God never leaves you hanging. He may make you wait, but eventually He will bring clarity to any obscure area you face in life. Jesus never left His followers bewildered and confused. He did speak in parables which caused them to question Him, but eventually He would explain things so they could understand what He was talking about.
The time was coming for Jesus to leave earth and He needed to prepare those who chose to follow Him. He did so by letting them know that He was going to die, but they shouldn’t fear for He will return to bring His children home with Him at later date.
Over 2,000 years later, we are still waiting for His glorious return.
Jesus told His disciples what the world will look like when the time is near for His return. You can read about this in the book of Matthew, chapter 24. We will study the second part of this chapter, verses 31-51. It is good to know what to look for. It will keep you alert, aware, and accountable to your actions. It is good to evaluate yourself daily for any hidden sins that lurk to dissuade your heart from focusing on the only ally you have, Jesus Christ.
Do you truly understand that Jesus Christ is the only ally you have in life? Peter understood it in John 6:68-69. Does your life reflect the same attitude as Peter’s? There is nowhere else to go for anything in life than to run to Jesus and let Him lead you.
Jesus teaches that all His chosen ones will be gathered from all over the world, see verse 31. He refers to a fig tree that He spoke about in Matthew 21:18-22. When you see these things, Jesus was also referring to verses 1-30 in chapter 24, you will know His return is near.
Many might struggle with this since 2,000+ years have passed, and He hasn’t returned yet. It is good to remember that God is not bound by time and space like we are. 2,000 years is but a day to God, see 2 Peter 3:8-10. What do you learn from these verses?
What is the secret to abiding in Christ, see verse 35, that you need to read daily? What else does Jesus reveal about His return that should quiet your curiosity in when He is returning, see verse 36?
Jesus says farther down in the passage that “YOU MUST KEEP WATCH!”42 He gives two examples that you can learn from. They will help you to keep your focus on Christ and nothing else. When you keep your focus on Christ, and allow Him to lead, you become a beacon of light, His Light, to a dying world. Your spouse will thank you, your children, parents, siblings, neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc. will all benefit from you making Jesus first in your life. You will know how to love correctly and meet the needs of those around you when you remove yourself from the throne in your heart and let Jesus sit and pilot your life.
People will experience heaven on earth when you and I live for Christ and be like Christ.
The first example to learn from is verses 37-39. Back in Genesis, chapters 6-9, you read about Noah. Noah and his family were the only people on earth to follow God. Everyone else was busy enjoying life. They were going to banquets, parties, and weddings. They didn’t have time nor the need to follow God and get inside the boat before the floods came. They didn’t pay attention to what was going to happen. Life was all about them, and they perished.
What fills your days? What plans are you making for the future? Is God first, last, not thought about at all, or added in at your convenience? Don’t make the mistake that many made back in Noah’s day.
Verses 40-41 is a sneak peek into life on earth when Jesus returns. Life will go on as usual. One will be taken while another will be left. One is a believer while the other is someone who chose to love the world more than Jesus. Where will believers go? There are many scriptures on this in the Bible, like 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.
The second example to learn from is with a homeowner in verses 42-44. If you knew a burglar was coming to steal from you, you would keep watch and not permit your house to be broken into. You would defend it. You must defend your faith lest the enemy come to destroy, and he will if you don’t keep watch. Broken homes and families are proof of this.
Every believer is called to be “a faithful and sensible servant”45 who the Master can give responsibility in managing and feeding his family. A good servant understands who he belongs to and follows what he is told by his “boss”. A servant can become evil-hearted and think that his master won’t return for a while, and he can do as he sees fit for the time being. He takes the blessings that have been given to him and takes them for granted. Life on earth takes precedence over living for the life to come. Such a man may not necessarily be a bad person. He may be someone who doesn’t need God right now. He has much life to live before it ends one day for life is short.
What happens to those who will be surprised when Jesus returns, see verses 48-51?
There will be a generation of believers who will experience Jesus returning to take His children off this earth corporately. Are we this generation? Only God knows. If not, are you ready for Jesus when He comes for you personally? He came for my brother in November, my very tiny great-nephew in December, and my uncle in February. I know all three were ready to see their Lord and Savior. How about you?
Don’t take life for granted. You were given life by the God who loves you dearly. He sent His Son to die for your sins. You are called to repent of your sins and follow Jesus home. Until death comes for you, will God find you serving His Son or serving yourself? Are you building up His Kingdom or enjoying the kingdom you made for yourself?
Prepare your heart today.