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It will be a separating day

What on Earth have we done with the Teachings of Jesus?

Continuing on with the Matthew Henry commentary regarding Matthew 24. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

The gospel message divides the world

Henry says – It will be a separating day (Matt. 24:40-44).  Then two shall be in the field. This may be applied in two ways.  We may apply it to the success of the gospel message – it divides the world.  Of the things that were spoken, some believe and others do not.  Those of the same age, place, capacity, employment, and condition, in the world, grinding in the same mill.  This includes those of the same family, even those that were joined in the same bond of marriage. 

One was called, the other passed by. This is that division, that separating fire, which Christ came to send, [Luke 12:49, 51 I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! … Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division].  Free grace is all the more precious, that it is distinguishing.  It is to us, and not to the world, and not to those in the same field, the same mill, the same house.

They will be busy at their occupations

A distinction was made by Divine Providence when ruin came upon Jerusalem.  The special care of heaven enabled all the Christians among them were saved from perishing in that calamity. Thus the meek of the earth are hid in the day of the Lord’s anger (Zeph. 2:3), either in heaven, or under heaven.  In times of general destruction, there are special tokens of God’s favour. Even when thousands fall on our right hand and our left, we can be safe.  As brands plucked out of the fire and will not be consumed when others are consumed around us .  We have reason to say, it is of the Lord’s mercies, and great is that mercy.

We may apply it to the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the separation which will be made in that day. He had said before (Matt. 24:31), that the elect will be gathered together. Here He tells us, that, they will be distinguished from those who were nearest to them in this world. The choice and chosen ones taken to glory, the other left to perish eternally. Those who sleep in the dust of the earth, two in the same grave, their ashes mixed, shall yet arise, one to be taken to everlasting life, the other left to shame and everlasting contempt, Dan. 12:2.

The angels will fetch them

To those who shall be found alive. Christ will come unlooked for, will find people busy at their usual occupations, in the field and at the mill.  One group are vessels of mercy prepared for glory, the other vessels of wrath prepared for ruin. For each of these groups so it will be accordingly. This will aggravate the condemnation of sinners and it speaks abundance of comfort to the Lord’s people.  Are they not mean and despised in the world? They shall not be overlooked in that day.

The poor in the world, if rich in faith, are heirs of the kingdom.  Are they dispersed in distant and unlikely places, where one would not expect to find the heirs of glory? In the field, at the mill? Yet the angels will find them and fetch them and they will be changed.  For a very great change it will be to go to heaven from ploughing and grinding.  Are they weak, and unable of themselves to move heavenward? As Lot was taken out of Sodom by a gracious violence, so will they, Gen. 19:16.

Let us not sleep as others do

Those whom Christ has once apprehended and laid hold on, He will never lose His hold of. Even if they be intermixed with others, linked with them in the same habitations and employments. Let not that discourage any true Christian.  God knows how to separate between the precious and the vile, the gold and dross in the same lump, the wheat and chaff in the same floor.

Here is a general exhortation to us, to watch, and be ready against that day comes, Matt. 24:42.  The duty required; Watch therefore, Matt. 24:42.  It is the great duty and interest of all the disciples of Christ to watch, to be awake, that they may mind their business.  As a sinful state or way is compared to sleep, senseless and inactive [1 Thess. 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober].  Watching and waiting is a gracious state or way. We must watch for our Lord’s coming.  If beforehand death approaches for us, that will be the great day with us, the end of our time. 

Desire that He would come

He is coming at the end of all time to judge the world, that great day with all mankind. To watch implies not only to believe that our Lord will come, but to desire that He would come.  We need to be often thinking of His coming, and always looking for it as sure and near, and the time of it uncertain. To watch for Christ’s coming, is to maintain that gracious temperament and disposition of mind. It is to be aware of the first notices of His approach, that we may immediately attend to Him, and address ourselves to the duty of meeting Him.

Sleeping time is at night, which is when we should be watching. While we are in this world, it is night with us, and we must take pains to keep ourselves awake. in spirit.

Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

In summary

1. Know that Christ brings division even in households – those who believe the Words spoken and those who do not.

2. Know that as history tells us believers will be saved from perishing in the calamity of the world.

3. Those whom Christ has once apprehended and laid hold of. He will never lose His hold of.

4. It is our great duty to watch, to be awake.

5. Let our temperament and disposition of mind be watchful and desiring of His return.

Watch Me

Your Master, your giver, your example
Pray ever with watchful eyes on Me
When your eyes are as My eyes
Then you will truly be able to see.
 
Always look unto Me
In matters great or small.
From Me comes your help
Your all
 
The servant watches for support
The meeting of his demands.
His eyes turn to his master
For his life is in His hands.
 
I am your Master look to Me for all
Gaze into My eyes so true.
In complete faith and surrender
Draw all that is needed unto you.
 
My only desire for you my son
Is that in Me you continue to grow
You must watch the bestowal
So that you may bestow.
 
By the late Andrew Feakin
[passed away 16th March 2019]

Prayer:  Father may we be like a most faithful servant. Always watching and desiring Your return. May our hearts and minds be ready for Your coming that we be not ashamed on that day. Break us and mould us into the pattern of Your will.  For Your glory.  Amen.

It will be separating day!

What on Earth have we done with the Teachings of Jesus?

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