Are You Ready for the Groom? (Part 2) by Pastor Paul Becker
Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour
The scripture lesson closes the “Olivet Discourse,” a private conversation Jesus had with his disciples on the Mount of Olives. The Discourse spans chapters 24 and 25 and covers the topic of Jesus’ return and final judgment of the world in “End Times.” Like the disciples, Jesus leaves us with more questions than answers:
When will Jesus return?
How will it happen?
Who will be judged?
Will we suffer persecution and the torments of Satan’s influence on those who hate Jesus?
Jesus does not offer a checklist timeline for the events of his return. Instead, he reveals signs of his coming, prophesies of persecutions and a Great Tribulation, and the sound of a trumpet. (Mt 24:3-31).
Like the disciples, we are left with a question: What shall we do while waiting for Jesus to come again? The simple answer is to
Live each day with confidence that he will come again.
Live our lives as a demonstration of our love of God, neighbor, and one another.
Live faithfully in making disciples, according to his Great Commission.
Though the Lord seems to delay his coming, his love requires us to be patient and engaged in gospel ministry.
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. (1 Pet 3:9)
The Parable of the Talents teaches us that while Jesus is away, we are given the treasure of the gospel. The parable teaches us that Jesus is filled with joy when we engage in gospel ministry that bears the fruits of repentance and faith in him. We learn that Jesus is harsh with those who risk nothing for the kingdom. We also learn that the Lord increases opportunities for gospel results for those who do gospel ministry. Judgment falls upon those who risk nothing for the gospel.
So, how will we live as we wait for Jesus to come again? Choose your earthly pursuits carefully: How will you spend your time and finances? What relationships will you nurture? How central will the body of Christ be to your life? What grudges will you feed or free? We must be faithful stewards of the gospel, go into the community to love people according to their needs (Mt 25:31-36) and share the gospel of salvation so that when the trumpet announces the coming of Jesus, we will hear him say to us:
Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy! (Mt 25:21)