Constantly Ready, Consistently Faithful (Matthew Sermon 130 of 151)
July 11, 2010 | Andrew Davis
It was the midst of the darkness of one of the darkest times in history, World War II, at 9:15 in the evening, June 5th, 1944, the BBC radio news was interrupted by the following report: "Eileen is married to Joe. It is hot in Suez. The compass points north, the dice are on the table." Now to thousands of listeners, including many Germans that were listening over an occupied France, that message was utter nonsense. But to the French resistance, the underground, it was a signal that D-Day was imminent within 24 hours, and over 5000 French resistance workers, each carrying two packages of TNT went out into the night risking their lives and blasted important railway targets and other targets to make way for the impending invasion, the greatest invasion of history. Seventy-four telephone exchanges were destroyed and roads that German reinforcements would need to throw back the invasion into the sea were destroyed. For four years, the Nazis had been occupying France and their resistance numbers were growing. There were an estimated 100,000 plus resistance workers right before D-Day. They were risking their lives because if they were arrested in the act, they would be immediately executed. Many of them immediately were executed by the Gestapo, horribly tortured and executed, but these people didn't mind, they realized that the Nazi rule of France and of the world was wicked and they wanted to risk their lives to throw it off.
How much more should we be active in advancing the kingdom of Jesus Christ? We're like resistance workers in occupied territory. Did you realize that? It says in 1 John 5, in verse 19, "We know that we are children of God," and listen to this, "the whole world is under the control of the evil one." Well, what does that make us who are seeking to advance the kingdom of a coming king but traitors and rebels and resistance workers to the occupying force. “The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.” Satan's time is short, and we are called on to resist the devil, to be resistance workers. Why? Because the greatest invasion of all history is yet to come. The greatest invasion is described very plainly in Revelation 19. Jesus Christ is coming back at the head of a heavenly angelic army. He's going to be riding on a horse whose name is called Faithful and True. His eyes are like blazing fire, out of his mouth comes a sword of righteousness with which to slay the wicked. He will destroy the anti-Christ with the breath of his mouth and with the splendor of his coming, and he will gather up all that have fought for him in this occupied world. Oh, that that would be you and me, that we would be faithful to get ready for that coming invasion.
The resistance workers knew what those codes meant. There are no such codes in the Bible. I already covered that in my sermon on the Rapture, we're not looking for a special calculation concerning the exact day and hour of the Lord's return. Instead, what we get at the end of Matthew 24 are two simple parables that tell us that we, as the resistance workers here in occupied world, are to be constantly ready and consistently faithful for the Second Coming of Christ. That's what this sermon is all about. How do you be constantly ready and consistently faithful in your service to Christ? We are told in Matthew 24 and 25 that the timing is uncertain, but the Second Coming is not uncertain, and Christ's expectations on us are not uncertain. The exact timing of Christ's return is unknown. Look at verses 36 - 39, Matthew 24. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage right up to the day Noah entered the ark, and they had no idea about what would happen until the flood came and swept them all away. And that is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
The Timing of the Second Coming is Unknown
In the text we're looking at today, verse 42, "Therefore keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." And then again in verse 44 of this same chapter, "So you also must be ready because the son of man will come in an hour when you do not expect him." Again, and again, the parables of Jesus in chapter 24 and again in chapter 25, imply a long delay between the first and second comings of Christ. He's getting them ready for a long time. In our parable, the second parable today, at the end of Matthew 24, the wise and the wicked stewards, both are dealing with a long delay. The master, it seems, is away a long time. At least one of the servants thinks he's going to stay away a long time. In the parable of the five wise and the five foolish virgins it says, "The bridegroom was a long time in coming and they all became drowsy and fell asleep." In the Parable of the Talents, after a long time, the master of those servants returned to settle accounts with them. There's an implied long time between the first and second comings of Christ. The overall message to every generation of Christians is, be constantly ready, be consistently faithful because you don't know when the Lord will come.
