Sermon #72                                                              Series: Matthew

            Title:                Are You Ready?

            Text:                Matthew 24:36-51

            Reading:        Off: Bobbie Estes         Aud: Lindsay Campbell

            Subject:          Preparing for Christ’s Second Coming

            Date:               Tuesday Evening - January 30, 1996

            Tape #            S-18



            The title of my message tonight is Are You Ready? Our Lord Jesus admonishes us to make certain that we are prepared for his coming. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Are you? Are you ready for the Son of God to appear?


            While our text is speaking specifically of Christ’s glorious second advent, we must not look upon the things spoken in this passage as having no reference to any except those who happen to be living upon the earth when the Lord comes again. In fact, as we have already seen, these verses also apply to Christ’s coming in judgment to destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD. Christ comes upon men and women in judgment and in grace in many ways.

·        He is said to come upon the wicked in judgment whenever he brings providential wrath upon them, as he did upon Sodom.

·        He comes to his elect in grace in conversion.

·        The Lord comes again for both the righteousness and the wicked in the hour of death.

·        But, as I said, the text is clearly talking about Christ’s glorious second advent.


            Are you ready? Are you prepared to meet God? Soon you must meet the Lord God in judgment. When you do, he will judge you upon the grounds of absolute righteousness (Rev. 20:11-12). Whatever state you are in then, you will be in forever (Rev. 21:27; 22:11). If you are righteous, you will be righteous forever. If you are saved, you will be saved forever. If you are wicked, you will be wicked forever. If you are lost, you will be lost forever!


Proposition: In the closing verses of Matthew 24, the Son of God urges us to make certain that we are indeed ready to meet him. Are you ready?


Divisions: I want you to hold you Bible open on your lap, and follow me carefully through these verses of Scripture, as I show you the five lessons that are to be learned from these words of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1.      No one knows when Christ will come again (v. 36).

2.      When the Lord Jesus does come again the world will be in the same condition it is in now (vv. 37-39).

3.      In that great day, when Christ comes again, there will be a great separation (vv. 40-41).

4.      It is our responsibility to be always watchful, ready for and anticipating the Lord’s coming (vv. 42-44).

5.      In that great day, every faithful servant of God shall be publicly recognized, honored, and rewarded by Christ; and every false prophet shall be publicly exposed and damned (vv. 45-51).


I. No one knows when Christ will come again (v. 36).


            I keep emphasizing this because it needs to be emphasized. There has hardly been a year since our Lord’s death that someone has not predicted the time of his return. Such predictions began as early as the apostolic era and have continued to this day. But the teachings of Scripture are specific and clear.

·        Acts 1:6-7


            Usually, these imaginary prophets wrest this thirty-sixth verse from its obvious meaning, and say, “Though we cannot know the day and hour of Christ’s coming, we can know the year, the month, and even the week.” Then, by some intricate, elaborate scheme of days, numbers, and events linked together, they make a prediction, which always proves to be wrong. It only takes a little time for their folly to be demonstrated. But they never give up. No sooner is one date setter fallen than another rises to repeat his error.


            Not even the angels of heaven have been informed about the hour of Christ’s second advent. “We need not therefore be troubled by idle prophecies of hair-brained fanatics, even if they claim to interpret the Scriptures; for what the angels do not know has not been revealed to them.” (C.H. Spurgeon)


            Even Christ, in his human nature, voluntarily limited his own capacity to know the time of his second advent (Mark 13:32). Surely, we ought to be content not to know what he has chosen not to know! It is enough for us to know that our Lord is coming again. Knowing that, let us be ready for him to appear at any moment.


II. When the Lord Jesus does come again the world will be in the same condition it is in now (vv. 37-39).


            In these words our Lord gives us an account of how the world will be, what its state and condition will be, when Christ comes again. It will be exactly as it has always been! The world will not be converted before Christ comes. It will be in the same condition it was in when God sent the flood:

·        Absorbed in Worldly, Sensual Pursuits!

·        Oblivious to Eternal, Spiritual Things!

·        Guilty of having Despised the Warnings of God’s Faithful Servants and the Gospel of His Grace!

·        Proverbs 1:23-33


Note:              That which is perfectly lawful in normal circumstances becomes a positive evil and a snare when it keeps us from seeking, knowing, and serving Christ (Matt. 13:22).


            “Woe unto those whose eating and drinking do not include the bread and the water of life; and who marry or are given in marriage, but not to the heavenly Bridegroom!” (C.H. Spurgeon)


III. In that great day, when Christ comes again, there will be a great separation (vv. 40-41).


            The godly and the ungodly, the righteous and the wicked, the elect and the reprobate are mingled together in this world. In the church, in the factory, in the field, and in the family the children of God and the children of the devil are side by side. But it shall not always be so. When Christ comes again, there shall be a great separation made. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at last trumpet’s sound, these two groups shall be forever separated. In that great and terrible day, the divisions and separation of the godly from the ungodly will be decisive, immediate, and everlasting.

