Matthews 24:42-51 Preparations for the Lord’s Return


Jesus tells his disciples how to prepare for the Lord’s return. These verses apply doctrinally to tribulation saints, not to church age saints.

Be Watchful – v. 42

The saints in the tribulation have to be looking for the Lord’s return to see him when he comes – Heb 9:28

Be Ready – v. 43-44

They have to be ready because he comes as a thief. When thieves come, they come to:

· Take something [Rev 14:14-16, Rev 7:9, 14]. In this case he takes the tribulation saints.
· Break something [2 Thes 1:7-9; Joel 2; Ps 18]. This sounds exactly like what happened to Lot; he lost everything but 2 daughters and 2 bottles of wine to the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah. The lesson for the saints, then, is that they should use what little possessions and wealth they have to care for other saints rather than to accumulate more possessions which will be broken up when the Lord returns.
· Work at night [1 Thes 5:2]. The Lord comes as a thief in the night. So, the saints are to remain sober and vigilant.

Be Faithful and Wise – v. 45-47

The saints are to take care of each other the way that the early church took care of its own in Acts 2-6. The servants are to give the hungry saints meat in due season. This is both literal and spiritual.

As the disciples distributed the food to the hungry congregation in the wilderness, so the servants are to feed the hungry saints [Matt 14:16]. They are to be like Obadiah was in 1 Ki 17:11-14.

Spiritually, the saints will need to be fed the words of God like Paul fed his congregations [1 Cor 3:2; Heb 5:12-14].

There is a reward for this work. The servants who rule well will get to rule with the Lord in his kingdom [Matt 25:21, 23].

Be Not Evil – v. 48-51

The servant who thinks the Lord is delaying his coming will begin to be cruel and drunken, thinking that the Lord won’t catch him. But the Lord will surprise him and find him beating his fellow servants and drinking with the drunken. Consequently, the Lord will throw him in hell [Lk 12:46].

Thus, keeping one’s salvation in the tribulation is conditional [Rev 14:9-12]. A saint who does not endure to the end and who gives up on the Lord’s return will be thrown into hell. So, tribulation salvation is not like our salvation at all. Our salvation is eternal and complete in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary.