Summary: Are you ready for Jesus to come or to give you your last heartbeat? Either way, you will meet Jesus and give an account. All Biblical quotes are from the NASB unless otherwise indicated.

What would you do different if you knew Jesus was coming for you today. Think about it. Whether Jesus physically returns as we have read about, that he will come for His people, the church, or Jesus grants you your last breath, your last heartbeat? If you knew that was going to happen this afternoon,

what would you do different?

The story is told of Martin Luther that one day, while he was hoeing his garden, a friend came to visit and asked what he would do if he knew Christ was returning that very day. Luther is supposed to have answered, “I’d just keep on hoeing my garden.” I’ve heard this story told by preachers several times to illustrate the point that, if we are constantly in the center of God’s will, whatever we are doing is exactly appropriate for us to keep on doing, even if we knew the timing of the end of the world. [1]

I suppose that if I knew my life would be over this afternoon, I would spend the time in my relationships, with my wife, my family and my church family and especially with God. But this is the difference between short and long range planning. The point is, there should not be anything in our lives that we would be ashamed. But here is our problem and the problem of many, when we assume that the end of life on this earth is much delayed and a long way off, we put off, getting our house in order, getting right with the Lord, doing those things we know we ought to be doing. We are basically procrastinators.

We tire of hearing over and over that we are living in the last days, we are the last generation before the end, before Jesus returns. I have been hearing it my entire life and I’m 66 years old. We have grown callous to the warning calls. But Jesus’ message he gave to His disciples from the Mount of Olives still ring true and is relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. That message is to be ready.

Matthew 24:42–51

As we study through Jesus’ Olivet Discourse we are coming to a series of parables Jesus uses to illustrate His message. The theme for the next three parables is summed up in verse 42:

Matthew 24:42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

The first two parables we will cover today and third parable we will look at next week. Each has parable has its unique teaching, but all three follow the central theme: Jesus’s coming will be unannounced, unexpected, and the time and hour is unknown.

The first parable of the thief in the night is the fact that time of the coming of Christ is completely unknown and totally unexpected.

The next parable of the unfaithful servant stresses the coming of the Lord is sooner than expected.

And the parable in which we will deal with next week, the parable of the 10 bridesmaids deals with Jesus return that is later than expected.

Jesus covers all the bases. Sooner or later and it will be sudden and unexpected His coming for us. We are told we not to worry about when, though we can know when the time is drawing short, but we are called to watch and be ever ready.

The expression in verse 42 of “your Lord” is significant. It is the only place in the Matthew’s gospels where this is used. It draws attention to the fact that Jesus is our Lord, he is our master, and we are accountable to Him. He will call us to account when He returns.

Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV) And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

We need to be very careful here. When we call Jesus “my Lord” do we really mean it. Come that day, that day when Jesus does come, everyone, including the Christian, must give an account. Jesus asks the question:

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

But when Jesus comes, what will He find us doing? His will or our own will?

Jesus also says in verse 42: “be on the alert.” We are to live expectantly as if Jesus would call us at any moment. Don’t bet your eternity that he will delay his coming. Jesus gives an example, a short parable about His unexpected and unannounced return:

Matthew 24:43 But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

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