The Faithful and the Unfaithful Servant

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.  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Watch – “gregoreo” – to keep awake; to stay alert; to be watchful and sleepless; to be vigilant.  It also includes the idea of being motivated, of keeping one’s mind and attention upon something.  It has the idea of being alert at the right time.  It is at night that a person really needs to stay awake and watch for the thief.

Jesus said He would come again

John 14:1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

The Apostle Paul also wrote about the return of the Lord.

1 Thess. 4:13-18 – But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.  For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Cor. 15:51-52 – Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The Apostle Peter wrote about the return of the Lord

2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.

Ever since the church began, people have tried to make predictions about when the Lord will return. Jesus was very clear that “no one” will know the exact hour.

Mark 13:32 – But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

What Should We Do?

First, stop speculating. Instead of trying to figure out when He will return, let us make sure we are doing all we can to share the good news of the gospel and working to further his kingdom here on earth.

Luke 12:39 – 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.

1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4 – For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief…

Jesus Gave a Parable to Tell Us What We Should Do

A Professing Believer

  • He has a house
  • He has possessions enough to attract a thief
  • He was not watchful – awake, alert, his mind on the things of God
  • He apparently knew the thief were come – just not when
  • He failed to stay awake – to keep his mind alert, to stay focused on the signs around him – to keep up his guard – long enough.
  • He suffered disaster.

2 Peter 2:10-14- “….Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved (our homes, our businesses, our cars, our collections), what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness….be diligent (“spoudazo” – exert oneself, make every effort, be zealous, strain every nerve.  Spoudazo combines thinking and acting.  It cover seeing a need and following through to do something about it.) to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.”

A Faithful and Wise Believer

  • He has responsibility

Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

John 15:8 – By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

John 20:21 – So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

  • He has accountability

1 Corinthians 4:2 – Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

1 Peter 4:10 – As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Romans 12:1-8 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

  • He has a great reward

Matthew 25:21 – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Revelation 3:21 – To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

An Unfaithful and Foolish Unbeliever

  • He has a wrong attitude in his heart
  • He does not believe the Lord will return

2 Peter 3:1-9 – Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

  • He thinks the Lord will not return soon – he has plenty of time

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 – We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:  “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”  Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Heb. 3:7-13 – Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:  “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.  Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
and they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”  Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:16-19 – For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

  • He simply ignores the Lord’s return.
  • He has a wrong behavior pattern.
  • He acts unjustly – mistreating others.
  • He lives for himself – eating and drinking – enjoying the pleasures of this life to the exclusion of his Master’s work.
  • He has a certain judgment coming.

Hebrews 9:27 – and as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

Revelation 20:11-15 – Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the

Note:  the evil servant was still called a servant of the Master.  Worse of all is the one who professes and yet remains in a life of habitual, willful sin.  This person does several things:

  • Deceives himself and others. 
  • Minimizes the truth of eternity, of heaven, of hell and the judgment awaiting all of us.
  • Hinders others from coming to the truth.

Which servant are you? Are you watching, staying alert? Are you busy doing what God has called you to do?

Signs of the End of the Age

Matthew 24:3-14

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”  And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.  “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Signs of the End of the Age

Sign #1 – False Messiahs (v.5) – Men seek utopia, inward peace and outward security.  Unfortunately, too many churches and believers do not demonstrate enough trust in Christ to show that peace and security are found in Him alone.  Therefore, they turn to other messiahs.

Sign #2 – World Violence (v.6) – The believer’s hope is not in this world; neither is his real citizenship.  His hope and his life are in God and in heaven.   Therefore, we are not to fear men and world events.  Men and world events can only take our lives, not our souls.  Our lives are in God’s hands, even to the end of the world.

Phil 3:20-21 – But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.- who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Sign #3 – Natural Disasters (v.7) –

Indicates there is to be unbearable pain and terrible famine and the accompanying evil that comes with famine and hunger. This is graphically described in Scripture.

Sign #4 – Severe Religious Persecution (v.9) – Affliction and Killing will take place.  A few examples of some of the ordeals the early Christians went through are as follows:

Acts 4:1-3 – Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.

Acts 7:57-60 – Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 12:2-4 – Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Acts 13:50 – But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.

Acts 14:19 – Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

2 Corinthians 11:23-25 – Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;

End-time suffering will be multiplied many times over. 

Matthew 24:21-22 – For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Sign #5 – Terrible Apostasy – Betrayal & Division (v.10) –

2 Timothy 3:1-5 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away! 

Sign #6 – The Rising of Many False Leaders – Offering False Hope (v.11)

1 John 4:1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Sign #7 – A Great Falling Away – Sin Increasing, & Love of God Growing Cold  (v.12)

Revelation 3:15-16 – I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.

Sign #8 – Some Enduring and Being Saved (v.13)

Romans 8:31 – What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? 

Romans 8:35, 37-39 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulations, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the  love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Sign #9 – World Evangelism (v.14) – Christ says five very distinct things at this point. 

  1. His gospel is of the Kingdom of God…a spiritual and eternal kingdom that will never pass away.
  2. His gospel is unstoppable.  “This gospel shall be preached.”
  3. His gospel shall be triumphant. 
  4. His gospel is a witness:  “this gospel…shall be     preached…for a witness unto all nations.”  It will proclaim the truth and bear record either for or against man.
  5. The end will finally come when, and only come when the gospel has been preached throughout the whole world.
  • Some very Important Information that is Often Overlooked              
  1. “Take heed that no one deceives you.”  (vs. 4)
  2. The beginning signs (#1, #2, #3)
  3. “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (v.8)
  4. The succeeding signs (#4, #5, #6, and #7) are personal threats and sorrows.   Note the word “then” in verse 9.  After the beginning of sorrows (#1, #2, #3) then the threats & sorrows of the end of the age will begin.  Meaning simply that the noticeable increase in persecution of the followers of Jesus Christ will be the first of many additional sorrows that will take place on the earth.
  5. The promising signs (#8 and #9) are the result of faithfulness of those who serve God.  The word “but” in verse thirteen points toward two signs that offer all the promise and hope a believer could ever desire.  In fact, his salvation and witness are what he lives for.  And the fulfillment of both is promised in the last days.

Luke 21:12 – “But before all these they shall…persecute you…”   

Note the words of Jesus: “I say to you” in verse two.  What Christ said happens.  Therefore all these signs are bound to take place.  But note one critical point.  The signs happen not because God has determines that they will take place but they happen because of the continual unrepentant sin of mankind.

  • Warnings to All
  1. Emphasis upon being deceived:
  2. “Take heed that no man deceive you” (v.5)
  3. “Many shall deceive you” (v.5)
  4. “False prophets…shall deceive many” (v.11)

 Christ gives these signs for a very specific purpose.  He is trying to encourage his followers to “endure to the end” and to “keep hope for His return alive”. 

Endure to the End – Enter into His Rest

Hebrews 4:11-15

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.  Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Be diligent, keep the faith, hold steady, keep on keeping on.  The end is in sight, keep your eyes on the goal, the race is almost run.  Hear what God is speaking to us through His Word.  Note the signs of the times (but the real signs are as stated in God’s Word

Speculation is constantly going on about the end of the world.

  • Planets lining up – What does the Word say?
  • False prophets saying this and that – What does the Word say?
  • Apocalyptic (end time) teachers and groups and movies – What does the Word say?

Be diligent, careful, watch out, be on guard.  The Bible is our sole source.  Any other source must line up with the Word of God.  “You know not the day nor the hour.”

Matthew 24 gives us Jesus words to His disciples about the end time.

  • Verses 3-14 – Signs of the time and the end of the Age.
  • Verses 15-28 – The Great Tribulation
  • Verses 29-31 – The Coming of the Son of Man
  • Verses 32-35 – Parable of the Fig Tree
  • Verses 36 – No one knows the day nor the hour
  • Verses 37 – As it was in the days of Noah (eating, drinking, marriage, violence)
  • Verse 44 – KEY – Be ready!!!

