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Keeping Watch and Being Ready

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2021 8:00 am

Keeping Watch and Being Ready

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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April 26, 2021 8:00 am

In life’s whirlwind of busy activity, we often forget to slow down and remember the reality of eternity. On this broadcast of The Bible Study Hour, Dr. Boice helps us truly assess our priorities and start to ask the tough questions. If we’re willing to pay for home insurance, car insurance, life insurance and insurance on our new smart phones, are we willing to consider the eternal security of our souls?

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In life's whirlwind of busy activity. We often forget to slow down and remember the reality of eternity on this broadcast of the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce helps us to truly assess our priorities and start to ask the tough questions. If were willing to pay for home insurance, car insurance, life insurance and insurance on our new smart phones.

Are we willing to consider the eternal security of our souls are welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically for those who grow up in Christian homes.

It can be easy to forget that faith is neither hereditary nor infectious.

Let's listen in as Dr. Boyce encourages us to serve God with a personal genuine conviction is a very important contrast between the verses that we were looking at in the last study on the verses to which we come now in our study of Matthew 24 is the difference between you know, in verse 33 and no one knows in verse 36 disciples were to know is that when you see all of these things and will be near the door back over the chapter you find what that refers to. It refers to all the terrible things we see in history. There are false messiahs wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, persecutions, false messiahs all the kinds of things that have existed in every year of this world. Since the time of Christ's first coming, even to the present time and the disciples as ourselves and seeing all those things. So Jesus was saying to them, as you know, when you see these things.

The end is near, right of the door and it is Jesus could return at any moment. On the other. We got to the passage we look at now we find the words. No one the no one knows the day or the hour. Jesus said that a man with the specific time of his return is not now and that means that no Bible students or commentators, however clever they may consider themselves that they are going to be able to find them out from time to hear them say, well, nobody knows the day or the hour but we can at least know the month of the year because that's not what Jesus Madden people who have fallen into that kind of pattern of predicting things always been proved wrong. Obviously, because Christ hasn't come yet.

I always look silly in the end. Many have a Jesus warning against the Lexus contrast reinforces what I was saying.

The last study, namely that the points of the chapter are these first of all, the return of Christ to gather his elect and judge the world is yet future. Secondly, we don't know when this will be, and therefore, thirdly, we need to keep watch and be ready, Jesus did say after all and that 10th chapter of Matthew Hughes stands firm to the end be saved everything in his last discourse.

Even the prediction of the fall of Jerusalem is intended to make exactly those points of thing that disciples saw or we have seen, or will seen is in itself a sure sign of Christ's return. Only in that general sense of all these things must happen because the hour remains unknown until it finally arrives and when it does arrive as DA Carson says in his commentary. It will be sudden absolute and irreversible. Well, that's a disputed manner. Let me make a point in another way. About half of Matthew 24 deals with the signs are not really signs or not really sure signs of Christ's return is a very short section that describes return of Christ itself. Verses 27 to 31 but then the third of chapter 24 and all of chapter 2546 verses you put it all together. A total of 62 verses warmness to get ready because we don't know when that day of reckoning will be a work to put it another way, Jesus stresses this essential point really cares about in this discourse by a series of images, some of them all four of them occur in the verses were going to look at. Now they're very brief error in the form of an historical reference or a burnable picture or parable, and then finally in the last chapter, chapter 25 we have three extended parables will make the same point need to be watching because we don't know when our Lord will come. So that raises the question is the question of the study are you ready are you watching you have to be because you don't know when Jesus Christ is coming back. Let's look at these one at a time. The first story.

Jesus used to emphasize the suddenness of his coming in the need to be ready for it is the destruction of the earth by flood.

In the days of Noah was that well-known biblical picture sudden destruction or judgment.

So we find it quite naturally we would expect that in the Old Testament repeated again various places in the New Testament you find it in Isaiah. For example, in the 54th chapter in the 14th chapter of Ezekiel referred by the author of Hebrews in the 11th chapter in Peter in both of his letters in first Peter third chapter and second Peter.

