Tag: Gospel

A Great Speech: “Men Have Forgotten God” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest for worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which the Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die. And in the life of our entire planet, the Divine Spirit surely moves with no less force: this we must grasp in our dark and terrible hour.

Are you a Twin? Notes for Next Week’s Talk on Thomas (Didymus – The Twin)

Lunch with the Dans – Thomas, Didymus, Twin Part 2

(1) Didymus is Greek for “Twin”

Facts:

*Twins are more common since the 1980’s, 1 in every 30 births

*Twins tend to be extremely connected to their “other”, can create language only they understand/short hand

*Twins can be very competetive

*Twins can be codependant on one another (may have to be separated slowly as they grow into adulthood)

*We have several sets of Twins in our youth group (and college age groups) *twins are common on the island

 

(2) The On/Off  Confusion/Trust Relationship of a Twin following Jesus:

Thomas, while stout in faith and courage with Jesus at one point (John 11):

 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

He also seems to experience some separation anxiety (John 14):

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

The fact that he was not with the other disciples when they saw Jesus may be explained by his intense greif over the loss of one who he was attached to (like a twin).

 

(3) Possible explanations for who was Thomas’ Twin 

*He lost his twin early on in life (either at birth or through death)

*A Gnostic Gospel (written long after the gospels) surprisingly attributes the twin to be Jesus himself (surprise!)

*In a literary sense, we may be the “Twin” of Thomas (facing our own doubts – doubting our doubts)

 

(4) Thomas Believes (John 20)

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

*Thomas was skeptical, he was hurting, he felt lost – but the instant he saw Jesus, he believed.  It does not even mention that he had to go and touch the wounds (like many paintings make it seem).  He simply believed.

 

Some Questions:

What happens when someone tells you that they don’t believe in Christianity?  Do you lose your faith?

For most of us, probably not.  There are likely reasons that we have faith, and there is likely within us an instinct to trust and believe.  Doubt is natural and part of being human – but “doubting our doubt” and crying out “My Lord and my God!” when it is true, we find ourselves in a right relationship with God.  We begin to experience fulfillment.  Our worries and fears melt away, and we are able to step into a world where the spirit of possibility becomes reality.

 

(5) Assurance:

*Our Beliefs affect everything we do and how we live life.  If Thomas didn’t believe in this moment, how would his life have been different?  Would have have traveled to Iran (and possibly India) to preach the Gospel?

Would he have died for his faith if he had not believed?

How do we act when we believe?

Read the Great Commission at the end of Matthew Chapter 28:

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Doubt was also present, and ask yourself: “If I were to ‘Go’ like Jesus says, and were to reach out to all nations, all peoples of the earth – what would that look like? How can we actually do it?  Will we actually Go? Now?

belief

The Prodigal Son(s): Notes on Kevin DeYoung’s Sermon on Luke 15:1-32 at TGC 2013

Luke 15:1-32

Sermon Notes on Kevin DeYoung‘s Talk at The Gospel Coalition Conference 2013

(1) The Context (Parable)
Tax Collectors and Sinners chilling w Jesus – Pharisees unhappy
Sinners – those not following the law (not good Jews)
Tax Collectors – people who paid Rome in order to have the right to collect taxes (were seen as cheats, swindled ppl out of money for profit ) – bid on what they thought they could collect.
Picture Jesus sitting w Judges ruling against Christians, hanging with scientists, atheists(?)

(2) Characters – 3 main Characters – Analogy is w the attitude portrayed, “How much more is God than this?”
A, Shepherd – God seeks sinners
God is active in this process
B. A Woman searching for her money diligently – Searching like a mom (find what is lost)
C. Father and his son – goes out to his son while he was a long way off. God is seeking people to save them

In every City – God is seeking

(The mission Field of the last century is booming – Have we been bad stewards while our shepherd sought the lost?)

Zaccheus – The son of man came to seek and to save the lost

*The Point: God rejoices when the lost one is found! Divine Joy – It is public – it is shared, there is eye contact, it overflows

Godly vs Worldly grief (repentance vs shame)

1. Lets be mindful of the relationships and the repentance

Are we friends of sinners? Remember wisdom. No one has been more inclusive of sinners and yet so rejecting of sin.