The key issue then for us is how do we do that? How shall we live in light of this? He tells us this first simple parable, one of his simpler parables, of the need of constant watchfulness, constant readiness, that nothing be lost. You don't want to lose anything when the Lord returns. He takes up this image of a thief in the night. Look at verses 43-44, "But understand this, if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into, so you also must be ready because the son of man will come in an hour when you do not expect him." Some of Jesus' parables are complex, some are simple. This is a simple one. Two characters, the owner of a house and a thief in the night, these are the two that we're looking at in this parable. A simple question is in front of us, will the thief be able to plunder the house by stealth? Jesus uses a rather humorous, actually, a preposterous concept, that the thief would send notice to the homeowner of the exact time when he's coming to plunder his house. “I’m going to be in your neighborhood tonight, I plan on making your home the third one I'll hit. In the evening after the Smith and the Jones' place you'll be third on the list. I shouldn't be there before 2:00, probably not later than 2:30, if all goes well. Somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00 AM. I will come in the back door with a flashlight, I'll try to come with as little, as much stealth and as little noise as possible, so as not to disturb you.” Obviously, if the thief were completely truthful and the owner of the house believed it, all he would need to do is just set his alarm for 1:55 AM, right? Get up five minutes before the guy comes and be waiting at the back door. Jesus is playing with us, isn't he? No thief would ever do that. Never.
The issue here is the loss of something valuable. A burglar comes to take valuables from your house. A burglar is not looking for Tupperware, that stuff that's been in there for four months, he's not taking that. Nor is he going to clean out your closets for you and take much of it to the dump. He's looking for your valuables, he's looking to steal you blind, taking something valuable. The owner has valuable possessions, gold and silver coins maybe, family heirlooms, carpets, dishes, tableware, other precious possessions. These possessions are vulnerable they are valuable, and so also each human being on the face of the earth is vulnerable in the face of the Second Coming of Christ. We're vulnerable to loss. If you're not a Christian, you stand to lose your soul, your eternal soul. Jesus said in Matthew 16: 26-27, "What would it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul?" What could a man give in exchange for his soul, for the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with all of his angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done. There, if you're not a Christian, you stand to lose your soul, your eternal soul, and you will spend eternity losing it. It's not an instantaneous thing. We don't believe in annihilation scripturally, and so for an eternity of suffering, you'll lose your soul.
For Christians, we also stand to lose the loss of rewards. Stewardship issues, things that were entrusted to us. We should have been faithful with them, we did not make the most of those opportunities, and we will stand to lose when judgment day comes. This is recorded very plainly in 1 Corinthians 3:12 -15, "If any man builds on the foundation, the existing work of the church builds on the foundation using gold and silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is because the day will bring it to light, it will be revealed with fire, the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer a loss. He himself will be saved yet only as one escaping through the flames." That's a believer saved, going to heaven who suffers loss on judgment day.
Why is it so hard for the church to understand that Judgment Day will be a difficult day for us all? I teach this and I'm looked at like I'm a heretic. It's like a Monopoly game where you go past “Go” and I guess there you go straight to jail. The idea is prevalent that you get to skip anything unpleasant and go right on into a heavenly bliss. No, you have to give an account for your lives, all the stewardship stuff, you got to give an account. You don't want to suffer loss, so Jesus picks up the image here of a thief in the night.
The very famous expression “a thief in the night”, Peter and Paul and John all pick up on it and use it later in the New Testament. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-2, "Now brothers, about times and dates, we do not need to write to you for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night." Peter in 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief." Jesus says in Revelation 3:3, quoted by John as he wrote that book for us, "Remember therefore what you have received and heard, obey it and repent but if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you." There's Jesus saying it again, but John recording it for us in the book of Revelation.
You know very well Jesus is not comparing himself morally to a thief, a thief comes and takes what doesn't belong to him. What is there in this universe that doesn't belong to Jesus? Nothing. He's not coming to take from you what is not his, he's just comparing his approach and the stealth and the suddenness of it to a thief in the night, he himself is no thief. The simple idea is, you do not know the day or the hour, just like Jesus' parable of the unjust judge, who's a wicked man and cares nothing for man or God. Do you remember that parable? Jesus is not comparing God to the wicked judge; He's just saying that how much more should we go to God who loves us and who will answer our prayers.
