January 19, 2022
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matthew 24:43-44).
To many people this section of Matthew 24 seems redundant. How many times and how many ways can Jesus say the same thing? As many as it takes to get us to understand what’s going to take place in the future. Quite often in Scripture the same thing is repeated for emphasis. It’s God’s way of saying “PAY ATTENTION!”
Jesus’ illustration of this fact is one we are all familiar with - and certainly afraid of - home invasion! No one wants their house invaded, their family violated, and their possessions taken. How do we know this? Studies show on average, Americans spend $20.64 billion on home security systems per year (www.creditdonkey.com). That tells me people are concerned about being alert and prepared for that, if it should happen.
As serious at home invasion is, the coming of the Lord is an even more serious event that people should be concerned about. Jesus has told us to ‘take heed’ (v.4), ‘watch’ (v.42), and ‘be ready’ (v.44). So, Jesus is telling us to ‘listen!’, ‘stay alert’, and now, ‘be ready’. What’s that about? Jesus is telling us to ‘be prepared’. How are we to be prepared for the Lord’s return? There are many thoughts and ideas by many authors, but let me add my 2 cent’s worth.
1. Make sure you are saved. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Be sure you are truly saved and not self-deceived in thinking you are saved. How do I do that? (Romans 8:15-16) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. Ask the Lord about your standing with Him. He’ll tell you. You can also take the test in 1 John 1 - 5. The Apostle wrote, These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13).
2. Worship and serve the Lord every day. It is not a command, it is the mind-set of the true Christian. You must have time alone with the Lord (a ‘quiet-time’) for personal worship and prayer. You must study the Scriptures, not as a scholar, but as a disciple of Christ. You must put into practice what the Lord says to you in worship, prayer, and study.
3. Live every day as though it is your last - it may very well be your last. Don’t be paranoid or panicky, be expectant that the Lord may return before the day ends. That means, if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
4. Encourage each other in the faith, helping them to get ready for the Lord’s return as well.
“Lord Jesus, may we wait, watch, listen, stay alert, and be prepared for Your return. Help us to help others be ready to receive You when You come. Amen.