2. Let us be prepared to seek and to find all sorts of sinners

The older brother needs grace too. The Father goes out to him. The older brother just wants Justice. Nevers vs Always. “I never get this. You always have me.” Can we minister to the repentant and the bitter/Jealous?

3. Let us be marked in our lives by the experience of Joy

The Kingdom always comes with joy. God is radically committed to your joy and his. God seeks and he finds. Do you have an expectation of Joy? Are you waiting for something amazing from God?

The Transfiguration: Sufjan Stevens and the Miracle

A while back I was asked to speak in a series on the amazing events of Jesus’s life, particularly the Transfiguration.  Since that talk, this song has really impacted me, and helped me feel the wonder of that moment.  It is five minutes, to make sure you have a moment, or come back to view later.  Here is the video, and below is my talk outline.  Enjoy:

God’s Glory: Jesus’ Transfiguration

by Daniel Griswold

Introduction: Cultural Points

*Spell of Transfiguration

In Harry Potter, it is a spell from which one thing is turned into something else bound by certain rules such as the rule that food cannot be made out of thin air.

*trans·fig·u·ra·tion 

n. A marked change in form or appearance; a metamorphosis.

-A change that glorifies or exalts.

-Bible The sudden emanation of radiance from the person of Jesus that occurred on a mountain.

-The Christian feast commemorating this event, observed on August 6 in the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, on August 19 in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and on the Sunday before Lent in most Protestant churches.

*From the Greek:

(metemorfw¿qh), meta, denoting change or transfer

*Kafka’s Metamorphosis

A book about a man who is radically transformed into a millipede and who is quickly hidden by his family in a small dark room due to the shame and fear of such a large insect in their home.

Basically, a Transfiguration is a drastic change from one state to another.

Why would something need to transform?

1) Protection (Insects change their shape to hide from enemies)

2) New Function (Software must transform in order to perform new tasks for industry, ex: DOS/Windows)

3) By mere accident (suddenly going bald – like myself)

4) To Reveal Something Unknown (Revealing one’s face from a cloak)

Scripture to Read:  Mark 9:1-9, Matthew 17:1-9, Luke 9:28-36

From the Disciples Perspectives:

1) They went to pray on a mountain

(Moses: Exodus 12-13) (Elijah: 1 Kings 10:11)

2) Jesus transforms during prayer into a glowing white figure

denotes the promise of the return of Christ (Revelation 1:12-20)

3) Jesus is talking to two guys: Moses and Elijah, about Jesus’ coming death

4) They offer to build three tabernacles

(They were ready as warriors to usher in God’s kingdom right there)

5) A cloud overshadowed them and they entered it

(God’s Glory Cloud: Exodus 15-18)

6)  God’s voice comes from the cloud stating Jesus’ position as God’s Son and gives him authority.

Application:

Prayer – Beginnings of communication with God

Observation – Seeing What God is Doing

Respects – Offering what you can do to God

Response – Entering God’s Glory and Obeying what God tells us

 

What does Jesus’ Transformation do?

For the three Disciples – Gave them a glimpse into the future, where Christ is glorified and is the head of the eternal church, in beauty and in strength.  Though they wished the kingdom to come any moment, the whispers of a coming departure/exodus signaled that there was more work to be done, and it would be a great time of struggle.  The reality became the disciples becoming Apostles spreading the word of the Risen Christ after his death, and the message of hope and salvation was spread even to the point of martyrdom.

For Us – As we seek out God and observe this world, we see that things are not always the way we wish them to be, but it is from the Transfiguration, the moment of Hope and Beauty, that we can see a glimpse of what things will be like one day when we will live in the true City of God.  Until that day, we must respect God by offering our hands and hearts to His good work in this world that seems to have so much good, but yet so much wrong overwhelming it.   By obeying God, we can be in tune with His will and ensure that our lives are not part of a miniscule individual plan, but rather a Greater and Divinely conceived plan that encompasses all time beginning in the moments before Creation, up through the History of Israel from Abraham to the time of the Kings, to the Fall of Israel’s worldly kingdom, the eventual rise of Rome, the birth of Christ, and our current era which is marked by the work of the body of Christ.  Have previous generations stepped up?  Yes, some have.  But can we do better and give everything to our God?  Absolutely, Yes!

