For the introduction to this series see: A Pillar or A Wind
Maybe you are asking .. “Does it matter? Do we need to know what the bible says about the end times ? It ‘s all so confusing, no one seems to agree!”
But to your question I answer , It MUST be important.. or Jesus would not have told His disciples to “Watch!” and lest we think He didn’t mean us .. He said .. “And what I say to you , I say to ALL, WATCH !!”
The book of Revelation begins with a promise -- “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep in it, for the time is near!” And the book ends with “Behold, I am coming quickly!” If you listen, you can hear the echo of His warning, “Therefore, Watch!”
Why would Jesus tell His disciples to Watch for His coming when it was still more than 2000 years in the future ? And why should every believer since then also be ‘watching’ ?
I think I know….
If you stop to think, you will realize that everything you do , you do for an end cause or purpose. Would you go to work in the morning if there was no remuneration or reward? Would you plan and prepare a dinner fit for company if there was no company coming ? Would you keep walking if you knew there was nothing to walk toward? Would you save for your vacation if you knew you would never go ?
We clearly need a goal that gives purpose and reason to what we are striving for. It keeps us on track – otherwise - we give up, we sit down, we lose our zeal , we are distracted, we fall asleep !
There fore, Jesus said “Watch! Because you do not know when I am coming!”
That was to be the focus, the impetus to keep the church steadily moving forward , yearning, longing for the day that Jesus would come back ! Each generation was fuelled by the hope and it kept their love strong!
After the fall, God promised Eve that a deliverer – a Messiah- would be born through her. Eve thought it was Abel, then she thought it was Seth….. but it was to be a long 4000 years that this torch of hope was kept alive , passed from generation to generation , from mother to daughter, each hoping that she would be the blessed woman to give birth to the Coming One !! Then, when hope had almost died, the Messiah WAS finally born - to a virgin in Bethlehem!
And now the promise remains of His second coming ! Once more He returns… and this time it will be the culmination of all life as we know it. A new ageless eternity will begin and how you and I fit into that depends on what we do with this present earthly sojourn.
Look what Hebrews 9:28 says…. “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
To those who are watching… who have kept the eagerness alive in their hearts… will He return the second time!
Do you think about Jesus coming back ? Does that figure in to the decisions , choices, plans you make?
Do you know and keep yourself aware of what Jesus tells us to watch for ?
If you don’t, let’s look…….. if you do , let’s review !
1. Watch your ‘WEIGHT’ …..
Luk 21:34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly."
2. Watch the barometer of your Faith !
Luk 18:8 "...... Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
3. Watch to keep your hope alive….
Rev 22:7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
4. Watch and keep your ‘clothes’ clean ….
Rev 16:15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."
5. Watch that you are faithful in your life work…
Luk 12:43 "Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes."
Mat 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.' "
Mat 25:30 "And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "
(parable of the servants.. Matt. 25:13-33)
6. Watch the gospel being preached to all peoples…. and do your part!
Mat 10:23 "When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."
Mat 24:14 "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."
7. Watch that you have enough ‘oil’… Keep your lamp burning !!! Stay strong and ready !
(parable of the wise/foolish virgins) Mat 25:13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Luk 12:35 "Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
Luk 12:40 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
8. Watch for the following signs….
· Nation rising against nation
· Persecution of believers
· Believers turning away from the faith, betraying and hating one another
· Many false prophets, even doing signs and wonders , but deceiving many
· An increase of wickedness and lawlessness
· Love growing cold
(from Matt. 24)
When you see these signs begin to happen - The end is near…
Mat 24:32,33 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!"
9. Watch and pray ….
Mar 13:33 "Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is."
Therefore, “He who has ears to hear”, Listen ! We are called to WATCH !!
Mar 13:35-37 "Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.
And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"
**Next post --- "What are Jesus’ promises regarding His second coming ?"
and "Could it be that we will be the generation to see Jesus’ return ?"
"What will the end look like?"