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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

OTHER TEACHINGS ABOUT THE SECOND COMING

Matt 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. (Also See Matt. 24:44-51)

Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. (Also See Mark 13:35-37)

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (Also See Luke 21:35-36)

This was Jesus' warning as recorded in the verse preceding the lesson text found in Matthew 24:42: Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. To help teach this important lesson, Jesus gave us further analogies to help warn and teach the necessity of watchfulness regarding His second coming. During His ministry on earth, He taught the multitudes that gathered around Him. And, by the Holy Spirit-inspired writings of the gospel authors, He taught all living thereafter with the illustrations found in these scriptures, including those of us in the present day generation.

Looking first at the analogy recorded by Matthew 24:43, we are assured that if a master of a household knew the hour that a thief would come, he would have made preparation to prevent the robbery from taking place. But this we know about robbers; they don't announce the day or time of their attempted thievery, and especially to the ones that reside in the home they plan to burglarize. "Successful" robbers come unannounced and at the most opportune time - when it is least expected by the goodman of the house. Spiritually, the house we should protect from thieves is comparable to our souls, as well as all souls that we are responsible to influence for good. We must never be found spiritually asleep, but always alert and diligently protect these souls from all evil, keeping them always prepared for the coming of the Savior. And as the goodman is always watchful for the thief, Jesus tells us to be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

The goodman of the house, or the head of the household, is now shown, with the use of metaphors, in two different, opposing degrees of responsible service to God. First, he is shown as a faithful and wise servant. Such a servant will always be found diligently doing the things that are expected of him, even when his master is absence from the household. Faithful, obedient service to one's master will be rewarded in due time by elevating this servant to become ruler over all his goods. Likewise, the faith and obedience of Christians will also be rewarded, not only with additional trusts on earth, but, in due time, with the greatest of all rewards - eternal life in heaven.

However, the goodman of the house may not be faithful. He may have an evil heart, and, in the absence of his master, he may abuse and neglect those over whom he is expected to exercise nourishment and protection. Should the master return and find this servant disregarding his assigned duties and responsibilities and, instead, engaging in worldly pleasure, he will assuredly face severe punishment from his master resulting in an endless lifetime of anguish and suffering. And the master will appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Notice in this analogy that the master came home at a time that the servant was not expecting him to do so. So it will be at the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Those that refuse to give up the pleasures of this world - those that are unrepentant, and still living an unfaithful life in sin, will receive the greatest of all punishments, which will be eternal life in hell.

In Mark 13:34-37, another example is given by our Savior to teach the world about His second coming. Unknown to His disciples at this time, Jesus prophetically gives us these comparisons referring to the time following His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven. He compares His heavenly ascension to the departure of a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. The comparison of a man leaving his house is likened to Jesus leaving His church after ascending back into heaven. He left the church of Christ to the direction, charge, and authority of His apostles and other Holy Spirit-inspired disciples, to teach, establish, increase, protect, and defend from danger, His body - the church. With certainty, Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and ascension were foretold by prophets of old, as well as by His own prophecies. However, the only certainty He applied to His second coming was that it would be totally unknown. His return is likened to the householder in this analogy. His servants were warned to watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. So will be the second coming of our Savior. He gave this same warning to all His followers then, and gives it to all Christians today: And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke records another lesson of Jesus for all His followers with this similar watchful warning: take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. This is a universal warning for all mankind to be vigilantly watchful at all times, and not to be caught up in the false "pleasures" of the world. We are constantly faced with carnal indulgences that ensnare men and women and cause them to carelessly stray from following Christ Jesus and become followers of the evils ways that are designed by Satan. We must constantly remember that death awaits each one of us, and after that the judgment. Therefore we must watch ...and pray always to God for wisdom and divine deliverance from the trials and tribulations of the world. Without the gospel of Christ, and His example to guide us, we would utterly fail to order our lives in a manner to receive the hope of eternal salvation. Is there any doubt what Jesus is teaching us about His second coming? The answer is loud and clear - we are to, prayerfully and without ceasing: WATCH!