Thursday, November 24, 2016

Matthew 24: 36-44 Jesus' Coming will be Unexpected

KEY TEXT: Matthew 24:36-40 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

KEY THOT: Jesus said His coming will be like in the days of Noah. People would carry on with their normal business of eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage “until the day when Noah entered the ark and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away” (v.39). While the “birth-pains” signaling his imminent arrival are growing in intensity and frequency (“nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places” v.7), yet no one knows the exact day and hour he will appear. Everyone assumes life will continue as it has been for the last 4,000 years since Noah's Great Flood. It’s very easy to ignore the tell-tale signs and continue to live like nothing worse can ever happen. Jesus’ warning to us believers is to be ready, “for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Mt 24:44). There will be time to prepare or pack your belongings. He could come today.

But as the day approaches, the signs will intensify: “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26). There will be strange astro-physical phenomena in the heavenlies: the sun, moon and stars will behaving abnormally. Near-earth objects like asteroids will fall out of the sky, bringing widespread destruction on earth where they landed. 

On earth, there will be natural convulsions, maybe caused by global warming: roaring of the sea and the waves (tsunamis?). Sea-water levels are predicted to rise due to global warming deluging many coastal cities. Earthquakes under the oceans will increase, resulting in tsunamis that will destroy many coastal cities. 

While earthquakes and tsunamis have always happened before, the increase in intensity and frequency will signal the imminent arrival of the God’s Kingdom. But while these signs may be fascinating and even fearsome to observe, the important point is: are we ready for His coming? If he comes today, would you be read to welcome him or are there things in your life you’ll have to quickly hide and put away because they are dishonouring to Him? 

May the hope of his coming help us re-prioritize our lives. For many, the coming of Christ brings hope and joy. For others (including believers), his coming brings a dread and foreboding because their lifestyles are inconsistent with the lifestyle of the coming kingdom that Jesus will usher. 

Where will you stand? Are you ready for his coming today?

Father, thank You that the coming of Jesus is a certainty. As the signs of His coming intensify, may Your Spirit bring about a revival to Your churches so that they may arise and fufill their calling as witnesses to the Kingdom. Amen.

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