#17 October 25, 2005
The Day and Hour Unknown
?Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.? ?So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.? (Matthew 24:42,44)
I have watched a small amount of Hurricane Wilma coverage in the last couple of days, particularly interested because my father in law and sister in law live in the Venice and Fort Myers areas of Florida. Reports of people who decided to ?hunker down? and not heed the warnings were frequent. Wilma has not been a surprise. They have known about her for days and folks had plenty of time to prepare and seek shelter elsewhere. Many chose not to take the warnings seriously.
The Bible has not left us ignorant of the fact that Jesus is coming back. It is full of watches and warnings about His coming. This will be a literal coming back, with Jesus ruling and reigning here on earth and a coming judgment. Although ?No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father? (Matthew 24:36), we are given ample warning and ways to prepare for that Glorious Day. Prophecy scholars believe that we have more reason than any generation before us to believe Christ may return in our generation. (LaHaye, Tim F. Are we living in the end times/Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins).
Many today are not heeding the watches and warnings about the end of the age. I am talking to more and more people lately who just don?t see the need for Jesus in their life. I?ve heard, ?I?m just not ready to take that step right now?. ?I just can?t accept that right now.? ?Maybe someday, but not right now.? Whether from ignorance of what is predicted, or just outright rejection of Christ, people are not taking the warnings seriously. 2Peter 3:5 tells us that in the end there will be scoffers. ?The unregenerate minds of unbelievers resist the idea of the intervention of God in human affairs. Their problem is spiritual ? a matter of the will ? and the unbeliever remains deliberately ignorant of the truth?. . (LaHaye, Tim F. Are we living in the end times/Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins). They are being offered the free gift of eternal life and are choosing to reject it.
Lest we become puffed up and complacent in the fact that we are ?saved?, believers also are given a responsibility in light of the fact that Christ is coming soon. We say ?Yes? to Jesus, we belong to Him and our future is in His hands. However we are given clear direction on how we handle these truths. 2Peter, Chapter 3, verse 11-14 tells us ?Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.? This verse tells me that I can speed the Lord?s coming! Wow! It also says that we are looking forward to it. My question is ?are we really looking for His coming?? Or are we ?hunkered down? in our safe lives, concerned only with the here and now?
Jesus tells us in Matthew, Chapter 24 to be ready ?because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.? He says, ?keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.? Again in Chapter 25, verse 13, He says, ?keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.? In keeping with these commands, we as believers need to heed the watches and warnings of our day and be more conscious of holy living in this unholy age. Evangelism and winning souls to Christ should be a real priority in our lives. Telling the story of Christ and His love for us and His unlimited forgiveness and willingness to reconcile us to the Father is of utmost, dire importance before it is too late. If we woke up each morning and looked into the eastern sky and truly, truly believed that today could be The Day, what sort of difference would that make in the way we live our lives, treat our families, reach out to those around us? Jesus said, ?It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.? (Matthew 24:46). I believe that we would leave our Laodicean lifestyles (Revelation 3) and become hot in pursuit of He who suffered and died for us. We would stop feeding only ourselves but reach out and snatch souls from an eternity of being without God. Jesus is standing at the door and knocking! But His day will come like a thief (2 Peter 3:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:4), at an hour that we least expect.
Are we living in the last days? No one knows for sure, but the signs are certainly there. We as believers need to be watchful and ready for His coming. And even if He doesn?t come in our lifetime, isn?t this the way we should be living anyway??