Keep watch . . . (and) be ready . . . because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:42,44 (NIV)
“Mr. Murray . . . Mr. Murray . . . Can you hear me?” I couldn’t really so I motioned to the students to stop their hammering and chiselling and waited for the intercom to crackle into life again. “Mr. Murray? Can you hear me now?” “Yes, loud and clear”, I responded. “Please won’t you come down to the office. There’s an urgent telephone call for you”, said the secretary. Before leaving I quickly reminded the students that, for safety reasons, they were not to use the bench saw or the radial arm saw while I was out of the workshop. Then I sped off to take the call.
Fifteen minutes later I was returning to the classroom when I heard a saw being turned on. This was closely followed by a loud thwack and the motor immediately being turned off. Within seconds I was bounding into action. As I sprang through the door, I saw two youths desperately trying to wrench a piece of splintered wood out of a blade guard where it was wedged. One look at their distraught faces told me all I needed to know. They were wishing desperately that I hadn’t chosen to come back when I did!
The two youths in the workshop remind me of people who believe they can gamble with God and get away with things they shouldn’t be doing. Many folk have heard about Jesus and His imminent return yet carry on eating, drinking and marrying as if the advent of Christ is an impossibility (cf. Matthew 24:37-39). Some even say to themselves “Jesus is staying away a long time so I’ve time enough for my own agenda” (cf. Matthew 24:48-49). But this attitude is folly and these people will be taken by surprise unless they heed God’s Word.
For the Scriptures are crystal clear with the pronouncement that Jesus is coming back “at an hour when (we) do not expect him” Matthew 24:44. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” Matthew 24:36. So “keep watch . . . (and) be ready . . . because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” Matthew 24:42,44.
Centuries may have passed away,
Since the promise was given of the Advent day.
But the hour is coming when we’ll welcome the King.
When the trumpet shall sound and “Alleluia” we’ll sing.