Summary: Christians must learn to live in eager anticipation of the return of our Savior, Christ Jesus.
Matthew 24: 36 – 44 / Wake Up!!!
Intro: One day a cardinal was approached by an anxious, agitated priest who said, “A woman claims to have seen a vision of the Savior in the chapel behind the main alter. What should we do?” To which the cardinal answered, “Look busy!” --- For literally thousands of years people have been concerned over knowing the date and time of the return of Christ. --- There are fewer passages of scripture that cause us greater difficulties than this passage.
I. Verse 36 – “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We learn a number of things from these words:
A. Since the hour of the event is know only to God, it is pointless for us to speculate. Rather, it is our duty to prepare ourselves and watch. The time will come with shattering suddenness on those who are immersed in material things. Vss. 37 – 39 – Noah
B. Never let our concern with worldly affairs completely distract us from remembering there is a God. Don’t become so immersed in our time that we forget about eternity.
C. The return of Christ is certainly be a time of judgment and separation. “One will be taken and one left.” Vss. 40 - 41
II. The question we ask was surely on the lips of the early Christians. What do we do in the meantime? The question is answered beginning in verse 42.
A. All life must be a preparation. --- The watching for the Christian is not terror-stricken fear and shivering apprehension. It should be eager expectation. We must be awake!
B. Verse 43 – be prepared. Live as you ought. Do what you must following in the example of Christ Jesus.
C. An auctioneer once said, “Folks, this stuff is like religion – you’ve got to get it when you don’t want it in order to have it when you need it.
III. Verse 44 – Watching and waiting! Two of the hardest things for we humans to do.
A. It used to be commonplace for expectant parents to prepare for the birth of their child not knowing when it would come or what sex it would be. I remember painting the nursery yellow for the birth of our first child not knowing if it were a boy or a girl but preparing for either.
B. The one thing that has not changed is that parents do not know what their child will be like. Will it be sweet, compliant and adorable or a constantly testing the limits. It is similar for many Christians. Will the return of Christ be a positive or negative experience.
C. Eager expectation versus dread! Trip to the dentist versus anticipating a luxury vacation. Every tomorrow has 2 handles: We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety or by the handle of faith.
Conclu: Either way, the return of Christ is sure. We must WAKE UP! Prepare! Living, serving and anticipating the return with great hope and joy! VERSE 44 – So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man WILL come at an hour when you do not expect him.