Beware and prepare!
Scripture reading for October 13th: Matthew 24-25
These chapters of Matthew contain the last major teaching of Jesus to his disciples as recorded by this Gospel writer. Jesus remarked to His disciples about how not one stone would be left upon another at the temple. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:2-5)
Deception will be a mark of the last days before the return of Jesus Christ. The world we live in today is full of counterfeit religions and numerous cults that claim that they are the only way to God. Jesus warned of wars among the nations. There would also be famines and earthquakes in numerous places and great distress. Betrayal and hatred toward God’s people will be common. Many will fall away from following Jesus and their love for God will grow cold. (Matthew 24:6-13)
Jesus emphatically taught that no one would know the day or hour of His return. (Matthew 24:36) It would be like the days of Noah when the flood suddenly swept the world of that time away. It would be like a thief coming to a house at night. It would be like a master coming back to find his servant neglecting his duties and doing evil. Each person should be in a state of readiness at all times, for Jesus will come back at a time when everyone least expects it.
To illustrate this point, Jesus told two parables. The first was about the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom. Five were foolish and five others were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps, but did not take any oil for them. The wise took oil along for their lamps and were ready. The bridegroom was delayed and they all fell asleep. The midnight cry woke them up to prepare for his arrival. Only the wise were prepared and got to go with the bridegroom to the wedding feast.
Our Lord emphasized the need to be read for the return of our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. He could come at any time. May this message cause you to beware and prepare!