In preparation for this coming Sunday’s message on the four parables of the Olivet Discourse, I read a fantastic statement by Michael Wilkins:
“The way one thinks about the Lord’s return will eventually influence what one says and how one acts. Perhaps the servant thinks that the master will never return or that he can get away with his wickedness before he is caught. This may be a subtle hint here that Jesus’ return will be delayed, which will act as a test to the heart of each person.” (The NIV Application Commentary: Matthew, 804)
This is in relation to Matthew 24:45-51, but could essentially be in relation to so many NT passages regarding Jesus’ parousia. In fact, it brought to mind Peter’s statement that,
“scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Pet. 3:3–4)
How we reflect on the Second Coming has great bearing on how we live our lives. At least that’s clearly what Jesus states in Matthew 24:42-25:30. Inside four parables, Jesus warns us to “stay awake” (24:42) and to “be ready” (24:44) because those who are not will be “cut… in pieces and put… with the hypocrites… [where there is] weeping and gnashing of teeth” (24:51). This explicitly challenges us to “watch therefore” because we “know neither the day nor the hour” (25:13) and to be a “good and faithful servant” (25:21, 23) in contrast to a “wicked and slothful servant” (25:26) who is “cast.. into the outer darkness” (25:30).
The Second Coming is supposed to motivate us.