The second chapter and of course Jesus is referring to it here in verses 36 and following on the point of these verses is that the flood came suddenly upon people who were unprepared that we can't look at that miss the fact that by pointing out that the flood came suddenly on masses of work, unprepared, and by using that as an illustration of the conditions that will prevail at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Whatever it may be. Certainly, Jesus is teaching the world will be largely unbelieving at the time that he comes back now I emphasize that because there's an understanding of prophecy that holds that Christ's kingdom is going to eventually triumph in this world usually goes by the name of post millennialism word millennium refers to a thousand year. Understood to be a reign of Christ and the post-millennialist would regard this whole period of the church age as being that millennium so the church is going to expand throughout the world is going to be triumphant. That's the reign of Christ, and after that the Lord will return. According to this view, Jesus rains in and through the church and is going to return only after that's fulfilled about post millennialism was popular in former centuries, much more so than it is today. Although there are still people that hold to it in various forms. Reason was so popular in earlier centuries. Is that that really did seem to be happening. At least if you lived in the West. Western nations really seem to be triumphing you had a colonial. Where a few of the nations actually dominated the world, and in that kind of the.

It's easy to think that by their military power and success. Eventually, the gospel of Christ would be triumphing everywhere. It's not so easy to think that today courses no reason why the triumph of the gospel has to be restricted to the West. The greatest growth of the church anywhere in the world today seems to be in the Third World countries but the real problem with that view is that when you look at what the biblical writers, particularly the New Testament writers say about the end times. It doesn't seem to be much encouragement's narrative thinking that the world will be Christianized by the time the price return to give you some examples. Peter wrote of the presence of false prophets in the last days saying they will secretly introduce destructive heresies that he get that idea when I got it from Jesus is like. Jesus says in the sermon on the Mount and the sermon on the Mount of olives. He says there will be false prophets in the last days again from the third chapter in the last days scoffers will come scoffing and following their own evil desires unsafe. Since coming he promised since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has is the beginning of creation. Almost all of second Peter, two and three, two thirds of the letter is describing the evil of those final days, much as Peter either.

Jude Jude is almost entirely about such times of just one long chapter and June seems to be echoing Peter by almost the same thing in the same words.

Remember, Jude writes what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.

They said to you in the last times or will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. They are the men who divide you follow mere natural instincts and do not have the spirit about the apostle Paul is what he wrote in first Timothy, the Spirit clearly says that in the latter times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons again in this well-known section of second Timothy the third chapter will be turtle times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash conceded lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying the truth thereof. That does not sound like a Christianized world to me is a mean of course that we are to be pessimistic. The passages teach that were given the task of taking the gospel in the whole world, and as we go we could not because the powers of God and not ourselves at all whom God is given to the Lord Jesus Christ will come a single soul that has been given the Lord Jesus Christ will be lost. Neither those passages teach an increasingly successful expansion of the gospel, still less a triumphant expansion of organized Christianity throughout the world rather, they encourage is exactly what Jesus is encouraging us to be and do. In this chapter that is to adhere faithfully to the gospel and to preach it in spite of the fact that it's not going to Be Universally Received His Way, Jesus puts it in the chapter as it was in the days of Noah, so will be in the coming of the Son of Man, for in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage doesn't mean particularly bad things is that they're going about their business while any thought of God up to the day Noah entered the ark, and they do nothing about what would happen after the flood came and put them all away. That is how it will be the coming of the Son of Man is a way. JC Ryle put it in English Bishop of the last century, the world will not be converted when Christ returns.

Millions of professing Christians will be found, thoughtless, unbelieving, godless, priceless worldly and unfit to be their judge. So it raises the question, are you ready are you watching you be one who is watching or will you be one of those who perish is when the Lord returns the second picture Jesus paints describe the nature of things. It is return is in verses 40 and 41 they read like this.

Two men will be in the field will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill one will be taken and the other left out here that suddenness of Christ's return is introduced in reference to the days of Noah and carried forward with this idea that when Jesus returns is going to be a sudden separation manner going to be working in the field. One will be taken and the other one will be left to women working at a handbell one will be taken on one will be left, presumably, the men working in the field or friends or coworkers. Women are probably related. This would be a household.