The thief in the night is also a famous expression historically in evangelicalism. In 1972, there was a film entitled “A Thief In The Night," about the secret rapture. It was the first in a series of films on the End Times done at that point. The problem I have with the secret rapture is not that Jesus comes like a thief in the night, He does, is that he also leaves like a thief in the night, and that I think is unscriptural. He comes and then after the coming and explosion of sound and light, friends, like lightning that flashes at one side visible to the other side, everybody will see it, an explosion of sound and light, but the coming is quiet like a thief in the night. Listen to 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, the heavens will disappear with a roar. The elements will be destroyed by fire and the Earth and everything in it will be laid bare." He's not leaving like a thief in the night; at that point, everything changes. [2 Peter 3:10], “The day of the Lord is coming.”
Note also that Paul's use of the expression refers not to the secret rapture when Christ's true bride is carried away in the night, but to the open devastating judgment of God on sinners. 1 Thessalonians 5, “Now brothers, about times and dates, we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night while people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly as labor pains on a pregnant woman and they will not escape." What's so amazing is how Paul continues in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 with a thief in the night, “But you brothers, you're not in the darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You're all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness, so then let us not be like others who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled for those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk, get drunk at night but since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet for God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that whether we are awake or sleep [that means alive or dead] "we may live together with him." We are not in the darkness, we're not going to be surprised, and why not? Because you heard this sermon or others like it, because you read these texts and others like it, you have been instructed about the day of the Lord. Therefore, it's not going to surprise you like a thief in the night, you're going to be ready. Please be ready. That's the whole point of so many sermons in Matthew 24 and Matthew 25, be ready. This day should not surprise you like a thief.
Be Always Ready for the Second Coming
I think to some degree, it's not so much that we're getting ready, but we're keeping ready. How's that? Ray Steadman had an illustration that I loved. He said this in a small country store, a faithful church-going lady came to do her shopping. Two or three of the kinda shiftless troublemakers in the town were standing around passing the time of day. They knew she was a Christian and churchgoer. They began to taunt her. "We hear that you're expecting Jesus to come back,” they said. "I sure am,” she replied brightly. "Do you really believe he's coming?" they asked. "Sure, as you're born," she answered. "Well, you better hurry home and get ready, he might be on his way." She turned and fixed her tormentors with a look, "I don't have to get ready. I keep ready." You get ready the moment you come to Christ in faith, that's how you get ready for the Second Coming of Christ. Trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, he who shed his blood, who died on the cross for you. You keep ready through faithful spirit-filled living, involving holiness of your own life and service through the power of the Holy Spirit. That's how you get ready for the day of the Lord. You're not going to be constantly gazing up in the sky, getting a crick in your neck, looking for the clouds to come, like the apostles, out on the Mount of Olives waiting for Jesus to come back.
I think that should be the disposition of your heart, I think the eyes of your heart should be upward and future-oriented, but you need to be busy. We're not going to be like the Millerites in 1843 who sold all their possessions and literally waited on the roofs of their houses in white robes. We're not doing that. We've got a busy life; we need to be faithfully occupied in the labor of the Lord and service to the Lord. That's the point of the next parable, the blessedness of consistent faithfulness. Look at verses 45-51, "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time. It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself my master's staying away a long time, and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him, and in an hour, he is not aware of, he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Jesus begins this parable with a rhetorical question about the nature of the faithful and wise servant. Who is the faithful and wise servant? What does it mean to be faithful and wise? He's going to answer the question in the parable, both positively and negatively. He is like this; he is not like that. Who is this faithful and wise servant, this one put in a position of responsibility? First and foremost, he is a servant, and he knows that he is a servant. The essence of being a servant is that you are under the master. In the previous parable, you have a homeowner and a thief, but here it's not a homeowner, this is a servant or a steward. He knows that he's not in charge, he knows he's accountable to his master. He owns nothing here. Secondly, he's a steward who has been put in a position of vast responsibility; the master has put him in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time. This will be like Joseph who ran Potiphar's house for him. Potiphar had entrusted everything to Joseph to look after, but it was still Potiphar's house. This servant is put in charge of the other servants, he's a man under authority, but he has got servants under him. KJV calls him a ruler in the household, he has authority, he also has the job to feed the household their daily food. He's entrusted with the responsibility of giving them their food at the proper time, it says, and without that being done, the whole estate is going to be shut down.
Remember Jesus is giving this teaching to the twelve apostles whom Jesus had chosen to be the leaders of his church in his absence once He ascended to heaven. Let's start in redemptive history with these words to the apostles. The apostles were listening, and after Jesus ascended in the clouds, it would be their job to rule God's household under his leadership and to give the people of God their food at the proper time through right doctrine, through good, faithful Bible instruction. They would instruct the people of God and feed them the word. You remember how Peter denied Jesus three times the night he was arrested, and after his resurrection, Jesus so beautifully reinstates Peter, I think to his apostolic office. In John 21, they're eating that breakfast of broiled fish, and after they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs. Feed them." Again, Jesus said, "Simon, son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." And Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time He said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time do you love me. He said, "Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you." Then Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." That's the apostolic calling, isn't it? Give the servants of God their food at the proper time. What did that entail? Peter went out, the day of Pentecost, to the huge assembly of people there, and preached this incredible Pentecost sermon about the resurrection of Jesus. Those who accepted his message were baptized, about 3000 were added to their number that day.
Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching.” Do you hear that? They fed on the word of the apostles, they fed on that doctrine. Every day they used to meet together in Solomon's colonnade and the apostles would be faithfully teaching the church. Jesus wanted to be sure that the apostles were going to be faithful and wise stewards in his household to give the people of God their food at the proper time. But let's not leave it right there, the apostles are dead, they're gone, they're up in heaven. Does this still have a word to speak to us? Yes, it does. It has a word to speak to us. What is your ministry? What has God entrusted to you? Are you being faithful and wise with what God has entrusted to you? You're going to have to give him an account when he comes. Are you being a faithful and wise servant to do what he told you to do? Faithful means you keep your promise, you do what you said you would do. Wise means you're sensible, you understand the time, you know what's going on, you're not distracted by laziness or love of pleasure, you're wise in the way you use your time. I am a pastor teacher, that's what I am. This parable speaks directly to my ministry, I need to be a faithful and wise steward in the house of God to give you the food of the word at the proper time, that's my calling, and not just me, but the elders and all that are called to teach. Their responsibility is to feed you the word of God to be sure it's true and faithful and enriching and helpful. That's our job, but it's not just us pastor teachers and elders, anybody entrusted with anything from Jesus, you need to be faithful and wise as a servant in his house to do what he has entrusted you to do.
Rewards for Being Faithful
What will you get if you do? “Blessed is that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” The word means happy, not just kind of happy, like the kind of happiness you get when something good happens to you in this world, but I mean an eternal happiness. Blessed because God is happy with you, and you're going to be eternally happy when the master returns and you were faithful. The master will return when you're not expecting him, but when you look up and see him, you're not going to be shocked and ashamed. You'll be delighted to see him, delighted to report what the Lord did through you. You're going to come right into the light to make it plain that everything you did has been done through God. [John chapter 3], You're not going to be ashamed. The other servants in the house were well-led and well-fed. You did it right, you were faithful, and you were wise, and the Lord will say, "Blessed are you." It's going to be good for you when the master finds you doing so. What are the rewards? Verse 47, "I tell you the truth, he'll put him in charge of all his possessions." This is very provocative, and I'm not going to deal with it fully today. Let's deal with it when we get to the parable of the talents. “Well done, good and faithful servant, you've been faithful with a few things, I'm going to put you in charge of many things.” Heaven and earth, the new heaven and the new earth, is going to be a very busy place with things to do, and you are presently auditioning for your job there if you're a Christian.
