So now let’s think this through: If the angels don’t know when Jesus is coming back. If Jesus himself during his time on earth didn’t know when he was coming back. Do you think you and I know? No way! “Be on guard!” Jesus says. “Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” One of the most inexplicable things in the world is when Christians try to predict the end of the world. It happens way too often! If someone predicts Jesus’ 2nd coming, you don’t have to be worried. In fact, you can know they’re wrong! When someone tries to predict Judgment Day, that’s a clear sign they are a false teacher. There are a lot of false teachers! Just Google May 21, 2011. “No one knows about that day or hour…”
Why do you think God wants it that way? Why not just tell us? Right now is a stressful time for college students—papers and exams are due. The truth is, they’ve known about the papers and exams for months! So why are they so stressed out now? When you know something isn’t due until a certain date, what do you do? You put it off until the last minute! If the world were going to end on July 4th—I’m not predicting it!—what would we be tempted to do? Sin. We would procrastinate and put God off. We would say, “I can sin now and repent later!” But “sin now and repent later” is not a Christian attitude. Jesus wants us to be ready today. He’s coming back!
Jesus drives that point home with a parable. “It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back…. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.” A doorkeeper only has one job: Be ready when people come! Don’t let your master find you sleeping! What’s Jesus telling us? Here is what life is about: Will I be ready when Jesus comes? Life really isn’t about our goals or accomplishments. When Jesus comes, will I believe in him? Do not let him find you sleeping!
That’s not easy. Staying awake is harder than it sounds. When I was a kid, my church had an 11:00 p.m. service on Christmas Eve. I always wanted to go—to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve. Finally, when I was in 2nd grade, my mom brought me to the service. Do you know how the service went? Me neither! I was sleeping before it even started. I don’t even remember waking up to go home. I missed out on the very thing I wanted to stay awake for! Why is it that when somebody tells you, “Don’t fall asleep,” you immediately become tired?
That’s not good, because what does Jesus tell us? “Do not let him find you sleeping.” That’s a stern warning! There’s a false assumption in our world today: “Everybody’s going to heaven. No matter how you live, no matter what you believe, in the end you’ll be in heaven.” Jesus once told a parable about ten young women on a wedding day waiting for a bridegroom to come. Five were foolish and weren’t ready when the bridegroom came. When they finally got to the wedding, the door was shut. They called out, “Sir, open the door for us!” Do you know what the bridegroom—Jesus—said? “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you” (Matthew 25:12). Isn’t that terrifying to hear? Not everyone’s going to heaven! May we never hear those words! “I don’t know you!” Some people are going to be very dis-appointed when Jesus comes again. “Do not let him find you sleeping!”
So what does sleeping look like? Obviously, Jesus isn’t talking about physical sleep. It’s okay to sleep. In fact, God “grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2). So what’s Jesus talking about? It’s so easy to get lazy in our faith and take our eyes off of Jesus. We’re busy, right? How often do we say that? “I’m busy. We’re so busy.” If someone isn’t busy, it’s al-most like, “What? What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you ridiculously busy?” Here’s a warning: The devil fills our lives so full of good things, that we can completely miss out on the greatest thing. Sleeping might look like having a life so full that you don’t have room for Jesus. And suddenly he’s going to come. “Do not let him find you sleeping!”
Here’s another example: We can fall asleep in our sins. We can get so comfortable with our sins that we don’t even notice them. This is scary. To hear of all these men harass-ing women in terrible, sinful ways, and yet to them it all seemed perfectly normal. They’re surprised it was wrong. That’s sleeping. What is that for you? What’s the sin that you have grown so comfortable with that it doesn’t even bother you anymore? “Do not let him find you sleeping.” That should send a shiver