by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: I Thessalonians 5:1-11
I. The early disciples longed for the return of Christ
A. I Corinthians 16:19-24 - The term “maranatha” is a transliteration of the Greek, which was in turn transliterated from two Aramaic words. It literally means, “Our Lord come!”
B. II Peter 3:10-12 - Looking for and hastening the day Jesus returns
C. Revelation 22:20-21 - This is the same phrase as in 1 Corinthians 16:22, but having been translated both in Greek and then in English.
D. We will examine five parables which teach about this coming for which we are to eagerly long.
II. The parable of the doorkeeper - Luke 12:35-38; Mark 13:33-37
A. The man leaving on a trip to a far country is Jesus.
B. Some day he will return. The actual time for his return is not known and can occur at any hour.
C. The servants have been all given tasks, but we focus on the duty of the doorkeeper – a man guarding the entrance to the house. He represents you and I.
D. We are always to be ready.
1. What impression would a guard make if his master returned to find him sleeping at the post?
2. So we, too, must always be prepared. Never giving up - Hebrews 6:9-12
3. Standing firm even when not closely monitored - Philippians 1:27
III. The parable of the home owner - Luke 12:39-40; Matthew 24:42-44
A. Here the home owner is you and I.
B. Again we are warned that the Lord’s return will be like a thief
1. This is not to say his coming will be unnoticed, but unexpected.
a. II Peter 3:10 - The destruction of the universe will not go unnoticed.
2. If we knew in advance when our house would be burglarized we would be doing all sorts of things to be prepared.
3. Yet, here the Lord is letting us know in advance. The thief will come. That point is guaranteed. We just don’t know when.
C. Be prepared - I Thessalonians 5:1-11
D. Watch yourselves - II John 8
IV. The parable of the steward - Luke 12:41-46 (also Matthew 24:45-51)
A. Here the master of the house is leaving for an extended time. The master is our Lord Jesus.
B. He has left his servant with duties to perform. The servant is you and I.
C. The problem is that after a while, the servant slacks off when the master doesn’t appear as soon as expected.
1. In fact he neglects his duties, and falls into unrighteous ways.
2. Many people think they have plenty of time.
a. There is no urgency in making preparations now.
b. It is like the teenager who wants junk food now, even though a healthy meal will be available a little bit latter.
(1) We know the junk food is not as good for us, but part of the appeal is that it gives immediate pleasure.
c. Temptations look appealing because they are available now. Heaven is still a long ways off.
(1) We know living righteously is better for us, but sin gives immediate pleasure.
3. We need endurance - Hebrews 10:32-39
D. Notice there is peril, not just embarrassment, to the unfaithful servant.
V. The parable of the ten virgins - Matthew 25:1-13
A. The young women represent members of the church - II Corinthians 11:2
B. Some made preparations in advance for a longer wait than expected. Others made preparations, but did not have the means to endure.
C. The sudden coming of the bridegroom is the sudden return of Christ.
D. The foolish women were prepared at one time, but they now realize they are inadequate.
1. They could not borrow from the others because each of us must stand on our own merits.
2. Come judgment, you can’t borrow faith or righteousness from the strong members of the congregation.
3. Attempting last minute preparations will not work
E. So many give solace to themselves in believing they can work out matters later. The Lord’s words, “I do not know you,” teaches us that there is no second chance. - Luke 13:23-27
1. “Lord, I was baptized. I went to services at times, especially at the beginning.”
2. A good start doesn’t mean we will finish - Matthew 13:20-21
3. Be faithful until death - Revelation 2:10
VI. The parable of the talents - Luke 19:11-27
A. There are many lessons that can be gained from this parable.
B. The nobleman is again Christ who leaves to receive a kingdom - Daniel 7:13-14
C. Some refuse to have the nobleman as king, they are later slain.
D. Again, the servants are given duties while the nobleman is gone. They represent you and I.
1. Each servant is rewarded for faithful effort
2. The one punished had made no effort, despite knowing it was expected of him.
VII. What we learned
A. Christ coming will be sudden and at an unexpected time
B. We must always be prepared.
C. We must be willing to endure.
D. We must not slip back into sin.
E. We must continue to work
F. Let us be watching and waiting, hastening the return of our Master.