I have spent the last few days planning a Bible study on Matthew 24 & 25 for Year 10 students. Strangely enough, many things have happened to me this weekend which have really illuminated these passages for me. The chapters talk about the end times and warn us to be ready for the return of Christ. One of the many great verses in these passages warns us to beware of false prophets coming and saying they are the Christ or that Jesus has already returned. It says “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
There is a cult in China, the Eastern Lightning [sic] Cult, which claims that Jesus has returned and they are the lightening spreading from east to west telling of his return. They do a lot of damage in China, feeding, like parasites, off the villages that have been won for Christ, taking advantage of the newly converted infiltrating them with lies.
While we were experiencing this magnificent storm in Sydney last night I sat in my hammock thinking, so this is what Jesus return will be like. Magnificent. A little terrifying. Seen by all. There is not a person I have spoken to today who did not see the lightening in Sydney last night. Jesus has not come back yet. We will know it when he does. I can only imagine how awesome it will be when Jesus really does return and the whole world sees. It will be incredible. It will happen, and the message in Matthew chapters 24 & 25 is simply this: be ready. Be ready because we don’t know when it will happen.
Apart from the storms, it has been an eventful weekend. I crashed my car on Friday – I’m okay, just feeling stupid – went to a wedding, and discovered that someone attempted to break into my car. I was amazed that these people intent on stealing my crashed car (?!) had spent so long fiddling with my locks right outside my house and had escaped my notice. It was crazy. I was home and didn’t even realise what was going on outside. I was not prepared for thieves. I had a crook lock but it was in my boot, not on my steering wheel. I left valuables in my car. I was comfortably complacent.
ON discovering the locks of my car had been pushed in, I remembered that Matthew 24 & 25 also says that Jesus will return like a thief in the night, when we are least expecting it. I realised how unready I am for thieves and also realised that I am not that ready for Jesus to return. I have become complacent about my faith and love for God. I put off reading God’s word, I put off prayer, I put off doing good, I think there’s time to get ready, perhaps when things are not so busy. But there may not be time.
I honestly don’t know how much time we have before Jesus returns. The Bible doesn’t say. But it does say he will return, like a thief in the night. And when he does we’ll know it: it will be like lightening that comes from the east and is visible in the west and we better be ready because we will not have seen anything like it.