Summary: Jesus tells us to "keep watch" and "be faithful" while we are waiting for His return. What did He mean by these words?

I Google the question “predictions on the end of the world” and found a web site that has documented 200 predictions for end of the world from as early as the first century reaching out to 2047. Three of them coming up pretty soon were:

From the book: "We Are Almost There" by Harold Camping and Brian Miller D.S. Grand Rapids, MI THE END OF THE WORLD: OCTOBER 21st, 2011

2012 New Age writers cite Mayan and Aztec calendars which predict the end of the age on Dec 21, 2012.

2012: Michael Drosnin, author of "The Bible Code," found a hidden message in the Pentateuch (the first five books in the Bible) that predicts that a comet will crash into the earth in 2012 and annihilate all life.

Turn to and please stand in honor of the reading of the Word of God. READ Matthew 24:35-36.

Today we will bring to an end the series of messages on the doctrine of our faith with this message on the Second Coming of Jesus.

While in Bible College we asked our Bible professor, Dr. James Travis, what position did he take on the Second Coming of Jesus? He told us God put him on the preparation committee and not the program committee. When we gave him our look of puzzlement as you are giving to me now, he further explained, he role was to help people get prepared for the second coming and not figure out when it was. That was good advice for us students who would have adopted whatever position he had without studying it for ourselves.

Because there is little agreement among even the most conservative Bible scholars, even within the Southern Baptist Convention, The Baptist Faith and Message does not endorse any one of the millennium positions that you will study about in your small groups tonight. What it does teach is that Jesus will return visibly and personally.

Following what we just read, Jesus gave these instructions of what we are supposed to be doing in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus:

1. Keep watch --- Matthew 24:42

A. Definition

The word “watch” can also refer to “keep awake”. The danger for any sentry is to go to sleep on duty. We must be careful that we are lulled into carelessness at the delay of the coming of Jesus.

The Holman translation uses the word “be alert”.

B. Illustration of the home owner

Jesus illustrates the point by giving the example of the homeowner and his house being broken into and possessions stolen. If the homeowner had known when the thief was coming, he would not have allowed the thief to take place.

The illustration has to do with physical property in your home; however, the real point of the illustration of Jesus is that instead of your physical house being broken into and your TV or Jewelry being stolen, it is your soul being stolen by the thief of carelessness and lack of watching for the coming of Jesus.

What does a homeowner do to protect his family and possessions?

• Lock the door and windows

• Looks for suspicious behavior

• Listens for unusual sounds and noises

What does the Christian do who is keeping watch over his or her soul?

• Locks the windows and doors to their soul from the entrance of Satan

• Looks for the working of God and watches for the deceptions of Satan

• Listens to the Holy Spirit reveal truth and danger

C. Poor example from the Thessalonians

Turn to 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 READ

Some of the Christians in Thessalonica became lazy waiting for the second coming of Jesus. They took the viewpoint that His coming was going to be so soon they quit their jobs and waited at the Temple each day. Although this may sound pious and devout, the reality of the matter is they became a burden on the church because their family had no food or money to pay the bills. They were sponging off their friends and taking advantage of the church. Paul told them this was wrong and go get a job.

2. Be faithful --- Matthew 24:45

A second illustration Jesus gives to us in this section of scripture has to do with the servant who is put in charge of his master’s household.

A. Good servant verse 46

He is a good servant if when his master returns and finds the servant doing his job and taking care of his possessions.

What does the good servant receive from the Master for doing good? His reward. Are you storing up rewards in heaven for good and faithful service to the Lord?

B. Wicked or evil servant verse 48

This verse explains that the servant could also be negligent and wicked. Notice what it is that the wicked servant would be doing “thinking he has plenty of time” before his master returns. There are many people who are like this wicked servant. However, I would guess that most of you in this congregation do not feel this passage is speaking about you. You have blown off this point because you think it is referring to the heathen because I am not beating anyone or getting drunk.

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