How Shall We Wait?

Matthew 24:35-25:46

In this passage of Scripture, the first truth that is elucidated is the fact that no one knows “the day, nor the hour” (Matthew 24: 36-39, 42, 44; 25:13), of the coming of the Lord; only the Father knows, as stated in Matthew 24:36. In addition to that, it is emphasized that neither the day nor the hour is to be set; the emphasis is to be on preparedness. The Lord may tarry, but the key is to be ready whenever He comes (Matthew 24:46, 48, 50, 51)

Throughout history there have been those who have set dates for the Second Coming of Christ, most notably among Adventism is October 22, 1844. When one googles the phrase “Date setters” on the internet one encounters numerous references to such predictions. One website alone lists over 200 instances dating from 44 A.D. through 2047 A.D. As human beings, we tend to yield to the temptation of jumping ahead of God.

The second striking truth in this passage is the focus on “occupy” (Matthew 24: 46, 48) while waiting. It is not a matter of folding one’s arms and waiting, it is a matter of being engaged in the Lord’s will while waiting.

Jesus shares three parables: 1) the good man (Matthew 24:43) who has a thief break into his house; 2) the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) who are waiting for the bridegroom to appear, and 3) the man traveling into a far country (Matthew 25:14-30) who gave his servants talents which they were to invest in his absence. In each of these parables the individuals were to be vigilant and/or productive. The good man, if he had known what time the thief was going to break in, would have been awake to stop him. If the five virgins had known how long it would take for the bride and bridegroom to come would have brought extra oil. If the servant with one talent had been faithful to what they knew about their lord, they would have been faithful to his expectations.

Matthew 25:31-46 explains that there is a day of reckoning, with respect to each individual having “occupied” until the Lord comes. There are specific things that one can be doing while “waiting’ for the Lord’s coming, in meeting physical and mental needs, as in providing nutrition and drink, hospitality, raiment, medical attention, and visitation to those around us, as we encounter them. There is explicit information concerning the fact that there will be a separation of those who will be have exemplified Christ’s character in contrast to those who have not, as in, those who will be saved versus those who are lost as explained in Matthew 25:34: “…Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world….” On the other hand, those who ignore their responsibilities in doing God’s bidding will face the day of judgment: “…Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). The final verse of Matthew 25, summarizes the outcome of our deeds: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Verse 46).

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit draws Christians into association with God’s will and prepares them for the coming of the Lord, whenever it might be. Doing God’s will prepares us to reside in heaven, along with those to whom we have witnessed, whether consciously or unconsciously.

May we be faithful and willing stewards of what God’s will is for us. May each one be willing to adhere to what God has outlined in His Word. May we be prepared light bearers to God’s truth, as delineated in the Scriptures. May God grant us the strength and courage to stand for truth, even when being challenged by those who wish to either ignore or alter God’s admonition and instruction to each one, God is our Creator and Redeemer; therefore, He knows us better than even we ourselves! May each one be described as the Bereans: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were soa” (Acts 17:11). Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Let us each one commit to letting Him be our Guide! Let us each open our minds and hearts to God’s calling! Let us avoid allowing ourselves to be distracted by non-Biblical ideologies and led on pathways that will draw our minds and hearts away from God’s intended ways for His children. May we each day prepare for His coming and lead others to do the same. Let us be a positive and representative member of our community. May those who are alive when Christ appears in the clouds, be found faithful when He appears to redeem His children.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Waiting a long time
Dr Arroyo:

1.By picking on this text you continue to promulgate the Adventist artful dodge by saying ‘no man knows the day not the hour’ to justify why Jesus has not come. Jesus was an eschatological prophet. Tis true he warned the Kingdom would come as a ‘thief in the night’ but he did not say ‘centuries or several millennia later’. And still Jesus has not come.

