S75P10 – A tour through Matthew 24: true repentance required

Matt. 24:48-51

But if that wicked servant says to himself, “My master is delayed,” and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Jesus does not mince words in this chapter regarding the preparedness of the Church for his return.  A common theme that is stressed multiple times is the fact that time indeed is of the essence.  This focus of his is not so much about when He returns as it is about how He finds his Church on that day.  It reminds me of when I was a little kid trying hard to stay out of trouble.  It would have been easy to stay out of trouble had I simply honored my parents and other authority figures and behaved correctly.  In my mind, however, staying out of trouble was not about behaving well but about making sure I did not get caught.  The goal was not necessarily being a good kid but giving the impression that I was a good kid because no one had proof to show otherwise.

The fact that the return of Christ will be a surprise is in some respect a vetting process.  This passage in particular shows a picture of someone who has played a role, but either it was only an act or the person has decided to regress to old ways.  Whatever the case, Christ gives a warning about his returning and finding us living in a sinful manner and foregoing repentance.  This servant is characterized as turning his back on his peers and deciding instead to fellowship with the ungodly.  The surprise of Christ’s return has done nothing but expose the true motivation of that servant’s heart.  This is the one who does not persevere, and this one is cast aside with those whose hearts are inclined against Christ.  Likewise for us, any show we try to put on now will be brought to light on that day.

God is not looking for people who want to be found faithful only on the day of the Savior’s return.  He is not looking for those who want to just squeak by at that last moment.  God desires that our hearts be motivated in sincerity toward him now.  Whether Jesus returns today, tomorrow or well after our mortal lifetimes end, our sincerity is shown in that we desire to be faithful regardless of when He appears.  We cannot fake out the almighty.  He searches and exposes the heart of each one of us.  Christ’s description of the consequence of having a heart which is not truly repentant is not only a warning but also a renewed call to sincerity. Father, search us and show us any way in us which remains to be corrected that we would desire and pursue true repentance today.