36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 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; 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. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 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. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 
One of the most important truths about our Lord’s reappearance in glory is that we have no idea when it will be. Many people over the centuries have tried to discern an exact date and time, trying to read into the Scriptures codes and patterns and meanings that are not there. We have a very direct word from the Lord which contradicts all such attempts: No one knows, not even Jesus.
How then are we to respond to our ignorance regarding the timing of the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to return? Not with trying to figure it out, but rather by living each day in the awareness of His presence right now. Jesus speaks a warning to those who go on with their lives as though the Lord is not returning, comparing them to those at the time of Noah who were unaware or unwilling to be aware of the coming flood. So also when Christ returns, some will be “taken” similarly into judgment. For when Jesus appears, He is coming as judge, Lord of All.
Through faith in Christ, I am forgiven and redeemed and so have no need to fear judgment because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). But does that mean I can dismiss this concern of the Lord to be watching and waiting? If our appropriation of the promises of the gospel leads me to a lackadaisical attitude regarding Jesus’ return, then I’m not applying the gospel rightly.
We are not living in fear of the Lord’s return in judgment, but rather in faithful devotion, with a desire to be about the work of the kingdom in anticipation of its fulfillment, when the kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven. And the best way to do this is by cultivating an awareness each day that we are living in the presence of Christ right now. He is to be in my thoughts, in my actions, in my words, in my intentions, in my desires. Am I seeking to bring all of these things under His Lordship so that in all of them I am glorifying Him? How would my life be different if I imagined Jesus walking beside me every step of every day? And if it would be different, why not make it different starting today?
Lord Jesus, let Your Spirit guide me to be watching and waiting with faith and love for the day of Your return in glory.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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