Song for Thought and Reapplication of Scripture:

Sufjan Stevens – Transfiguration from the Album “Swan Song”

 

On Liturgical Worship (A Personal Experience)

(Image is of Christ Church United Methodist )

After graduating seminary at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, I felt called to minister at Saint Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church.  The search committee was welcoming but discerning, the pastor was warm and incredibly intelligent, the congregants warm and welcoming, and the families were engaged.  I knew that when I received the call, and was asked, “Would you come to Saint Andrew,” my answer was “Yes, I will.”  God has greatly blessed me at this church the last three years, but I did have a bit of acclimation, particularly in the realm of Worship Style.

Very quickly, I discovered that SABTS worshipped by singing hymns, they said The Apostles Creed and prayed “Our Father” nearly every Sunday.  A vigorous choir accompanies a talented organist – so the style is what some would call “Traditional” or “Liturgical”.

My background in the Pentecostal, Baptist and Non-Denominational churches would definitely be considered a “Contemporary” experience.  Contemporary merely meaning that guitars, drums, bass and microphones are the main tools of worship.  The songs have been written (mainly from the Psalms) by Contemporary Christian Musicians in the last 30 years or so.  Hymns were more the exception, but were still sung from time to time.  I had been used to the bright colors of lighting rigs, textured displays and projectors displaying the outlines of the talks.  Pastor’s generally did not wear their suit jackets, and I had never been in a church where the pastor wore robes or a stole (a word I had never heard).

I had to ask myself if I was capable or worship in the new setting, so I began to write in my mind a list of priorities (values) that would guide me in this decision.  In other words, what was most important to me about a worship service?

First, I had grown up in a tradition of good preaching.  Pentecostal preachers are known for their passionate sermons, and Biblical Study is important to me.  If I am inspired, I also need to learn something.  Also, if I am not stretched as a person as a result of the preaching, I feel that there was no point.  The application is as key as the main idea.  And has the Gospel been faithfully represented?  Is the preacher being faithful to God’s word.  I checked SABTS’s website and listened to sermon audio recordings to get a feel for the head pastor’s preaching.  I listened to three recent sermons and determined that this church had an excellent preacher who met all my expectations.  Would I have come had the preaching not been so excellent?  Perhaps.  But it helps that our lead faithfully speaks the Gospel to us, and we are challenged each and every week.

Second, I asked myself about music style, “If things are going to change, what are the non-negotiables?”  In other words, could I worship if I never heard a guitar again?  I thought about this a lot, not just for myself, but my wife Amanda also prefers the more contemporary sound.  I discussed this with her, and I communicated that I felt that so long as we were glorifying God in music, that I would be able to step into the context of my church (like a missionary would on another continent) and respect the styles of worship honored in the community where I would serve.  I made a conscious decision to respect the community and allow myself to be transformed by their valued music.  In the last three years, I have come to love certain hymns for their messages and their tunes.  I don’t pretend to understand the notes in the hymnal (though I do try to look to see whether to go up or down in voice), but this congregation sings these hymns with vigor and reverence.  They sing about God’s love, Repentance, Hope, Christ’s Sacrifice, Challenge and Tribulation, Happiness in Spirit and it all points towards the work of Jesus Christ. I cannot argue that we should never worship like this, in fact, those who refuse to worship this way are missing out on a way of communicating God’s love that is deep, rich, and full of passion.  Americans are in love with what is “New” but we easily forget that hymns were once the “New” music as well.  Concerning music, perhaps one day I’ll worship with guitars again (I am learning to play myself), but I am content to sing this way for the rest of my life.  It is a good thing, regardless of my preferences.

