Matthew 24:44 “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
Why “must” we “be ready” Lord? And for what reason are we to be ready? Consider — If the Rapture comes for every Christian alike (on a pre Tribulation Timeframe), than the “must be ready” and “reason for it” should not matter unless this is an admonition from the Lord to either be born again, or if one is already born again to do what?
But these are believers (disciples) that He is talking to and talking about. These are people who need their food or understanding at the proper time, a time just before the Lord comes. And they need it from teachers who are feeding them. But it is obvious that not all are feeding truth, because some of these servants are evil servants.
Salvation can’t be what Jesus is calling for here. For salvation is needed at all times not just before Jesus returns, but He is admonishing His servants to do the feeding at a specific time. The timing is made known in the preparation or the readiness for His return. In His message He has already given signs and events that are coming before He ever mentions this hour that we do not think he will come. So are these who need teaching and those doing the feeding just not born again?
Or is it possible that being ready and the reason for it means something else entirely, because the hour would not matter were the Rapture simply having all of the now complete body to be caught up before these events that Jesus tells us about.
However, here in this passage “An hour that we think not” is definitely directed at some of the servants of the Lord — and all of us are called His servants in the epistles and in Revelation. Sometimes we are called His bond-servants. These are already born again– does that not make us Rapture ready? Apparently not. Jesus says its “For this reason”, but for what reason? So let’s look back.
Matthew 24:43 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.”
Teachers who are preparing us for the Second Coming tell us that Jesus is the Thief spoken of here (scripture does say that He will come as a thief), and that we are to be watchful for Him. What happens if we aren’t watchful? But does this make sense given the reason? — which is that our house not be broken into. Does that make sense if the Lord is the thief here? If we are not watching for Him when He comes does that mean we will not be raptured? — “no man knows the hour”. Are we to be thinking of His return at all times? Jesus is talking about the hour of His coming as being an hour that we or at least some “think not”. In Rev. 3:10 he promises the Church of Philadelphia to be kept from the hour. That hour is usually thought by pre-Trib scholars to be a different hour involving His Wrath. But, pre-Trib scholars say it is the entire Tribulation that Jesus comes to deliver us from. So they say that His Coming is a different hour. So is it in fact the hour that we know not? What does it imply, and why are we as believers in danger if we do not know it?
We certainly want Him to come and to take us and our household, however the implied meaning here is that we need to be ready for this hour for a reason and that reason is– to keep the thief from breaking in and robbing us.
But Jesus tells us of another THEIF in scripture, one who comes to rob and to steal that which is not his. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
So if His coming is at an hour that we think not how could that effect our readiness to meet Him? Remember no man knows the day or the hour. And what THEIF are we to be protecting ourself from here?–certainly not Jesus, and His coming for us. Let’s say that the hour is proven from scripture as we have seen in the book, And Then The End Shall Come, to be the end rather than the beginning of the Tribulation, yet most Christians have been taught to expect His coming at the beginning; would that not then make those Christians unprepared or not ready and therefore this would be an hour that they think not? Is this hour of His coming after the threat brought on by this thief?
If this hour were after Tribulation and wrath brought against them by this thief, and also an hour not consummated as Pre-Trib scholars now see it would it not then qualify as an hour that they think not? For He apparently will come to at least some believers at an hour that they think not– and at an hour for which there must be some preparation because Jesus has already told us in this passage that– he who endures to the end will be saved. Endures — What does that mean? He told us that the evil servant will not be giving out food at the right time and in order for there to be a readiness Jesus says that we must possess this food, so it must be needed. Is it the gospel or is it proper teaching? The gospel does not have a right time — it is always needed. But proper teaching at the right time and right season — now that is a different story.
The Tribulation because of its nature– persecution and torture at the hand of Satan– will require a readiness for endurance in order to guard ones very soul and the souls of others. It is the evil day and requires the full armor of God for protection from this very thief, who’s soul purpose is to rob and to steal. Does this thief then present a danger to us before this hour making proper teaching necessary? It is written that he (this thief) will pursue the offspring of Israel — this is an offspring who has overcome him with the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.
There is also implied in this verse that there will be those who will follow this warning and will be good servants — servants who will give out food for understanding so that this thief will not rob and steal before this unknown hour of His coming.
what else should we know?
We should in all fairness to the pre-Trib side also consider if this admonition from our Lord could be instead only for the Jews, and not for us. Is it only for those of the end time nation of Israel, as these scholars message it? If this were the case — what would it mean to the future saved of Israel? They will not have heard the gospel message until the Tribulation before the Lords coming. So they could qualify. And certainly during the Tribulation when they would hear this message, they would also be told that the Lord is prophesied to come during the Ezekiel 38 battle, which will still be forth coming for them –it the battle of Armageddon is yet to occur and will be just before this hour that apparently most know not. During this battle we are told that 2/3 of Israel will be destroyed. This according to Zachariah 13:8-9. Would this time then not be the very hour that they who are purged are prophesied to take part in? Yes. But they would now know the hour, so it could not be an hour that they think not, could it? In fact there would be no preparation that they could possibly make for this hour as it is already determined that only those who will call upon Him will remain following Armageddon, and when it comes upon them the Holy Spirit will have been protecting them just for this hour. He will have Protected them for this very time in question just before the hour of His coming. For then they will call upon the Lord (see anrticle titled “Messiah Stains His Garment”). He will be refining them as though by fire to be as purest gold. Nothing else they could do. They will be reattached to the olive tree in fulfillment of the Romans 11 message.
So where does all of this leave us. Israel can’t be those intended to hear this admonition, for during the Tribulation itself they will be made to know what to expect concerning Jacobs trouble and the Lord’s deliverance through it.
We also who understand Paul’s teachings in 1st and 2nd Thessalonians know that the hour of Jesus coming is Post Tribulational, so we have been feeding on the truth of God’s word for strength and faith to ready ourselves for everything that the Lord requires of us even including our life if that is His will for us.
Men almost every day put their lives on the line for this country, yet many Christians believe that Jesus will not require them to do the same for Him. In fact He already has required this of others all down through history.
So does not this then say that it is those members of His body, who find themselves in darkness — not knowing what to expect during the days of this thief’s actions; nor do they know how to respond, when in the midst of Tribulation Satan’s attacks. They find that they are being robbed possibly of their very faith; and therefore because of these things they are not being made ready. Is this why many actually fall away? — because He is coming at an hour that they think not.
Perhaps an even more pertinent question for you to ponder is — what could Jesus possibly have meant by this warning if there is no danger for us before this hour? No danger of falling away — no danger of one stealing your crown.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him.
Revelation 2:10 Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.
Revelation 3:11 I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown.
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