2.The Gospels reveal Jesus as an eschatological prophet. The Kingdom of God is nigh. Not 2,000 years later. Jesus was wrong. Paul was an eschatological missionary. He had to preach to the ‘ends of the world’ because he believed in an imminent return of Jesus. He was wrong.Throughout Christian history all these people claimed to be of God and claimed to read the Scriptures ‘plainly’ have said Jesus is coming soon and they were all wrong. The Adventist Church is founded on the imminent return. William Miller, EGW and all Adventist evangelists were wrong. Ted Wilson preaches the imminent return of Jesus but I am sure he is planning for his retirement. The GC is planning ahead for GC 2020, 2025, 2030. Have you ever met an Adventist who is actually an Adventist?

3.William Miller was wrong but he had the guts to admit it. EGW and her group couldn’t or wouldn’t and so found a church based on nothing. They just made up a new story. And Adventists continue to make up stories. Those that preach a last perfect generation have made up a story. They blame us all for delaying the second coming. For the Great Controversy buffs, they blame the ‘watching universe’ who still with all the evidence don’t feel God can be trusted.

4.Your intentions are no doubt good. Your homiletical interpretation is understandable and pastoral. But your interpretation is not being true to the Jesus portrayed in the Gospels, his eschatological message, self understanding and expectation. What do you say to your young students who say ‘Yes but. Nothing has happened. They all said the end is nigh but nothing has happened’ ‘Maybe you are just plain wrong.’ Why would that be so hard to admit? Best wishes, Edgar


The Gospel is about a finished work. The work furnished a promise to restore man to fellowship with God through the gift of the Spirit. Now by faith we are sons and daughters of God. As such we behave as kingly children in gratitude and generosity. The time of His return is none of our business. Ours is not to live in idle expectation but in fruitful service. to each and all His return is never nor than one life span. For me at 91 it is very soon. As we look at the world scene, God will not let man destroy himself. Fashion your seat belts, we are in for a wild ride.
No one waits more than a life span. Ellen White didn’t wait any longer than I On the morning all will say it was a short wait.
tom Z


Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, he gave them this answer, “The coming of the kingdom of God doe not admit of observation and there will be no one to say, 'Look here! Look there!. For, you must know the kingdom of God is among you” Luke 17: 20, 21.

When was the last time that was preached rather than His “soon coming”?


Jesus ALSO said, Elaine,
The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you.
That was prior to 31 A.D.


Yes, no one waits more than a life span. But when I say this in my SDA church I get such push back. BUT how could it be otherwise? Why don’t they get this?

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Doing God’s will has been practiced in thousands of different ways in human history. I just returned from Rome Italy and observed devout believers bowed in deep humility in an early morning worship in Saint Peters Basilica. I joined with them in prayer as I observed the tonsured priest lift up the Host. I am sure the human heart can have a spiritual experience in hundreds of different faith practices, that are often very dissimilar.


What are we waiting for? Jesus said he came to “give us life, and give it more abundantly”. It doesn’t seem that if we’re “waiting” all the time, we’re also living - an abundant life. The thing is, we have all waited for various things - a diagnosis (that’s a long wait) - for a loved one to come home (another long wait) - a loved one having to leave (time goes by too fast). One thing common to all our waiting is that it occupies all our attention, and everyday life stops, and life gets lopsided - not abundant.

If “the kingdom of God is within us” in the here and now, what are we waiting for? Some of us are waiting to ditch the wheelchair, or the ever-present pain; others are waiting to shed loneliness and fear; but if we truly have the “kingdom” within us, don’t the perks of that kingdom come with it… “What gets our attention, gets us.” a wise man once said. Perhaps our attention should be focused on something other than ourselves and grooming ourselves for a future life, when there is so much to do now, and leave all the time-setting for those who have nothing better to do.


When the scriptures tell us “No man knoweth the day nor hour of His coming,” why do we ignore this and try to force times, dates, lateness, and perfection?

Jesus DID say that He came to give us life more abundantly. More joy, more fellowship, more enjoyment, more living.


So very true, Sirje!

I believe my Lord said "WATCH!"
And I also believe we can SEE what the Lord is doing (though it may take a bit of practice LOOKING through God’s eyes).

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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