It might very well be a mother and a daughter. It might be two servants in the household. Outwardly, they seem to be in identical positions and even identical in terms of the relationship to Jesus Christ. But at his return.

One is taken, the others left behind are we to understand those words taken a left behind. Two ways of doing it.

Taken could mean taken away in judgment left behind could mean left behind prosper or could be the other way around. Taken could mean taken to heaven when the Lord returns left could mean being left behind on the art of those who believe in a sudden rapture of the saints before a final return of Jesus Christ and the final judgment.

Choose the second possibility doesn't actually matter to the point of what Jesus is saying here. Which of the two.

It shows seem to many in the context of the chapter that the idea of being taken to be with Jesus is the right one withdrawal earlier in the chapter. Jesus spoke of the Angels coming to gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other verses don't say specifically how this is going to happen.

They certainly don't say when point is only that person's most intimately associated will be separated by that unexpected coming and alone should encourage serious soul-searching on the part of everyone.

For one thing, it demolishes 74 on the hopes we may have of Universalism and the doctrine that everybody is going to be saved. In the end, because, well, God's a good godly couldn't possibly send anyone to hell was that no one in the Bible says more about hell than the Lord Jesus Christ fact he does it and was very chapter saying in verse 51 that the servant who was found to of been unfaithful when the master returns will be cut to pieces and assign to a place with the hypocrites.

There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Next chapter weeping and gnashing of teeth is joined darkness. Eternal fire, eternal punishments of no doubt Jesus was talking about hell when he says that one will be taken and the other lefty means that not all will be say. Many will be lost.

Maybe most will be lost. Point is, you need to make sure that you're not among that number is another point to. No one is going to be safe simply by being close to, or even related to another person is a Christian, you have two men that are close to one another there coworkers suggested perhaps even friendship to women, perhaps closely related.

Maybe a mother and a daughter certainly engaged in the same household. One is taken and the other left. Salvation is not a hereditary matter to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ yourself. So the question is are you ready are you watching you be ready when the Lord returns 30 Jesus illustrations is of a thief breaking into a house, and his words relates understand this of the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would've Watch and would not of his house be broken into. Malad also teaches about the sudden and unpredictable coming of the Lord is in this way. It's found in other New Testament passages Paul wrote the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman that will not escape. Peter set it the day of the Lord will come like a thief. Heavens will disappear with a roar. Early elements will be destroyed by fire. The earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

Jesus told the church in Sardis recorded in the book of Revelation.

If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief will not know at what time I will come to your word again later on in Revelation behold, I come like a thief. Each of those verses and passages emphasizes the suddenness and unexpected nature of the Lord's return, but each of these little illustrations for parables are historical references and it's something that the prior one didn't. In the new element here is the value of that which the thief comes to steal, almost everyone values his or her possessions is why we take care of them so carefully relocked the door to our houses when we go out we install alarms on our cars or were careful to attach devices that keep it from being stolen. Nobody wants to lose things we have safe-deposit boxes we have insurance all about what Jesus seems to be saying here is less pleasant things you could be insuring or taking care of the greatest of them is your soul. You people take care of worldly things with care about their soul at all, shouldn't we take care for those things which are eternal. Should we be anxious for our salvation. Jesus set on one occasion. What good will it be for Amanda to gain the whole world and yet loses his own soul obviously will be no good at all. Such a one will loss the only thing that really matters is another point that comes from this illustration and this is the necessity of being watchful wishes point of this whole section on what is going to develop more fully in the next chapter is emphasized here since no one knows at what time or during what watch the thief might strike the vigilant. Therefore keep watch because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. I asked it again.

You maybe watch. Are you ready you must get ready because if you haven't done so Jesus will, in an hour when you do not expect that many will perish well. Each of these pictures has been alike and stressing the sudden nature and the unpredictability of price return, but each as I said a moment ago has added his own elements.

A picture of the flood reminds us that many persons will be lost.

Picture of two men working in the fields, or two women grinding mill points to this radical separation reminds us that were not saved by being close to another Christian, even a relative picture of the thief reminds us of our souls are valuable in the simple prudence to be ready.

