“At an Hour You Do Not Expect” (Part 1)
Matthew Chapter 24:36-42)
“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)
The Climax of the age
The Lord Jesus had just been telling the disciples about the conditions in the world prior to his Second Coming. He had warned them about the coming destruction of the Temple which would see the end of the Mosaic Judaism of Torah. This impacted them as if someone had suddenly and without warning punched them in their stomachs. He plainly told them that the religious system they knew would be destroyed and not only foresaw it happening around 40 years later but also said it would happen again at the end of this age. What happened to the religious system in 70AD will happen again at the end of this age.
Added to this He also told them about wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence increasing in intensity and frequency as the age came to its climax and likened them to birth pains or contractions which increase in their frequency and intensity and come one upon another just before the baby is born. Clearly He had in view the birth of the Messianic kingdom which would come about after the contractions had run their course. Now He warmed them about these things one time but warned about spiritual deception at least four times in the same discourse and that in context of the last days leading up to His Second Coming.
They have always been there
While His disciples were to observe the signs of His Second Coming they were not to know the day or the hour. Of course over 2,000 years of history have passed and the signs have always been around. However, they are now increasing at an alarming rate as we see the earth plagued with wars and rumours of wars and floods, earthquakes, Tsunamis, famines and the threat of biochemical and nuclear fallout, not to mention the global nuclear arsenal stockpiled in many nations around the world. The whole world is on the very brink of nuclear war and it is not going to get better but worse.
Swept away in the judgement
The Lord Jesus also said in this same discourse that a time was coming of great tribulation, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now and never to be equalled again and for the sake of His elect saints God would cut those days short and send Him back. What multitudes today do not realise is that this world is not going to continue as it is. The people in the time of Noah did not realise that their whole world was going to be swept away in judgement and that only the righteous ones would be left. For 120 years Noah and his sons worked on building the ark. There was no sign of rain. Noah and his sons worked tirelessly day after day in faith not knowing the day or the hour when the rescue would come and the wrath of God poured out. We are told that Noah was a preacher of righteousness; he was in fact and evangelist who preached repentance and holiness.
In the Book of Genesis chapter six we are told three things about Noah that set him apart from the world. Firstly; He was righteous before God because of his faith in God and because he was faithful to what he believed even though there was no outward evidence that anything had changed in the natural. Secondly; He was blameless in his generation, in other words, he put his faith into action and did not go along with the ways of the world but separated himself to God from their attitudes and godless and materialistic lifestyles and pleasures and lived out his faith in his daily life. Thirdly; He walked with God every day, moment by moment and did not vacillate or turn aside from what God had instructed him to do but by faith saw Him who was invisible and whose word would surely come to pass. Through his faith and obedience God declared him to be righteous and blameless in his generation.
Suddenly and without warning
He and his family were undoubtedly the laughing stock of his time and the butt of many jokes. Day after day he preached while he worked and worked while he preached urging the people to repent of their sin and to turn to God and to come into the ark to be saved from the coming deluge. No one on earth knew the day or the hour when the deluge would come. When the Lord Jesus had been speaking about these things related to the end of the age and to His second Coming He emphasized the fact that His Second Coming would come suddenly and unexpectedly and that those who did not belong to God would be swept away in the judgement. Now take your Bible read Matthew 24:36-51
(Vs.36) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”
The Bible teaches us that the Lord Jesus was God and equal with God yet He was also totally human and there were things He did not know as a man but in no way diminished the fact that He was the eternal and living God manifest in flesh and who had come from heaven to tabernacle with us on earth. He was the eternal Son of God. Clearly He said that He did not know the hour or the day at that time. He would know it now of course as He is living in eternity where time as we know it on earth does not exist. In the New Testament we are told that God has an appointed time when he will send the Lord Jesus back to earth. Today there is no one who can know the day or the hour. We are told what signs to look for very clearly and that when they increase in intensity and frequency we know that the kingdom of God is near even at the very gates. He will come back when He is least expected. The Lord Jesus told us that the world will be just like it was in the days of Noah. What was it like in those days? How does it relate to our world today? How does it relate to you and to me living in this present evil age? Are you reading this study unaware that a judgement by fire is coming upon the world and are you prepared to meet your God? What then were the people of Noah’s time doing just before the deluge hit them?
(Vs.37-39) “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
The generation in Noah’s time we are told were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage and conducting business as usual as we see going on today. It was a materialistic, hedonistic, ungodly, self-centred, self-satisfied and ambitious and immoral generation. We are also told some other things in the Book of Genesis chapter six. We are told that it was a world of occult power and satanic infiltration of the human race as fallen angels had sexual relations with women and produced demimondes or giants being also called the Nephilim or “the fallen ones” describing their character as those who had fallen away from God.
Today we have genetic engineering and cloning and robotics moving ahead at a rapid pace and now artificial intelligence is reaching new heights as we see human robots made to speak, act and think and feel the same as humans and it has got to the point where you can hardly tell the difference between them. For years demonic spirits have been engaging in sexual relations with women in black necromancy and in the covens of witches and warlocks. They can create life in test tubes and how long before they can clone human beings that have no moral centre but can be programmed to do whatever their creators tell them to do. Such creations in the laboratories open the way for demons and fallen angels to do what they did in the days just before the flood.
