A Dangerous Place to Be
The Lord Himselfwarns us against losing sight of His soon return
In a previous Note we saw how the Lord’s apostles presented the expectation of His return as a great encouragement for us to prepare ourselves to meet Him. (See “Why Do You Stand, Gazing Into Heaven?”)
The opposite, however, is also true; that is, if we lose sight of the Lord’s soon return we will “eat and drink with drunkards,” as the Lord Himself warns us, and not be prepared to meet Him; how terrible will be our situation then!:
“But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
— Matthew 24:48-51
I so appreciate Darby’s comment in his Synopsis on this passage, in a footnote (#70); he states that the Lord’s word here shows that what led to the ruin of the church was its losing the sense of the Lord’s soon return:
How solemn the testimony given here to the effect of the assembly’s losing the present expectation of the Lord’s return! What causes the professing church to run into hierarchical oppression and worldliness, so as to be cut off in the end as hypocrites, is saying in the heart, My lord delayeth his coming, [thus] giving up the present expectation. That has been the source of the ruin. The true christian position was lost as soon as they began to put off the Lord’s coming.
Is a similar way to what the Lord says above, the Apostle Paul warns us against doubting the resurrection of the dead:
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
— 1 Corinthians 15:34
The Greek word for “Awake” here means “to return to oneself from drunkenness; become sober” (Thayer’s). So, the Recovery Version has:
Awake from the drunken stupor.
Lord, make us those who are awake and sober and prepared for Your return!
Watch! For the morning
A moment, and He will be here!
The mists and the shadows
The darkness will soon disappear;
And He, for whom ages
The Lord who has tarried so long,
Will come in an outburst of glory;
A moment, and we
shall be gone.
— M.E. Barber
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— 11 June 2022 —