Matthew 24:39-42 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Its always something! Advent is a season when we consider the coming of our Lord Jesus, both at his birth in Bethlehem and also His second coming, at the end of the world. While there is some misinformation about Jesus birth, for there has been some confusion and many people don’t know what is scripture and certain, and what is only pious tradition – there is considerable confusion regarding the end of the world – confusion that is not necessary.
We know that God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. We know that Jesus died for the sins of all men, and salvation and the forgiveness of sins has been purchased and won for all. And we know that although God is doing everything necessary so that all may be saved, some will perish – because they reject the gift of God in Jesus Christ.
We know that we are saved, by grace though faith in Jesus Christ, and not by our works. We know we are not saved because we have lead a good life, or even because we have done the best we can. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, in that way believers and unbelievers are the same, the same in that we are all sinners. The difference is that believers repent, and confess their sins, and trust in the blood of Jesus to cleanse them from all sins. The difference is faith, not the amount of faith, or the strength of that faith. Faith grasps the promise of God that the blood of Jesus washes away all our sins. God places the promise before us, and God creates the faith that grasps the promise – God does everything necessary for salvation.
And one of the things that God does, is to tell us ahead of time, about the end times, so that when it comes – we will not be afraid. That’s why God tells us about the end times, so we will not be afraid. Why need we not be afraid? Because the same God who has purchased and won salvation for us, will provide for us, even in the end times. So we can hear of wars and rumors of wars, of famine, earthquake and pestilence - and know that these are signs of the end times, and that God will be with us, and His grace will be sufficient to see us through all these things.
And that’s what brings us to discuss a popular misinterpretation of our text – the question of those "left behind". From stories to jokes to bumper stickers, there is a variety of stuff out there that says, when Jesus returns, I’m going to go and be with him (and you’re not). "In case of the Parousia, this car will be driverless." I’ve heard that there are some people who are concerned about the increased airline security – they want to be able to see that the pilot is still there, in case of parouia.
The one thing that all of these stories have in common is that the prey upon fear – and that’s how we know that they are wrong.