We are also told in Genesis chapter 6 that people only thought about evil all of the time and their imaginations were involved in this. Today we have virtual reality computer games where you strap on a face mask and are taken into another world, the cyber world in fact where every fantasy and imagination can be obtained. People can watch gladiators fighting it out in virtual reality not to mention the explicit sexual images that are perpetrated on the imagination. Today sex and sensuality are the norm for millions of young people and adults and even children through cyber space. Just look at the shops today selling sexually explicit games and images.
Then we are also told in Genesis chapter six that the people were not only spiritually corrupted but that violence was prevalent everywhere as it is today in our world. Once again it is embraced by millions through violent video games and now through virtual reality. Not only that, but movies in cinemas and on the internet are filled with violent images of one kind or another and often interwoven with sexual images. We live in an age just the same as it was in Noah’s generation. We are told that all of the people were morally and spiritually corrupted. Judgement was looming and people were nonchalant about what was coming. It was also the same in the days of Lot and in his case his daughter’s finances they laughed Lot to scorn. Well the fire fell and Sodom and Gomorrah were wiped out. The wicked were taken away in judgement. So it will be at the close of this age immediately before the Lord Jesus comes back.
(Vs.40-41) “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.”
Most Bible prophecy teachers see in this a pre-tribulation rapture of the saints but this is an inference. The context is that the wicked are swept away or taken away in judgement and the righteous left to inherit the Millennial Messianic kingdom. This is the context because that is what happened in Noah’s time. It was the same in the time of Lot who was rescued out of Sodom and we are told that the very same day Lot went out from Sodom the fire fell upon those wicked cities in the plain and once again the wicked were swept away in the judgement. As we are told in the book of Proverbs, “When the whirlwind passes, the wicked are no more, but the righteous are secure forever.” (Proverbs 10:25) And again it is written, “The violence of the wicked will sweep them away because they refuse to do what is just.” (Proverbs 21:7) This is exactly what the Lord Jesus was saying. One will be taken away in judgement and the other left to inherit the Millennial Kingdom. This is the context in its Jewish and Millennial setting. Those who survive the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus will have to stand before Him and He will then separate the sheep nations from the goat nations over the way they have treated the Jewish people. (Matthew 25:31-46) We need to keep in mind that the discourse of Matthew chapter twenty-four continues into chapter twenty-five. And so the Lord Jesus once again affirms His statement concerning the unexpectedness of His Second Coming.
(Vs.42) “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
Where do you stand?
Where do you stand right now concerning the second Coming of the Lord Jesus the anointed Messiah? Is it important to you or has it been relegated to the backburner of your heart and mind? Are you even interested at all in what the Bible says about the last days, about Israel and about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus? Is it even on your radar? Are you prepared for His Second Coming and eagerly anticipating it? Is the lamp of your spirit filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit to enable you to see in the encroaching ‘darkness’ soon to engulf the world or has “the candle in the temple of your heart almost been extinguished?
When He is least expected
Are you praying and staying spiritually alert recognizing that the days are evil and seeking with all of your heart to be rescued out of this present evil age? Many there are who are choosing the broad road of compromise and seeking to bypass the cross and this is the road that leads to destruction. Very few are seeking to walk in the narrow way and stay faithful to the Lord Jesus in their thoughts and actions and in their daily activities. Many are even saying “where is the promise of His Coming as all things remain as they are?” but they do not realise that He is Coming back when He is least expected.
Do not delay!
If you are conscious of unconfessed sin or realise that you have lost your first love and dropped your cross then go to the foot of that old rugged cross once again. Avail yourselves of the Blood of the Lord Jesus that atones for sin, the blood that breaks its power and cleanses the life from all unrighteousness. Tell the Lord Jesus that you really love Him and want to be His Bond-slave for life and serve Him for the rest of your days. Seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit moment by moment of everyday by faith. Let Him once again fill you with His love and power and with the anticipation and expectation of His soon return. Do not delay, recognize the times and the seasons, recognize the signs or ‘birth pains’ that are coming one upon another. Start to pray for Israel as the nation is God’s Biblical prophetic time-clock for the nations of the world. Now is the time to reconsecrate yourself to the Lord Jesus and tell Him that you really love Him and allow Him to put out of your life everything that would defile flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Seek the LORD!
Indeed the cry of Isaiah that went out to Israel comes to all of us today. ”Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely and abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7) We all need to keep working wholeheartedly for the Lord Jesus, using the gifts and talents we have in his service and not grow weary in carrying our cross every day, because the time is coming when we will need the oil of the Spirit stocked up inside of our spirit to see in the encroaching darkness soon to engulf the whole world. As the Lord Jesus said to His disciples and by extension to all who would follow Him and take up their cross as He did; “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4) And so in light of these things He also says to us; “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”