Sunday, July 06, 2008

Matthew 24:42-51


Prophecy is so fascinating and those who claim to have it all nailed down and figured out have missed what Jesus is saying so simply. For instance, in the last paragraph, Jesus sets the context as "in the days of Noah" and one is taken and the other is left. Who was taken and who was left behind? Those who were the faithful were left behind, yet one of the all-time best-sellers ever is the "Left Behind" series. In that series, they teach just the opposite! Go figure!

Jesus goes on warning His disciples to be on the alert: 42 ``Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 ``But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 ``For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. 
45 ``Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 ``Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 47 ``Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 ``But if that evil slave says in his heart, `My master is not coming for a long time,' 49 and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; 50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, 51 and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. BE READY!

There is a fable which tells of three apprentice devils who were coming to this earth to finish their apprenticeship. They were talking to Satan, the chief of the devils, about their plans to tempt and ruin men. The first said, "I will tell them there is no God." Satan said, "That will not delude many, for they know that there is a God." The second said, "I will tell men there is no hell." Satan answered, "You will deceive no one that way; men know even now that there is a hell." The third said, "I will tell men there is no hurry." "Go," said Satan, "and you will ruin them by the thousands." The most dangerous of all delusions is that there is plenty of time to get your act together with Jesus. The most dangerous day in a man's life is when he learns that there is such a word as tomorrow. There are things which must not be put off, for no man knows if for him tomorrow will ever come.

Think of the tragic morning of September 11th. That morning rocked our world dramatically! It just doesn't take much to turn the world on its head. This brings a new perspective on "one day at a time." We are to set our course for the long haul, but live as if this is all we have. Jesus may come for even you today! Are you ready?

Matthew 24:32-41


32 ``Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door . 34 ``Truly I say to you, this generation [normally, this word is translated "race"] will not pass away until all these things take place.[When you see all of the these signs coming to pass, then you will know that the Messiah's coming in glory and victory is near.] 35 ``Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 36 ``But of that day and hour no one knows, [What part of "no one" do you not understand?] not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37

``For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 ``For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, [Even though Noah had been preaching and telling the story of the impending judgment of the flood, they did not understand it all until it actually happened and then it was too late!] 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. [In the flood, the people who did not "get it" were removed from living on the earth. They were going on with their lives, ignoring the message that was being preached. So, in the same way, the masses of people on earth will ignore the preaching of the coming of the Messiah in glory and will face the same kind of ending to their lives.] 40 ``Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 ``Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

No matter how you interpret the 2nd Coming of Jesus, there is one universal fact that must not be ignored. Jesus is coming! After a fresh trip in my mind of visiting the people of Israel-Muslim, Jews (religious and secular), Christians, and Druze, everyone is poised toward this great, supernatural event!

FIRST--Muslims are looking for Jesus to return and bring world peace!

SECOND--Religious Jews are looking for the Messiah (already rejected Jesus' Messiah-ship) to come and bring peace!

THIRD--The secular Jews are so desperate that they quietly hope there is a supernatural work of God such as the coming of Messiah!

FOURTH--The Christians (in their hundreds of Heinz varieties, all believing that Jesus will come and affirm their way of thinking) are looking for Jesus to bring peace!

FIFTH--The Druze (a Muslim spin-off) are looking for the Messiah to come and bring peace (although in their thinking, He will be born through a man.)!

In other words, there are people all over the world who are looking up into the skies and seeking the God of gods to do something dramatic. So, where are you looking?