Here is Jesus’ reminder that we need to be faithful while we wait for His return. If we falter, there will consequences (which I believe will be a loss of rewards):
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder’s work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
Our relationship with God brings a certain responsibility. We can’t just sit and wait without working!
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.”
In fact, one of the things that should keep us going while we wait is our knowledge of the blessing that comes from faithfulness!
“Blessed are those slaves whom their master finds alert when he returns! I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, have them take their place at the table, and will come and wait on them!”
“Blessed is that slave whom his master finds at work when he returns. I tell you the truth, the master will put him in charge of all his possessions.”
Our faithfulness may have some adverse consequences for us. Others, even those in our own family, might not understand our commitment and be actively against us. Jesus understands this, because He experienced it too! And it’s going to get worse after the resurrection. We get a glimpse here into both Jesus’ suffering and His understanding of the future: “I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished!”
Jesus warns the people that there are enough “signs” associated with His ministry that they should be able to tell that He is the Messiah! His next few words seem to be some practical advice: take care of your issues before you get before a judge. But in reality, it is probably a warning to those listening. They are all going to stand before the judge of the universe. They need to get in right standing before they get there. With that understanding, it dovetails with the “signs” message perfectly!