Lastly, concerning prayer, I had been used to an extemporaneous style of praying in past churches.  Pastors full of the Holy Spirit would call out to God, and the people of the congregation would pray out loud together.  It was sometimes cacophonous, and I think it would scare some folks who are more used to order.  I had seen at a non-denominational church where I had served, people praying from written notes during services, and it had fascinated me, but some were from notes and others weren’t.  Here at SABTS, each portion of the service was carefully prepared, pulled from liturgy, and steeped in tradition pulled from the Church Fathers, Liturgies of the church carefully written, and from John Wesley’s (the founder of Methodism) hands himself at times.  I discovered the Methodist “Book of Worship” and amazing prayers for every occasion, and found a deep wellspring of spirituality in the faith of saints long gone.  They had written their lives with God down on paper, and their communities of saints spoke to us today.  It was deep, and as spirit filled as the extemporaneous prayers of my upbringing.  God opened my eyes, though I felt at home, considering how much I love to write and read.  This became a new avenue I had never considered.  The liturgy was also freeing to me, because in those times when I did not know how to pray, there were words that could express my spirit even when I could not.  I saw the hand of the Holy Spirit across the millennia recorded for the future.  I am likely to have a prayer book the rest of my life regardless of where I minister, and I am thankful for this liturgical experience.  If simply to have the “Doxology” memorized and to sing it when I am thankful is such a treasure.  Again, my eyes have been open.

The apostle Paul, walking on a line between the traditional Jewish faith, and the new and developing traditions of the Gentile believers in the Roman Empire, always held onto the roots of his Jewish heritage, while simultaneously celebrating the new work among the new people who were coming to faith in Christ.  He said in a trial that, “I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.  So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man” (The Book of Acts).  He is part of the Way, which is a new thing in Christ, as many Jews believed in Jesus as the culmination of their messianic heritage, yet he held to the Law and its teachings simultaneously.

I feel like I am walking a line as well, between the music of my peers (which has its own pros and cons) and the worship of Christian tradition, which has been proved in the past to encourage believers in faith.  I honestly find myself comfortable in both settings, and can see services where both are used wisely for the edification of believers and for promoting God’s glory.  The fact is, God is amazing, and there are not enough styles of worship that can completely capture that glory for us.  We have to continue to innovate while preserving the past for future believers.  If we only worship in the style in which we are comfortable, we are becoming less Christian, because these values – diversity, unity, and even perseverance through discomfort for the “other”, must be lived out if we are to believe that Jesus calls us to be “one” in His body.

We are a diverse people across a globe with many people, with various liturgies and forms of worship, but if a church preaches Christ, challenges us to action in our faith, and stretches us beyond our comfort and leads us to love others, we have found a good place.  I encourage you, if you have a qualm with the style of worship (either way), to try to re-engage in a spirit of unity, putting Christ and the promotion of His Good News and His Good Kingdom above our own personal preferences.  I believe that this is something all Christians can and one day will have to do. The world is getting smaller, and our divisions blur the vision for the future of the church.  Let’s put on the heart of the optimist.  Christ has already won.  Let’s live out the values of the Kingdom today.

Woman at the Well (John 4) – Sticking Your Neck Out for Something Good

This is my first video “message” to our youth group.  We had a lot of positive feedback, so I hope to do this creatively and well.  My promise is that the message will be impact-ful and be about 5 minutes long.  This message, on The Woman at The Well is a favorite of mine.  First, it shows how much Jesus loved the Gentiles and illustrates that Christianity is a universal faith reaching out to all people.  Second, it shows how Jesus was willing to model reaching out in radical ways to show us how we can do it also.  The woman here picks up on it and an entire community realizes, “Hey, this Jesus guy is for real.”  I love this passage in scripture.  Sticking your neck out is a good thing when it is for a higher cause.

