The Son of Man is near
The Son of Man is near, do you believe that? I do, why? Because the disasters prophesied in the Bible have occured and are occuring. Of course you can ignore the Truth or even forsake it. But in the meantime, you have to confront the eternal consequences: to survive or to perish, we have to bear! Here, Jesus encourages us to be alert, and must not relax in our efforts. Are you willing to? Let’s see the first point:
Disaster has come
The disaster was prepared by God as a message to the whole world. Do you understand? Jesus said: ’Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.(Matthew 24:34)’ These things represent what has been mentioned before, wars, famines, earthquakes, pandemics, false prophecy, falling down, cold hearted, hatred, and so on. This generation means the periods between first and second comings of Jesus Christ, which has already been over two thousands years. First, things God will accomplish. Mathew 24 is the main theoretical statements of Jesus’s eschatology. Though it was relatively scattered, the picture from near to far is clear. First, the holy temple was demolished, which has been fulfilled. Second, the coming of false Christ and been fulfilled. Third, wars have happened many times. Fourth, believers have been killed, been persecuted, turned away, been hated, framing each other, and hating each other, are common. Fifth, nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, famine, earthquakes and so on. Sixth, false prophets rose up and deceived many people. These are happening. Seventh, because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. These are happening, right?
Second, things God wants to foretell. The seven things above have been accomplished, or are ongoing, right? Maybe you will think, what should I do when so many horrible things are happening? The pandemic seems to be gone soon, but what if famines and wars come? Being hated, or even framing each other? Jesus foretold three things: First is believer’s endurance, second is the gospel spread, third is ’So when you see standing in the holy place ’the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand-(Matthew 24:15)’ To make it simple, when people put an unclean thing like idols inside the holy temple, it is the time Lord come back! The Bible tells us to understand, do you understand?
Lastly, things God will hide. Jesus said seven things (happened or are happening) are to be accomplished and foretold three important things, but hid one thing, that is ’But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36)’ The generation mentioned previously represents a period and process. What mentioned here ’about that day’, means a time point. This generation will end on that day. Jesus taught us: ’Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. (Matthew 24:32)’ Is the Son of Man near? We have to look at whether all these things have been accomplished. I think, other than whether the gospel has been spread which still has room for discussion, almost all has been done! Let’s look at the second point:
God’s Words shall not pass away
Why can not abandon the Truth? With money that’s enough, what’s the Truth for? To join the party, join a league, form a gang, or sign a contract, that’s enough, why do we need the Truth? First, the value of surpassing heaven and earth. Jesus said:’Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.(Matthew 24:35)’ Even heaven and earth will pass away, are you still caring about the world? Paul said, when he got the gospel, he considered the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and all other things garbage. What about you? Will you betray the Lord due to an opportunity to get promoted? Most of you will not, right? The best is to have both, to get eternal life and to join the party for the opportunity to be promoted, right? As long as it can make me rich, why does it matter to bribe officials? If I get promoted, I can devote more to the church. Why does the pastor treat it so severely? What’s wrong if I bought Bitcoin, and stock and mutual fund? Are you jealous about it? Where in the Bible said I can not be rich? The Bible didn’t even say we can not smoke and take drugs! Why do you care about me? May I ask, is that you?
Next, the days of overcoming disaster. Do not ignore this, the disasters mentioned in the Bible will come. Did not the flood in Noah’s time come? The ark was built for 120 years and the gospel was told for 120 years. What’s the results? Except the eight family members in Noah’s family and the selected animals, the whole world was flooded with none alive. Noah’s family survived because they believe in God’s Words, do you believe? When the flood came, dying people said: I didn’t know! What did you do earlier? When Noah was building the ark, you laughed at him beside. When Noah was sharing the gospel, you were sleeping. Therefore, the flood came without greeting you because it has been done before. Do you listen? Do you hear the warning God is giving you today: disasters are in front of us, do you listen?
Lastly, the secret to victory over judgement. This time is not only disasters but judgement! In the same way, the warning has been given, the gospel has been heard, and the judgement will come with no signs. It is not a flood but a consuming fire. Because the Bible said the elements will be destroyed by fire, are you listening? When the fire of the judgment comes, God will save those who believe in him. Jesus said: ’Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. (Matthew 24:40)’ The one who was taken, will meet the Lord in the air; the one who was left will be under the consuming fire and God’s judgement. Let’s look at the third point:
Being alert and not relaxed
Being alert is not that you do not sleep but to put it in your heart, meditate it and pray for it! First, you and I do not know when God will come. This was told by the Lord: ’But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36)’ This also becomes the measure for distinguishing heresy, right? Since no one knows, people will get anxious, right? What if Jesus came tonight? Or tomorrow? Or some day in the night? Should we keep awake all the time? No, of course not! People will be too anxious to get a good sleep, is that you? To sleep well and be alert in prayer is due to the faith. People, who can not sleep well and are anxious, must be related to some anxiety!
Second, God will protect you and me. That day is only known by Father not even the Son. But, we can rest assured. The Lord generally knows, at least knows more than us, do you agree? The Bible said:’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. (Matthew 24:43)’ What does that mean? That is God will guard our hearts and minds for us not to be anxious about anything. Not afraid of thief stealing but afraid of thief thinking, right? Do not be afraid because the Lord knows when the thief comes. We can sleep well in peace.
Lastly, everything should be prepared. Even though we can be relaxed, Jesus still commands us to be prepared. Because the active preparation is an attitude, a positive attitude. The Lord cares about our attitude toward him, which is to make great effort, to look up to him, and to be with desire. We do not know when the Son is coming, so we need to prepare our heart for him. Speak plainly, do we have God in our hearts? Do we give our hearts to the Lord?
Dear brothers and sisters, the Son of Man is near. Are you prepared? Disaster is the way God notifies the world ’the Son of Man is near’, do you hear it? God’s Words is the only thing left after the disaster, can you understand and treasure it? Being alert is the attitude for us to meet the Lord, are you ready?
Let us pray…
24:32 Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.
24:33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.
24:34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
24:36 But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
24:37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
24:38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;
24:39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
24:40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.
24:41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
24:42 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
24:43 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.
24:44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.