“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all His goods.”
The Son of man is coming!
How often have you heard that? Very often.
And not only that, but you also heard about the signs of His coming, such as many Christs will come, but they are liars; wars and rumors of war; there will be pestilences and earthquakes; the Church will be persecuted; false prophets; the Gospel will be preached in all the earth; the Great Tribulation near the end; signs in heaven such as that the sun will be darkened, the moon refusing to give its light, the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And the very last sign will be the Sign of the Son of man in heaven. And no one knows what that last SIGN is, no not one.
And after that last sign Jesus will surely come, and come immediately.
And at that coming the Trumpet will sound, the elect will be gathered from the four winds, the dead’ raised; and the judgment throne set to look upon and to judge the living and the dead.
But no one knows the day or the hour of that coming.
It will be as the day of Noe. (Noah)
And the day of Lot.
What must we do about this?
Here is the answer: be ready!
There is no other answer.
You see, the household of God is on earth, both in the earthy and in the heavenly. In the earthy you are created right in the midst of that household, and there is a word of God that gives you a mandate for the things, the earthy things, of that household. The things of that household need tending. And you are to do that tending. You must be a good child, father, mother, worker, etc.
But we are not first of all concerned about this earthy part of the household of God.
There is a spiritual side to the household of God. I purposely use the word “side,” for the earthy and the spiritual unite in the work of the servant. All earthy things are taken up in your spiritual labor for God.
You dig into the soil for God’s sake. You work for your master for God’s sake. You are a good parent, wife, husband, citizen of America for God’s sake, etc.
In the accompanying parable this tending you are to perform is called: “to give them meat in due season.”
Everyone of us is confronted with manifold duties, and there is the measure of the gift of grace.
And standing with your two little feet in the midst of God’s Universe, He says to you and to me: “Work for the night is coming!” And in that night you cannot work anymore. After all the work is done there comes the judgment. And that judgment shall be as your work has been.
That tending requires faithfulness and wisdom, according to the text.
What is it?
Well, faithfulness is to be true and trustworthy in the performance of your duty, especially in the fulfillment of promises, obligations and vows.
And wisdom is the virtue to walk in the best way, and to use the best means in order to arrive at the greatest purpose for your life: the glory of God!
You see, all of us who are true Christians are witnesses of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.
And all your tending is fulfilled in that witnessing. Your whole life must be a testimony: God has visited me! And what a visit!
Look at Moses! He visited God and God visited with him. (Note how I used the wrong order. God visited Moses first, and as a consequence Moses visited with him.)
Moses stumbled down that mountain. There he comes! What a sight!
His face shone of Divine glory. What glorious witnessing. Everyone in Israel saw the sight. And as a result they trembled, quavered, and prayed Moses to cover his face. That was also their sad mistake.
No, your face does not shine like Moses’ face.
But God and Christ visits you just the same. And the result should be seen, heard, and observed. When God visits you, you are a better carpenter, father, mother, child, citizen, elder, deacon, minister, member of the church.
Your life gives testimony of the gift of grace.
You are a witness, that is, you tell what you have seen and heard.
Your life shows how adorably lovely God and Jesus are.
In two ways:
Number one: filled with holy enthusiasm you fight the good fight of faith against the devil, the world, and against the power of evil that resides within you. (And that last battle is the worst of all.) You set your face like a flint against the lie in all its filthy forms. And you sing of the truth.
Number two: you are a pilgrim: you march through this sorry world as a pilgrim. You look not at Sodom as Lot did, but you look to the City that hath foundations. You have the love of God in your heart, and your deepest and fondest yearnings are for God, for Christ, for heaven and its perfection.
The Son of man will return.
There is an end to the dispensation of the household of God on earth.
It started in Paradise.
I do not know anymore how a certain author expressed it, but it goes something like this: And Adam and Eve, hand in hand, began their weary way, through this earth to heaven.
What a weary way.
Writing as I did above I am crucifying myself.
Yes, I mentioned both Lot and Abraham.
Both traveled to heaven. But what a difference!
How often we walk as Lot did, and how little as Abraham did.
Lot found himself in the cave of Zoar, committing incest.
Abraham found himself ever looking to the city of Jerusalem, ever seeing the day of Jesus Christ.
Lot has his offspring: the enemies of God’s Israel: Ammon and Moab. Abraham has his offspring: the believers of all the ages.
Yet, God is pitiful to Lot: he may bring forth the mother of Jesus: Ruth.
Yes, oh yes, a thousand times yes, God is pitiful to us upon whom the latter ages have come: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Heb. 8:12. “He bath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Psalm 103:10.
If it were not for these words of God I could not go on.
Yes, Jesus is coming!
From our sick viewpoint His coming is very slack. It is now almost 6000 years.
How much more we know not. It seems so long.
The world is fast asleep in the sleep of death.
The false church is also asleep. You can hear their snoring.
The true church often slumbers, hence this admonition to be ready.
In an hour we think not, He will come: like a thief in the night. A thief takes off his shoes when he breaks into our house, or has rubber soles.
And therefore we must be faithful and wise. Always.
You see, when you are ready, that is, when you are working in God’s household, it makes no difference when He comes. For then we are found working to His glory.
There was a time when a catechumen asked me the reason why we should not go to the theatre.
Well, there are many reasons why we should never go there, and I told him. Among those reasons I said: Would you like to be there when Jesus comes? He answered me NO.
Would it not be wonderful to be in church when He came? Listening or preaching? It’s a fond thought.
Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.
I know, I know, “so doing” includes many, oh so many places and duties which we may be performing. You need not be in church when He comes.
What is it?
It means that you shall be full, full of all which you need according to the nature of man. It means that you are filled with the goodness of God. It means that you are satisfied with His image. It means that you are filled with the communicable virtues of God. It means that you are lovely and comely.
No, you do not have to wait until you are in heaven in order to be blessed. You are blessed here when you are working the work of God, even though that blessedness is only a small principle.
But it also shows that all the work in the household of God carries its own reward.
It shows that only the things of the Kingdom of God have abiding, lasting, eternal value and blessedness. Do not envy the wicked in their laughter, joy, happiness and glee. It’s hollow, vain, and does never satisfy.
What Augustine said is true still, even today: a man cannot rest except he rest in the arms of God.
Blessed, for He will make him ruler of all things.
But that must wait until you are in heaven.
Beloved, I wonder, I continually wonder what that shall be.
However, it is better that you and I be ready for His coming.