·        Husbands from wives

·        Mothers from children

·        Brothers from sisters

·        Pastors from hearers

·        Friends from friends


            There will be no time for repentance. There will be opportunities for grace. As you are in that day, so you shall be forever! Believers shall be caught up to heaven, glory, honor, and eternal life. Unbelievers shall be snatched away and cast into hell, damnation, and eternal destruction and death. Let us therefore make our calling and election sure, both by faith and by works of righteousness, which are the inevitable fruit of true faith.

·        II Peter 1:4-11

·        James 2:14-26


            “Blessed and happy are they who are of one heart in following Christ! Their union alone shall never be broken: it shall last for ever more. Who can imagine the happiness of those who are taken, when the Lord returns? Who can imagine the misery of those who are left behind? May we think on these things, and consider our ways!” (J.C. Ryle)


IV. It is our responsibility to be always watchful, ready for and anticipating the Lord’s coming (vv. 42-44).


            This is a point which our Master frequently presses upon us. He seldom mentions his second coming, without urging us to be watchful. He knows the slothfulness of our nature. He knows how quickly we forget the most solemn things. He knows how worldly minded we are by nature. He knows how constantly satan seeks to destroy us and with what cunning devices. Therefore he arms us with heart-searching exhortations to be awake and alert, lest we be found at last among the damned.

·        I Thessalonians 5:6

·        Revelation 3:11


            We will be wise, like the spouse in the Song of Solomon (7:12), to rise up early, shake off all carnal security, determine not to be slothful and sluggish, and stand watchful over our souls, that we may be prepared at any moment to meet our Lord and Master. We do not know, we cannot even guess, in what watch of the earth’s long night Christ will come. But we do know that he may come at any moment. Therefore we ought to be as watchful as if we knew that Christ would come tonight.


            “Oh, to be ready for his appearing, watching and waiting for him as servants whose Lord has been long away from them, and who may return at any hour! This will not make us neglect our daily calling; on the contrary, we shall be all the more diligent in attending to our earthly duties because our hearts are at rest about our heavenly treasures.”                            (C.H. Spurgeon)


            Are you ready? Are you ready now to meet God in judgment? What an awesome thought that is! Yet, it is a thought that I pray will never cease to rouse our hearts. Soon we must meet God in judgment. Are we ready? There is only one way to that we can indeed be ready. We must be in Christ...

·        United to him by faith!

·        Washed in his blood!

·        Robed in his righteousness!

·        I Corinthians 1:30


V. In that great day, every faithful servant of God shall be publicly recognized, honored, and rewarded by Christ; and every false prophet shall be publicly exposed and damned (vv. 45-51).


            The Lord willing, I will preach to you from these verses next week. For now, let me simply show you the meaning of our Lord’s words. Perhaps that will both serve to minister to your souls now and give you something to look forward to next week.


A. Our Lord gives us a brief description of his faithful servant in verses 45-47.

1.      His Character - “Faithful”

2.      His Position - “Ruler over his household”

3.      His Work - “To give them meat in due season.”

4.      His Reward (vv. 46-47)


            There are rewards for faithful service, both in this world and in the world to come. These are not rewards of debt, but of grace; not according to the rules of law, but of love. Old John Trapp said, “Christ is a liberal pay-master, and his retributions are more than bountiful.” While there is no indication anywhere in Scripture that there are degrees of reward among the saints in heaven, we are encouraged to faithfulness by the promise of it being rewarded by our God. As faithfulness honors God, so God honors faithfulness.

·        In this world, faithfulness in one form of service is rewarded by greater opportunities of service. Faithfulness in small things is rewarded by greater responsibilities being given (Luke 19:17).

·        In the world to come, we shall inherit all the bounty of life everlasting and see the results of our faithfulness around the throne of our God! What more could we desire?


B. The unfaithful servant is also described (vv. 48-51).

1.      His Presumption - “My lord delayeth his coming.”

2.      His Abuse - (v.49). His abuses were two: 1st, He smote his fellow servants. He put them under the law. Rather than comforting them (Isa. 40:1-2), he threatened and beat them. 2nd, He began to live for pleasure, to the gratification of his lusts, rather than for the glory of God and the good of men’s souls. Note: False prophets, rather than serving Christ and his people serve themselves.

3.      His Surprise - (v.50)

4.      His Ruin - (v.51). He pretended to be the servant of God while serving satan and himself. Therefore he shall justly have his portion with hypocrites in hell forever.



1.      Let us live in this world as watchmen, as sentinels of any army in enemy territory, and resolve by God’s grace never to be found asleep at our posts.

2.      Let us live as the servants of the Son of God, ever looking for our Master’s immediate return. J.C. Ryle said, “We may well doubt whether we are true believers in Jesus if we are not ready at any time to have our faith changed into sight.”

3.      Above all, let us each one make sure that we are in Christ (II Cor. 13:5).