Passage: Matthew 24:36-51
Intro: Sometimes in high school but certainly in college, the first day of class involves receiving a syllabus.
1. expectations, projects, papers, tests.
2. and typically they include dates for completion, and test times.
3. now for some of us, these allowed us to time of procrastination down to the day.
4. for others, allowed them to plan their life.
5. now we have been looking at a syllabus these last few weeks, but one thing is missing that we really want to know.
6. no dates!!
7. but we love dates!!
Il) list of dates set thru out history
8. we need to get the straight scoop from Jesus, read His syllabus
9. tells us what we need to know
I. The Inevitability of His Semi-Secret Coming
1. Jesus has been talking about “that day” throughout this chapter
2. but as to date, no one knows, not even Him. Why not?
3. I will go out on a limb here.
4. there isn’t a date because God is not looking at a calendar and counting down. There is not a date to know!!
5. instead, God is looking to the fulfillment of His own righteous requirements in order to judge.
6. here is one:
PP Matthew 24:14 the grace of God must be fully played out.
7. here is another one:
PP 2 Peter 3:9
8. there is a job to be done, and then the inevitable coming of Jesus Christ will happen. Why is it inevitable?
9. it has already happened once the same way it will happen again.
10. God will warn, believers will live in accordance with that warning, judgment will come
PP 2 Peter 2:5
PP 2 Peter 2:9
11. God’s person spoke and lived the truth of inevitable judgment. He built the ark in the face of ridicule.
Il) for every prediction of the first coming of Christ, there are 8 about the second coming. Not a secret, but to some it is because they refuse to believe.
13. the refusal of the world to be ready has no impact on its inevitability
14. God musts judge sin, and He must do it righteously.
Il) in Revelation, intensifying judgment with intensifying revelation
15. and that requires Him to warn, to provide a way to escape which He has done through the giving of His Son.
16. and there must be judgment for those who refuse the sacrifice of Jesus.
17. suddenly, irresistibly, inevitably v40-41
II. The Responsibility of the Enlightened Believer
1. important command in v42
2. because it is promised and therefore inevitable, “maintain a constant vigil”
3. because we don’t know the day, but we know it is certain.
4. and we live our lives in the light of that inevitability
5. we don’t “know nothing” like the rest who will be totally surprised.
6. v44 an unfortunate NIV translation of a different Greek word, means “to think, to be of an opinion.”
7. the time will cause us to say “Wow!”
8. but the coming will not be unexpected, like in v50
9. so we are to be ready, and what does that mean?
10. PP it means to be in a state of expectancy, to be prepared for i
Il) when the due date nears, mommy packs a bag for the hospital. She knows is inevitable, she is “expecting”
11. PP the person keeping watch is not distracted by substitutes.
12. recognizes the temporary nature of earthly things, and does not put hope there
PP 1 Peter 1:3-5
13. PP in a state of joyful anticipation
14. we worship the coming King! We anticipate His arrival and are ready for it
15. PP we are focused on those activities for which I will be held accountable
16. this is critical. Let’s make it point #3
III. Be Ready for Inevitable Accountability
1. the coming of Christ is the coming of the Judge to hold people accountable for their actions in light of His clear revelation.
2. and this “test” is not one we can cram for.
Il) the wise student knows the test is inevitable and continually prepares.
3. the “datelessness” of this evaluation makes it a judgment of one whole life, and not just a few minutes in which I held myself together and tried to be “good.”
Il) Santa Claus may be coming to town on Christmas Eve, allowing us to “be good for goodness sake”, and then return to pre-Christmas bad behavior. V42
4. but Jesus is not Santa Claus, to be fooled into dropping off gifts.
5. in vv45-51, a parable is given
6. follows the idea of Creator/creature, Teacher/student, and now Master/servant
7. first servant given a task to feed fellows servants.
8. I got a little excited at this “job description”
PP John 21:15,16, 17 “Feed my sheep”
9. not just pastors, but parents, teachers, friends, leaders
10. spiritual food, the Word of God
11. that’s his job, and that is what He is found doing when the Master comes, and He is pleased.
12. because they were doing their assigned task whether the Master was their or not.
Il) grade school, teacher leaves to go to the office, sometimes class is quiet, sometimes they go crazy!
12. other guy not so good. Why?
13. Master “continually delayed”=maybe he is not coming at all, and acts like it.
14. “if there is no accountability, then I can act any way I want to”=selfishly
15. cruel to God’s children, prefers the company of drunkards, (and not for evangelism)
Il) someone has said “birds of a feather flock together”, and this guy shows his true colors.
16. colors he could plan to hide for a while if he knew when the inspection was going to take place.
17. but God is interested in what my outside life reveals about insides.
18. and that will be unveiled by His coming.
19. here is the bottom line: Live your life joyfully according to the certainty of inevitable accountability.
Conc. Put away your calendar! Take out your syllabus and read!
1. It is inevitable, and the date is not forthcoming, and perhaps not even set yet!
2. We have responsibilities: feed your flock!
PP Acts 1:6, Matthew 28:19
3. Prepare by taking your responsibilities seriously
4. trust in God and obey Him. We will be fine if we do that!
Il) I was only afraid of tests that I had not prepared for!