Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. — Matthew 24:42-44 ESV
Christians throughout history have held various views of how the world will end, including when Christ will return. [Now, as much as I’d like to straighten out your views over the next two minutes, I’m going to exercise self-control.] But when Jesus talks about His return, he says some important things that we can all agree on!
Today’s passage comes after the disciples ask Jesus what would be the sign of his coming. Jesus describes the difficult times and events that will take place and warns them not to be led astray by those claiming ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is’ (24:23). “Do not believe,” Jesus says. He goes on to say, “Just as lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” In other words, Jesus assures the disciples that His return will be obvious, unmissable!
So, what are we to do in the meantime as we await his return? Be ready. Live as though He could come back this year, this month, tomorrow, today! Look again at today’s text: “stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. … Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” We won’t miss the return of Christ when it happens. Like lightning that flashes across the sky, we’ll know it when we see it. But don’t be caught off guard. Don’t be caught sleeping. Don’t be caught living your life for yourself or some lesser cause than the Kingdom of God. Let’s live today as if Christ could come at any time. Stay awake!