When He returns is not as important as the fact that we are ready for Him when He does return. ―A.W. Tozer
My mom was a working, single mom. (For the record, these people are among the highest level of superheroes.)
This meant that my siblings and I would usually come home from school to find the house empty because mom had to go to work. She put a procedure in place for when this happened. We were to lock the doors, find the list that she left for us, and then call her to let her know we were all safely at home. One of the most important rules she had was: Anytime mom was not home, NO FRIENDS WERE ALLOWED IN THE HOUSE!
In our defense, we did a pretty good job of keeping the rules. It's just that sometimes we would get distracted or tempted by a friend who came by with the newest Nintendo game. When this did happen, the sibling bartering would begin. (Every person who has ever had a sibling knows about this bartering.) It typically goes something like this:
“If you don’t tell mom, I’ll let you play.”
“No, I’m gonna need to play and you have to do my part of the chores.”
“Ugh, you’re such a jerk! Fine! I’ll do it!”
Then we would call mom.
“Hi mom. What time are you coming home?”
This part was probably the most important part of getting away with our plan. After all, we needed to know how much time we had before we needed to get rid of our friends. We also needed to know how much time we had before we had to start on our chores in order to get them done just before she arrived.
“I’ll be home when I get home. You just get your chores done first and you won’t have to worry about when I get home. And remember, NO FRIENDS!”
It seemed like every time we tried to pull this off, mom would pull into the driveway while we were still in the middle of a game with our friends, and none of the chores were done. We'd rush our friends out the backdoor and then finally start attacking our chores at a hundred miles an hour thinking that somehow, by some miracle, we could get them done before she could get out of the car and into the house.
Needless to say, we failed every time. In hindsight, we were not only disobedient, but we showed no consideration for the sacrifices that our mother made for us. She sacrificed for us and we acted like selfish brats. How many Christians practice this today?
Don't let him show up when you weren't expecting and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert! (CEB, Mark 13:36-37).
As a pastor I often have people ask me about the end times. Everyone wants to know when Jesus is coming back.