“At an Hour You Do Not Expect” (Part 2) Matthew Chapter 24:43-51)
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (John 24:44)
The Museum of Idolatry
There is a website titled “Museum of Idolatry” and it is a real eye-opener as to the sorts of things that are happening in wider Christendom today and much of it coming out of America. Clearly the sheep are being ‘fleeced’ well and truly and spiritually abused by false teachers and prophets whose coffers are swelling with money and who are leading God’s people down the yellow brick road of hyped up false fire and fanaticism imbued with all kinds of dreams visions and with the delusions of their own minds only to find at the end of that road they will not find the wizard of Oz but someone far more sinister and deadly.
Leaving their minds in the Church carpark
Indeed, having viewed this website, it is incredulous to think that the things being done within wider Christendom and in the name of Jesus are actually tolerated. Indeed when you see the things happening in many churches it is clear that the apostasy is in full-swing today! It is spiritual insanity to see what is happening in the wider Christian Church. A Jewish evangelist and Bible teacher has said; “Many Christians when coming to church to worship leave their minds in the carpark outside.” Today it is hype, sensationalism, money, seeker friendly, and kingdom dominion and faith prosperity and ecumenism and the immerging church and the New Apostolic Reformation with its so called ‘apostles.’ Added to this we have the seeker friendly, seeker sensitive Alpha and Purpose Driven agendas being pushed within wider Christendom.
Billy did it right!
Watching Billy Graham preaching back in the 1950’s clearly reveals how watered down the gospel message has become today. Back in the fifties Billy was no joke as He preached fearlessly against sin and rebellion, against the devil and the need for repentance and faith in Jesus to avoid going to hell, the absolute necessity to be genuinely born again. He also preached about the Church needing to repent and warned of the dangers of backsliding and of coming judgement and an eternal hell and the last days including the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus to judge the world in righteousness. He always preached the law and judgement of God before he preached the love and grace of God.
What is on your radar?
It is clear that many within the rank and file of Christendom these days are not ready for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and that it is not even on the radar in their thinking, or in their churches. They are fed a solid diet of personal prophecies and so called ‘manifestations’ and virtually no exposition of God’s Word. Many leaders involved in these hyped up churches today do not even know how to rightly divide the Word of God themselves. Then you have ‘evangelical’ churches that no longer preach about hell and the judgement to come or anything to do with the end times and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Many avoid these imperative spiritual truths today and replace them with Alpha and Purpose driven courses which are not so much a problem as to what they say but as to what they are not saying, this is the problem. The end result for many is that they are not genuinely saved at all. When you look at how the Old Testament prophets, the Lord Jesus and the apostles themselves preached they all preached repentance before spiritual refreshing. Repentance always came first after those repenting had been deeply convicted about their sin. In one sermon Peter preached he said to his hearers; “save yourselves from this crooked and perverse generation!” What was “seeker sensitive” about that?
Have you been born again?
Tragically today our churches are full of people who are not really saved having had no personal encounter with the Lord Jesus in their lives but have somehow drifted into church but have never been born again and made new on the inside by the blessed Holy Spirit. Humanly speaking they may be clean living people and not given over to the depravity that others are enslaved to but they have not realised that all have sinned and need to be spiritually reborn and saved from their sins by the blood of Jesus if they would ever see the Kingdom of God. Added to this many professing Christians no longer even think much about what the Bible says about the last days, the coming judgement and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and the events and signs leading up to it. The ones who are to blame for this primarily are the ministers of the Church.
In His discourse in Matthew chapter 24 the Lord Jesus warned His faithful followers about spiritual deception infiltrating the Body of the Messiah in the last days and included false Messiah’s of one sort or another being those with a false anointing. Once again the focus of the text is on His Second Coming and that in an hour when He is not expected but His emphasis shifted and became focused on the leaders and ministers of the Body of the Messiah and whether they have been preparing His people for His Second Coming. This is the context of the text.
Two types of leaders
In the following verses the Lord Jesus focused on two types of leaders who have spiritual oversight of God’s flock. One group of leaders are preparing God’s people for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus while the other group of leaders is not. One group is leading and caring for the sheep but the other group is abusing the sheep. It is a challenge to all who are in the work of the ministry today. When we speak of ‘abusing the sheep’ we do not mean physical violence as such but not feeding them what they need to hear to grow spiritually and to avoid the spiritual pitfalls associated with wrong doctrine and through not rightly diving the Word of God.