Many of the Scriptures telling about end times (Matthew 24, Daniel, Revelation) are difficult to understand.  They are open to a lot of various interpretations.  In all of the Scriptures we can read, it comes down to this final analysis.

  • Be watchful – Be careful what you get involved in that you are not totally consumed and lose sight of the time and lose your vision.
  • Be holy – “Be holy as I am holy.”  No clothesline doctrine, no manmade rituals, no rules.  Just ask yourself “Should I or would I do this, go there, say this if Jesus Christ Himself was with me.  Well, he is.
  • Be ready – Be forgiving, be without sin, be like Christ. 
  • Have the fruit of the Spirit in your life

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

  • Put on the whole armor of God.

Ephesians 6:10-14 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness


Ephesians 6:17 – And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The Word of the Spirit – the Word of God –

  • Divides, cuts away the truth from the lies (Beware of half-truths, you may have heard the wrong half)
  • Divides, cuts away the important from the trivial
  • Divides, cuts away the specific requirements from the optional
  • Divides, cuts away the “must do” from the “can do”

Serving for God’s Glory

1 Peter 4:7-11

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.  And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”  Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


Romans 13:11-14 – And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

That phrase from Peter, ”The end of all things is at hand…” and the other phrase from Romans “knowing the time,” simply refers to Christ’s return.  His return is nearer at hand than what we realize.  Oh, I know we have all heard that many times.  But it’s true. 

Satan has lulled the church world into a stupor, into an almost unconscious state where many are going through the motions, what the scripture calls “a falling away” and are only in a state of religiosity.  One of the ways Satan has deluded our minds about Christ’s return is keeping us occupied with other things. 

 Christ Jesus is returning and He is coming with His archangel, Michael, blaring a trumpet loud and clear.  Those who are in the grave, the dead in Christ, your loved ones and mine, all will hear that trumpet blast.  They shall rise from their grave, their mortal bodies that were racked with pain and sickness and lay undisturbed for months or years will suddenly come to life in a jolt more powerful than any electrical current.   They will burst through that concrete vault and that casket that is closed and secured tightly plus six feet of earth more powerful than any bullet train or atom bomb.  They then will burst through the atmosphere to meet Him in the air and continue on through the pearly gates into that abode promised for those who are His. 

At the same time those who are alive and in Christ will be caught up to meet them in the air.  I do not know how much of a time lapse between these two events but according to scripture I believe it is immediate.  In other words when the graves are bursting open for our loved ones, who have died, and may be even yet in the funeral home or hospital will be gone and those in Christ will be gone as well.  And we all know where they will have gone. 

In other words, those still living will not have time to ponder their fate if they are in a state of sin and will not have time to make ready.  His coming will be instantaneous and the ones who are not ready will not have a clue at that particular moment.  Some of man’s imagination pictures toppled tombstones, disturbed grave sites, cars and planes careening off the road driverless, doctors missing suddenly while in the middle of surgery, people talking in conversation and all at once one of the parties are gone.  Just as those who witnessed the flood in Noah’s day, there will be an almost immediate recognition around the world that something has happened, but many will be without a clue.

Right now, about one billion people around the world call themselves Christian.  How many of them will, in fact, be ready for lift off, is anyone’s guess.  But, Christ knows their name, because their names are in the book.  Is your name in the book, that is, The Lamb’s book of Life or is your name in the other book…the one who has the recorded names and deeds of all those who are not ready and who according to the Word must give an account?

That second phrase in Romans, chapter eleven, simply tells us to WAKE UP.  Are you spiritually awake?  Are you aware of any area in your life that might give you a hesitation of whether or not you will be ready or not?  The Bible tells us we have approximately 70 years of life on this earth.  Some of you have already passed that number.  But think of it, on a time line, 70 years is but a blip compared to the approximate 6000 years this earth has been inhabited since Adam and Eve were created. 

What is your eternal destiny?  Where you will spend eternity?  He that has an ear, let him or her hear?  What is the Spirit saying to you?  Is there an area of your life that does not measure up to what God requires?  It is not about the church or your friends or family.  It is about you.