Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 12, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 24:29-51 (NKJV)
24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Understand the parable of the fig tree correctly: when everything is looking like it was “before the flood…eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,” reckon that the end could come as quickly as the rain!
“Here’s your sign,” Jesus is saying to all those who wish to predict the day of His return so that they know what the ‘deadline’ is for their repentance. If you think God is pleased with such insincerity as to lay the time of Christ’s return out for you, so that you’ll be sure finally to ‘stop your sinning’ when it’s really absolutely necessary, you might wish to ask all of the thieves to announce to you, as well, on what day and in which hour they intend to rob your house.
Trying to reason out the time of Christ’s return is so utterly misguided that Jesus makes it clear that it will not be given us to know. And still people try. He gives His direct word concerning this point, but thinking that knowing the hour of His return would help you prepare is nonsense. That’s not how repentance works; being pleasing to God isn’t a matter of knowing when He’s looking and then doing something that makes Him happy! Instead, true repentance is always conscious that only being dressed in the blood and righteousness of Christ can shield you from your just condemnation.
We pray: O Holy Spirit, grant us grace in this hour, and always, to flee from our sin and place our confidence solely in the sacrifice of Jesus. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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