It's going on right now. If you're faithful in little, you'll be faithful in much. I already blurted it out, you already know what I'm going to say when I get to the Parable of the Talents. You're auditioning now for your job then. You'll be happy no matter what you have. Bigger and bigger responsibilities for those who are more and more faithful in this life, so be faithful. What then of the curse of treacherous laziness? Look at verses 48-51 again. Suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, “my master is staying away a long time”, and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and in an hour, he is not aware of, and he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Here we see the character and the behavior of this servant. He is wicked, the word means rebellious, defiant, treacherous, he is presumptuous. Notice that he's presumptuous. He says my master is staying away a long time. He is tyrannical, he uses his position of authority as a tyrant to beat his fellow servants, though they are essentially equal to him, since they are his fellow servants. He's just in a temporary position of authority over them, for which he will give an account to the master, but he's still behaving like a tyrant. He is self-serving, immoral, lazy and self-indulgent, eating and drinking with drunkards, a life of fleshly, sensual indulgence.
James 5:5, "You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence, you have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter." Wow, is that convicting? We Americans should read that and tremble. Let us not fatten ourselves in the day of slaughter. Let's not live self-indulgent lives but look at this wicked servant. He is self-indulgent and look at the shock of this wicked servant. In verse 50, the master of that servant will come on a day he does not expect him, in an hour he is not aware of. He is shocked, he is terrorized now by the coming of the master. He's not delighted to see Jesus, he’s terrified of it, and look at the judgment of this wicked servant. Verse 51, "He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." This is exceptionally harsh language. It's always reserved for those sent to hell. Jesus is saying that people who do not live faithfully and expectantly in light of the Second Coming of Christ are not really Christians.
Look at your life, which of these two describes you? Are you the faithful and wise servant about the business of the master, or are you the wicked lazy, self-indulgent servant who says my master's staying away a long time, I can eat, drink and be merry today because he's not coming today? What application can we draw from this? All scripture has the same ultimate application: come to the cross, come to Jesus, trust in Christ. Are you an unbeliever who never made a commitment to Christ, and don't know for certain that you're ready to stand before this Holy God? Come to Jesus. His blood is sufficient for you. The cross is enough for you. Come to Jesus.
If I can just urge the rest of us as we look at this, I believe these two parables and the general teaching here is designed to drive away false wicked understandings of the Second Coming that we tend to have. For example, it drives away careless unpreparedness, these parables teach a constant vigilance for the Second Coming is needed. We tend to be thoughtless; we tend to not think about what it's going to be like when Jesus comes back. We'll get to that more next week with the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins. They just didn't think it through. What will I really need when the bridegroom comes? There's this careless unpreparedness, it's a form of rank unbelief, I really don't think He's coming. Therefore, you're really not ready, you didn't give it much thought, or if He comes, He'll be gracious, and it'll be no big deal. If anything ever has been a big deal, how about the Second Coming of Christ? This will be the big deal. You need to be ready. Careless unpreparedness or biding time and pacing yourselves, is this you?
Biding time, pacing yourselves, the wicked steward in the second parable didn't want to exert himself for any length of time. He thinks he knows when he’s coming, and he’ll get ready right at the end. Hurry to get ready right at the end, do you know what I'm saying? Patch it up, clean it up, hurry, get ready. We are on the business, if you're a Christian, you're on the business of two infinite journeys, an internal journey of perfection, growing in holiness to be like Jesus, and an external journey of worldwide evangelization. Those are incredibly difficult journeys, and you may be like, "I don't want to be about that all the time, that's hard work." It's tough, the task of faithfulness in a sin cursed world seem so overwhelming. It's so difficult to be about the master's business 24/7, to be on it, to be at it all the time, to be witnessing, to be sharing, to be growing, to be reading and praying and serving, it's like, "How about we just tread water and just get ready at the end?" We can't do it. Find your strength in God, find your strength in the indwelling Holy Spirit and be more and more faithful all the time. That's what the Scripture is calling on us to do.
