Commands of Christ

Await My Return

Where is this command found?

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

Matthew 24:42–44

Applying This Command

This command does not instruct us to know when Christ will return, but rather to be ready for His return and to expect Him at any moment. All the debate and division among believers over the timing of Christ’s Second Coming detracts attention from the great truths that we are to learn from this coming event. This command makes it clear that no one knows the precise “hour” in which the Son of Man will return. He also warned that He will come at a time when we are least expecting Him — as a thief in the night. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

At the same time, Jesus chided the Pharisees and the Sadducees for being able to predict the weather by discerning the color of the sky yet unable to discern the “signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3). Jesus explained many signs that would precede His Second Coming when His disciples asked,“Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). The fact that Christ could return at any moment should motivate us to make the very best use of every minute that we have. There is much to do for the Lord, and we can labor only until the time He returns. At that point, we must give an account of how we used all the minutes and hours that He entrusted to us.

Based on the shortness of time and the evil in the world, Paul wrote, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15–17). Paul repeats this instruction in Colossians 4:5, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” To redeem a coupon is to use it and stop it from going to waste. We will have to account for all the hours that we have allowed to go to waste. Paul lived out this instruction in his own life and ministry. He made he best use of all his time by laboring day and night to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Bible Verses for Meditation

In addition to meditation on Matthew 24:42–44, meditating on the verses below will provide you with further insight and understanding of Christ’s command: Await My Return.

I Peter 4:7

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

John 14:2

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

James 5:7–8

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”

I Thessalonians 5:4–6

“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

I John 3:2–3

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

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Study Question

Q: There is much debate about whether Christ will return before, during, or after the Great Tribulation. Regarding the Second Coming of Christ, what is the most essential question that we should ask?

A: The command to await Christ’s return, found in Matthew 24:42–44, does not instruct us to know when or in what manner He will return but rather to be ready for His return and to expect Him at any moment.

All the debate and division among believers over the timing of Christ’s Second Coming detracts attention from the great truths that we are to learn from this coming event.

This command makes it clear that no one knows the precise “hour” in which the Son of Man will return. He also warned that He will come at a time when we are least expecting Him—as a thief in the night. “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

The fact is that Jesus will return, and this awesome event could take place at any moment. We must watch, pray, and be ready. Therefore, the most essential question to ask is not “When will Christ return?” but “Am I ready for Christ’s return?”

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