to prepare the people for the Messiah.
I Thessalonians 5:2 says, “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Now, what will the people be saying when they are surprised? “Peace and safety” [verse 3], or as we noted in other translations, “Peace and security.” Does God intend that His people shall be engulfed in this great disaster? No!
Because of the compromise, new Christians were, as far as thinking and habits went, the same old pagans. “Their surge into the churches did not wipe out paganism. On the contrary, hordes of baptized pagans meant that paganism had deluded the moral energies of organized Christianity to the point of impotence.” Centuries of Christianity, the Concise History, 58.
It is most important to prepare spiritually for the times that are coming on this earth before Jesus comes. “When the reasoning of philosophy has banished the fear of God’s judgments; when religious teachers are pointing forward to long ages of peace and prosperity, and the world are absorbed in their rounds of business and pleasure, planting and building, feasting and merrymaking, rejecting God’s warnings and mocking His messengers—then it is that sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape.”