Image from: http://www.sklomotion.com/paintings/well.gif

What Jesus Told His Disciples About the End of the World aka Apocalypse

So the end of the world didn’t come Saturday.  Harold Camping, the leader of this movement based in Fundamentalism, doesn’t know what to make of it and you can Google the news and see various commentary about this.  Headlines in the Huffington Post and various news sources show that this has become a joke in popular culture, but simultaneously we realize how dangerous end times prophecy is.  People sold their possessions, donated money to get the word , and braced for the end – for God’s return.  Now they are forced to live more days without the earthly things that support a human being.  For some families, this is a minor humanitarian crisis.  Official word as to how people will be compensated or repaid is at this moment unclear.

What really blows my mind, is that even if someone had read all the apocalyptic passages in the Bible, in Danial, Isaiah, by Jesus and in the actual Apocalypse (last book of the Bible known as Revelation) it seems quite clear to me that the actual time of the end is not clear to humanity.  That something, according to Jesus, is only for our Heavenly Father to know.  Below I have attached the entire chapter of Matthew 24 for you to read.  Jesus, in his humanly form, stated that even The Son does not know.  That has not kept people from speculating however.  The early church thought that the end would come in their lifetime.  In fact, many who have gone through tough times and suffering have hoped that the evil and injustice in the world (the spirit of the Anti-Christ) would be overcome by God – and soon.  Certainly, those who lived in the times of WWII and were persecuted by Hitler’s goons would have seen signs of the end of the world.  But it did not end.  God’s time had not come.  Despite the evil we see around us, these are only echoes of the end – a time which we cannot predict – nor should we.

Those who know the end many times cease to work.  Those who do Good should not sit down and think that if we merely wait things out God will sort things through for us.  This is dangerous.  There is still evil in the world today.  There is still unjust and unfair situations that need smoothing and caring towards.  The free will that God gave us is to be exercised for the purpose of imitating God’s great Justice – that which will come one day.  When Christ came he did not stay and say, now sit here and wait for me to return.  He sent out the Disciples to do good and care for the sick and weary.  To being the low to be well again.  To tell the world that God loves them NOW – that the Kingdom is coming, and that we are to work for however much time it takes for God (who is eternal) to sweep away what we cannot do ourselves.  But this is the time for action and the time for us to learn to do the greatest good in the midst of great darkness.  And in God’s image, we have the dignity and commission to do so with the power God has given us through the Holy Spirit.

I received a pamphlet that outlined the logic of the group predicting the end of the world.  It was prideful and full of human philosophy which I believe blinded them to what God’s word actually said.  It was prooftexting, and using small bits to prove a specific point of “reason” but negating the counter-arguments with simple wipes of the hand.  They believed that God’s Holy Spirit gives His believers special knowledge that non-believers cannot have and diregarded Jesus’ statement that only The Father knows – Only God.  They claimed a secret knowledge (a Gnosis) which others cannot have unless they are the Chosen ones.

People – I need to say this whether you believe or not – This is not Christianity.  This arrogance comes in the name of Christ, but Jesus, in the passage below, tells us who do believe to be discerning.  Not to give into the false prophets, and people who say that they “Know” what is coming.  They do not.  If God broke into this world today in all His power, it would be known by ALL.  Though, in the time of Christ, God moved humbly among us, the Revelation shows us a different picture.  When the time of the world has come, and darkness has become deep, so deep we can barely stand it,God will come in a great display of His Glory.  It will not be a whimper.  And the most important part -it cannot be foretold.

I look forward to the end, because it really isn’t the End. It is a renewing.  God will make all things new again.  The sin and evil we breathe in will be wiped away, and a new age will begin.  The Earth will be changed and the Heavens will be kneaded back into earthly things.  God will be the center of it all.  I look forward to that time, but for now I listen to Jesus’ words.  I work towards the great Good of all God’s creation, I worship God to fulfill my great purpose, and I tell the world that Jesus came, and he will return. His Spirit is with us, and we can have perfect peace in the joy of His presence now.

I hope you will read the following chapter closely.  Jesus is a master of hyperbole – he makes emphasis strong so we get the point.  I think it is clear that the end will come, but we do not know when.  I hope this blip doesn’t get in the way of doing God’s work in the world.  Read, and Do more Good!

Matthew 24 (New International Version)

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.