What about this next picture final one in the chapter. The contrast between the two servants. This picture tells us what being ready actually means being ready. Of course, means to believe on Jesus and trust him, waiting for his return. But the faithful servant here is also described as one who was faithful in his service that is is continuing to carry out what Jesus placed them in the world to do we find the same idea in two of the three parables in the next chapter is the parable of the talents.

One man uses them badly to of them and use them well is also the story of Christ's selfless service to those who are hungry through his people would care for the hungry and the first day of the suffering in various ways. Now that's what's being said here we look at these two servants we say how are we to evaluate them on what you said about the good servant, only that he gave the other servants their food at the proper time.

Jesus is talking to the apostles, and they had the task of teaching.

I would assume that has special reference to ministers of the gospel that they be faithful actually impeding a flock set up and entrusted to their care with the Scripture as their parents they have to do it.

That's what faithfulness means in their case, but not much is said about that.

On the other hand, a great deal of sin about the bad servant. That's what Jesus is warning against was when his services marked by first of all, carelessness. He neglects his work because he says, verse 48. My master is staying around long time. What Peter said in the passage that we referred to already and I read these scoffers are going to say where is this coming he promised ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. Years ago I was in a church meeting where those words were said to me. I couldn't believe that I had spoken about the return of Christ as being one of the strong motivations we have permission since one of the Manor was present, a professor at one of the theological seminary stood up and said to forget about this matter of Christ's second coming.

We gotta get it into our heads that is never coming back and all things are going to continue as they were from the beginning. I don't believe his exact words out of this chapter.

Second Peter see the very important thing world and its history always seems like that unbelievers actually the same things do happen year after year and decade after decade. My father used to say what I see of reading the newspaper and say what's happening daddy would reply just the same old things happening to different people's way always seems apart from revelation of Scripture. But what Peter says is that in taking that position.

They deliberately forget that God did judge the world in ancient times by the flood and is going to do it again by fire, with the final day. Besides, we have to remember that with the Lord a thousand years as a day to day thousand years.

What seems delayed. DOS is not delayed with him Peter says be on your guard that you may not be carried away by the error of Wallace Benton fall from your secure position carelessness and the second thing that characterizes the bad service of this individual in its single say said to be cruel to his fellow servants because he began to beat them.

Verse 49 says like the Pharisees, whom Jesus said would pursue, flog, kill and crucify his servants here. It's not merely the apostles and the missionaries were beaten as the younger servant someone who is doing the beating is the person who claims to be the servant of the Lord when is 1/3 thing that's carousing Lord announces the wicked servant for his carousing because he began to eat and drink with drunkards and that reminds us of those days of Noah passage says of the good servant, only that it will be good for him. When his master returns.

Great understatement. What it says of the bad servant. Is this the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and that an hour is not aware of it will cut into pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, for the will be weeping and gnashing of the ready saying that that's a bit of the description of how the destiny of all who are not ready when Jesus returns as an old fable in the church that describes three apprentice who are being sent to earth to lead people astray and there, meeting with Satan before they depart from the first one says I'll go down and tell them there is no God and Satan replies that won't do much good because they know there is a God. The second one says I'll go down and tell them there is no hell and Satan says he won't deceive many. That way because they know there is a hell third one says I go down and tell them there is no hurry. And Satan said go until deceive millions Lord Shaftesbury that great social reformer the last century is reported to inset on one occasion I do not think that in the last 40 years I have ever lived one conscious hour that was not influenced by the thought of the Lord's return. That anticipation was, of course, what lay behind his great social movements and his efforts to help the poor around the world.

He was expecting to meet Jesus face-to-face and was watching for them he was ready whenever the Lord might return. So I come to the point again. Are you ready are you watching that's an extremely important matter to be ready as we say not to be ready to perish forever spray father, we thank you for the sober reminder of the importance of being ready from the lips of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because we confess is very easy for us to forget these things in the drift along the be careless as the evil servant wants or even cruel or perhaps even to fail in other ways. We realize it ever going to be ready when our Lord returns in different going to be watching.

It's going to be by the power of the spirit working in us and so that is what we asked to say to bless us with that blessing we might be ready when it comes those here today were not ready asset you will problem the very depths of their being that they might know no peace until they actually come to rest in Jesus Christ.

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