(Vs.43-44) “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
No one knows the day or the hour when the Lord Jesus will return but those who really belong to Him will be spiritually alert at all times as they wait in anticipation for His return. Sadly there are many within Christendom that are not ready for His Second Coming. Many so called ‘apostles prophets and teachers’ if you can really call them that, are all sitting in “the circle of the merrymakers” and partying on in the false euphoria of wealth, health, prosperity and having things good in this world. They are plunging headlong into mesmerising music of every description and engaged in the worship of worship and are not preparing God’s people for the return of the Lord Jesus. Whether it is the hyper faith prosperity gurus or the Kingdom dominion so called apostles of the NAR or the seeker friendly Alpha and Purpose Driven agendas it is all designed to make people feel good and at home in this world.
Many no longer preach the cross because they find it offensive and do not want the offence that comes with it from the world. They are enemies of the cross of Christ because their god is their fleshly appetites and because they are in fact preaching another gospel. Those who go down this path are not ready for the Lord’s return, neither are the people they lead ready for His return either. The reality is that the Lord Jesus is coming back when He is least expected. The “wise virgins” will go into the wedding feast because they have the oil of the Spirit stocked up inside of them to see in the encroaching spiritual darkness. The “foolish virgins” are those who do not have the oil of the Holy Spirit stocked up within them and the light they have is gradually going out with the encroaching darkness.
The emphasis in the Bible is not on a secret pretribulation rapture but on the unexpectedness of His Second Coming when people will be taken totally by surprise. In fact in the Bible itself there is nothing secretive about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus at all as it will be “as lightning flashes across the sky from east to west.” There will be a loud shout and the trumpet sound will be heard around the globe and the Lord Jesus will descend to earth and every eye will see Him. Men from every walk of life will seek to hide from God in rocks and caves to hide themselves from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb because the day of their wrath has come upon them. The Lord Jesus now focuses on those “who shepherd the flock.”
“(Vs.45-47) “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.”
Those who have spiritual oversight over God’s people are accountable to Him for what they preach and teach and how they care for the spiritual welfare of God’s flock as laid out in the Word of God. A true shepherd of God’s people first and foremost will be a faithful shepherd and one who rightly divided the Word of God and through God’s wisdom are able to feed the flock properly and regularly over which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers. These good shepherds know they are accountable to God and exercise their ministry only according to the Word of God. They are those who preach the Word at all times and correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience, diligence and careful instruction knowing that those who teach will be judged with a greater strictness. They persevere in their work in all circumstances whether favourable or unfavourable and continue to do so knowing that when the Lord Jesus comes back they will not lose their reward but hear Him say; “well done My good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord.”
You see a faithful pastor whose fellowship is struggling financially and labouring under very difficult circumstances and having a small congregation but because he remains faithful in his earthly ministry will be given charge over five cities in the Millennial Messianic Kingdom. This is part of the teaching of the Lord Jesus in the parable of the talents. Faithful apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers will be equipping the saints for the work of ministry and always keeping in view the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and in light of this continue to preach that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. They labour and spend their time in instructing the sheep and leading by example so that when the chief shepherd appears they will be rewarded for their faithfulness. They recognize that true Biblical leadership is foundational and supports the building. They do not lord it over the sheep!
(Vs.48 -51) “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
We see the abuse of God’s people in the account of the Golden calf when Moses was delayed coming down from the mountain and the people rose up to laugh and have a good time and indulge their fleshly desires. Added to this they had worship but it was not the worship of God but a mixture. The fact was that their worship was centred on gold and having a good time. When Moses came down from the mountain with the law of God in his hands the people were completely taken by surprises and judged severely for their false worship and idolatry and unfaithfulness to God. In the end their revelry and euphoria became a very bitter experience for them when Moses forced them to drink the bitter water made that way by the burnt ashes of the golden calf they had worshipped. Aaron also had to give an account to Moses for how he and the other leaders had fashioned the image of gold.
These mega churches today into wealth and prosperity and hyped up worship of worship itself in the end will find it all turning bitter in their experiences especially when adversity through persecution comes. In that day their leaders will abandon them to the wolves.
Many ministers today into emphasizing money, wealth, health and prosperity and blessing and making their churches seeker friendly, seeker sensitive and their congregations feel good are just like Aaron and the leaders of Israel in leading the people into the worship of the golden calf. Just as Moses was delayed coming down from the mountain so these so called prophets and teachers today lead the people of God to worship the idol of money and covetousness and having it good in this world. These leaders conveniently ignore the fact that the Lord Jesus will come back and they themselves will be held accountable to the Lord Jesus as Aaron was held accountable to Moses. Those into this kind of thing are spiritually abusing the sheep as far as the Lord Jesus is concerned.
Just watch them on the “Museum of Idolatry” Website or on TBN and on the internet where you can see so called ‘prophets’ prophesying for money and fleecing the sheep of it big time! The prophet Jeremiah called these kinds of leaders “merrymakers” but he could not sit in their circle and party along with them.
