Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.
The theme of faithfully waiting and watching for Christ’s return is common in both the gospels and epistles. There are the parallel passages in Matthew 24:36-51 & Mark 13:32, as well as the parables of the virgins and minas (Matt 25:1 &Luke 19:12), just to name a few. Though the scriptures tell us that certain things need to happen before His return [i.e. destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:43-44), the revealing of the man of sin (2 Thes 2:3), & the preaching of the gospel to the whole world (Matt 24:14 & Rev 7:14)]; yet it exhorts us to have our hearts and minds fixed on the imminence of Christ’s return, and that for the following reasons:
1) Living in light of His coming keeps us from being anxious over the details of our lives here below.
“Let not your hearts be troubled.… 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ..” (ff Luke 12:32 & Col 3:2)
2) It creates in us a greater anticipation for His coming.
2 Peter 3:12
“Looking for and hastening on the coming of the day of God..”
Knowing that we have no condemnation, and that our citizenship is heaven, we look forward to His coming with eagerness and great anticipation, and long for his appearing : “even so, come Lord Jesus.”
3) It enables us to maintain fervent love for Christ.
1 Peter 1: 8-9
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. .”
God’s work in their lives has created a love for Christ and a longing to see Him.
4) It causes us to live Holy lives
2 Peter 3:11
1 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness..”
We are to live our lives in such a way that we would not be ashamed at His coming (1 John 2:28).
5) It calls us to be faithful stewards of our talents and possessions (Matt 25:21).
We are to be active and not passive in our waiting.
6) Finally, it gives us a sense of urgency about sharing the gospel with the lost. (2 Cor 5:10-11)
We will proclaim the free pardon that is available to all who believe on Christ, and the sure judgment that is to come on all who reject Him.
Take heart, dear Christian, our salvation today is closer than when we first believed.