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Parables Of Jesus Christ: Watching For The Master
The Messiah's parable of watching for the master:
"13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
"What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch"
Christ's true Church of God, that is, Christ's true people (see What Is The Church?), have always felt a sense of personal urgency. Many of the Christians in the time not long after Christ's resurrection and ascension into heaven believed that He would return soon, in their immediate lifetimes. Notice here how the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) uses the term "we which are alive" in referring to the return of Jesus Christ.
"4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 KJV)
As Paul grew older, along with the death threats that he constantly lived with from both unbelieving Jews and the Romans, he realized that he would be among those who would be resurrected at the time of Christ's return, not among those alive, as he first thought.
"4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV)
But does that mean that Paul let down his effort and obedience? No. He understood that when he died, the return of Christ would seem instantaneous. The dead have no sense of the passage of time. It makes no difference as to whether someone is alive that day, or resurrected that day - to everyone, it will seem that Christ's return will have happened in their lifetime.
"9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing" (Ecclesiastes 9:5 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why did the Messiah say "watch" always?