The Lord Jesus actually called those who are spiritually abusing the sheep as “hypocrites” and the word “hypocrite” literally means “an actor” or “one who puts on a show but wears a mask that hides the true motives of his heart.” Those leaders who do this will only have a reward in this life, being the praises of men, but there is no future reward to come for them but a place where they will grind their teeth and weep because of what they have done to God’s people even using the name of Jesus but by then it will be too late.
Another form of abusing the sheep is when preachers and ministers withhold certain fundamental and necessary Biblical doctrines from their congregations. The Bible says that “balanced weights are God’s delight but unbalanced weights are an abomination.” For a local fellowship to grow spiritually there will be time when they need to hear about sin, judgement, hell, holiness and especially the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and the things accompanying it. Also there will be a time when they need to hear about the love, the mercy and forgiveness of God and both the law and grace will be held in balance. This is the emphasis of the Bible from Genesis to revelation.
Today in many churches the increasing emphasis is always on love and mercy and forgiveness but judgement, hell and the doctrine of the last days including the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus are conveniently forgotten and in some cases completely ignored. When did you last hear your pastor preach on sin and hell and judgement or on end-time prophecy? A true minister of the Word of God will “correct, rebuke, encourage and minister the Word of God with “great patience and careful instruction” as in doing this it will save the souls of those to whom he is preaching and save his own soul as well. While we are saved by faith alone the work of salvation has three parts. We were saved, when God declared us justified by faith. We are being saved through being set apart or sanctified progressively by the Spirit of God and finally we will be saved or totally redeemed and rescued out from this present evil age at the rapture and resurrection when the Lord Jesus comes back.
All of us who believe in the Lord Jesus for salvation are in the betrothal period in that we are pledged to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus keeping the marriage supper in mind. The blessed Holy Spirit is the engagement ring as it were, that is the deposit from God guaranteeing our ultimate redemption. The danger for us is the betrothal period which for us involves staying faithful to our intended spouse the Lord Jesus until He comes for us and rejecting all other ‘lovers’ that present themselves. One thing always to keep in mind in any Church is that Satan always targets the leaders first. In a time of war the snipers go for the officers because if they can kill the officers then the army will be without leadership and vulnerable to being outmanoeuvred by their enemies. This is why Satan always targets the leaders in the Body of the Messiah.
Balanced weights are His delight
You may be a minister, church leader or have a prophetic or teaching ministry but is your ministry one of “balanced weights” or is it lopsided and unbalanced? Are you faithful to all that the Word of God teaches or do you only focus on what makes your congregations feel good but conveniently ignore the weightier matters of the law such as repentance, holiness, judgement, hell and the doctrine of the last days. Do you preach against sin? Are you preparing your flock for the last days that are coming and for the return of the Messiah our Lord Jesus? Do you in fact avoid end-time prophecy?
Law and then Grace!
Do you preach the law before you preach grace or do you just emphasize God’s love but avoid repentance and the demands of God’s law? Do you bypass the message of the cross related to the crucifixion of the flesh with its passions and desires? Do you preach God’s Word in season and out of season, correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction? Do you love money and the adulation of man? Are you protecting the sheep from the wolves and predators encircling the flock? Are you into the hype of Kingdom Dominion, faith prosperity, seeker friendly packages and programmes or into the New Apostolic Reformation with its ‘super apostles? Do you go along with Ecumenism and even engage in interfaith dialogue? These things are serious matters and those who do these them are into beating their fellow servants, and eating and drinking with the drunkards.
Rightly dividing the Word of Truth?
Once again it needs to be mentioned, just watch this website “Museum of Idolatry” and you will see the sheep being abused big time! You will see spiritual drunkenness gone mad. It’s unbelievable that God’s people and pastors can say and do what they are doing! The tragedy is that these ‘hirelings’ are giving the people what they want because the people themselves have itching ears and are heaping up teachers such as yourself to give them what they want to hear. Many today in the mega churches are turning their ears away from the truth and turning to the fables and delusions being spewed forth by their gurus who have no idea themselves as to how to rightly divide the Word of Truth.
Are you ready?
The Lord Jesus is coming back! We do you know the day or the hour when the sky will be rolled back like a scroll and the Lord Jesus descends with the armies of heaven to judge the world in righteousness and execute true and divine justice. Are you walking by faith and obedience and sheltering under the blood of Jesus? Are you fighting valiantly against the world, the flesh and the devil by walking in the Spirit? Is their sin in the camp? Are you neglecting regular prayer, reading and studying the Word of God and having regular fellowship with those who really love God and His Word? If there is sin in the camp then spiritual defeat is a certainty. Let all of us who name the name of the Lord Jesus depart from iniquity and take to heart what our Lord Jesus said; “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (John 24:44)