Thirdly, address laziness. We tend to be lazy, with an allergy to hard work. Yes, it's work. The Lord is calling on us to labor for him. We've got this sluggish tendency, and we all have it, like the sluggard in the book of Proverbs, that would rather just roll over like a door on its hinge side to side, have somebody feed us like mommy used to do. We've all got that laziness inside us. This drives that laziness out of us. How about procrastination? Any of you struggle with that at all? There'll be time, we'll get to it. I know I should make that phone call today, but we'll get around to it eventually. Do you realize how presumptuous that is, to assume that you’re going to have another time to do this when the Holy Spirit is prompting you to get busy to do something, make that call, to get in the car and go do such and such, and like I'll put it off. There'll be plenty of time, won't there, when Jesus comes back, to get everything ready? I mean, throw it together at the end. Procrastination is a prideful sin, it's presumptuous. How about self-indulgence? It's addressed here, feed my flesh, feed that desire, that stomach inside me. The servant thinks there's plenty of time to eat and drink with drunkards and have a good time, and then he'll get it patched up when the Lord returns, self-indulgence. Prideful abuse of power, angry tyranny. Have you ever heard it said the ground is equal at the foot of the cross? Have you heard that? Guess what, the ground is also equal at the foot of the judgement seat of God. It is. You are in positions of power and authority, you have them temporarily. The ones you are in power over are equal to you at the cross and will be again on judgment day, do you understand that? They are your fellow servants.
Let me speak to parents. Please remember that this child you're training up is your equal before God. Though you may need to chastise as the Bible instructs, though you may need to train, you have authority, you have the right to command, though you have these things, you have them temporarily. They are created in the image of God, and some day you will stand side by side with them and give an account for yourself, just as he or she, your son or daughter will give an account for him or herself. Your job is to get them ready for that; not to be a tyrant. You masters, employers, authority figures, government officials, you elders, senior pastors, whatever is entrusted to you, it is temporary, and you are ministering to fellow servants. Do so with humility. Don't be a tyrant beating your fellow servants.
What about unbelief? Second coming, “out of sight, out of mind”, right? The purpose of all these sermons in Matthew 24 is to make it in the mind. Yes, it's out of sight. Therefore, you need faith to believe in the Second Coming and think about it all the time. Do you want to get rid of your unbelief in the Second Coming of Christ, read Matthew 24 a lot? Read these parables a lot, feed on the Word and say, "He is coming back." It might be today. Absentee landowners and absentee masters and absentee kings that are coming back, you've got to have faith, believe in those guys. You have to have faith to believe in Jesus who's coming back and He's going to ask you to give an account.
What about a misunderstanding of judgment day? You know the wicked servant; you know what he thought? It's just how it looks at the end, right? Does he think that the master isn't going to ask the servants how it was the whole time? Suppose he says, I'm going to be gone exactly ten years and one day. Okay, and at nine years, 11 months and two weeks, he puts it together, throws it together, gets it nice. The master comes back, and the servants aren't so emaciated as they were six months ago. They're looking a little bit better, starting to recover. The house is immaculate, everything's looking sharp. Do they think that the master's an idiot? Do they think he's not going to say, “How was it when I was gone? How was it the first day after I left?” Everything is written in God's book. Everything, not just the stuff at the end. Every day we're going to give Him an account.
How about weariness or discouragement over this long delay? Let's banish that, dear friends. Go again and again to Christ for the energy and the strength. Don't get weary in doing good, the Lord's coming back. If you're weary, take a nap, get up and pray, and get up and serve some more. And finally, hypocrisy, acting like we really believe in the Second Coming of Christ when we really don’t. He says He will cut them to pieces and assign them a place with the hypocrites. You don't want to be a hypocrite, who claims something they really aren't. Do we believe in the Second Coming? Do you believe it could happen today? Do you believe that you could die today and give this master an account for your life, do you believe this? Then act like it, be constantly vigilant and be constantly faithful in what the Lord has entrusted to you.