Tag: keep watch

Don’t be found asleep!

Scripture reading for February 26th:  Mark 13

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Mark 13:35-37  “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.  If He comes suddenly, do not let Him find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to everyone:  ‘Watch!”

Jesus talked frankly to His disciples in His final hours with them before facing the cross.  He warned them about their need to be watchful concerning the coming of the Lord to take His people to be with Him.  (Mark 13:26-27)  He explained that no one knows the exact day or hour, only His Father.  Because of this, this event could come at any time of the day or year.  He did not mean literally not to sleep, or we would all not make it.  He referred to being awake spiritually and ready!

Observations for over-comers:  Those who follow Jesus live in a state of readiness and watchfulness because of real relationship with Jesus.  He is their guarantee of over-coming spiritual slothfulness!  “I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, and the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.  I . . . learned a lesson from what I saw;  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a bandit. . .”  (Proverbs 24:30-34)

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“Keep watch!”

Scripture reading for February 3rd:  Matthew 24

Jesus was asked by the disciples: “Tell us, they said, “when will this happen and what will be the sign of  Your coming and the end of the age?”  Jesus answered them with a warning: “Watch out that no one deceives you.”  (Matthew 24:3-4)  He went on to tell them of the deception and persecution that would mark the times of these last days before He returned and the age ended.  Their job would be to fulfill His command to reach all the world with the Gospel:  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the wold world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.”  (Matthew 24:14)

Many church people today are focused on the signs that Jesus described and live in fear.  There are wars and rumors of wars but Jesus told His followers not to be alarmed!  (Matthew 24:6)  This was normal birth pains before His coming!  He told them of persecution and many falling away from the faith and betraying believers.  There would also be many deceivers and false prophets who would cause the love of believers to grow cold.  Jesus encouraged His followers to stand firm in the truth of the gospel and keep on preaching!  In doing so, they would be saved and Christ’s coming would be hastened!

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.  No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  (Matthew 24:35-36)  We must stay close to the words of Jesus!  A relationship with Him is essential to be ready for that day of His return!  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”  (Matthew 24:42)

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No one knows the day or hour!

Scripture reading for March 7th: Mark 13:14-37, Psalms 50:1-23, Proverbs  10:29-30

Mark’s account of Jesus teaching as they left the temple emphasizes the need to be watchful in the last days.  Jesus was asked by Peter, James, John and Andrew to explain when the temple would be torn down and the sign that these things would be fulfilled.  (Mark 13:1-3)  They were interested in understanding when the massive stones in the temple would be torn down and what things would mark that happening.

“Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  Many will come in My name claiming ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed.  Such things must happen but the end is still to come.” (Mark 13:5-7)   The first thing to watch out for was deception.  The last days would be marked by false teachers and people claiming to be “Christ”.  They would draw people after them who would be deceived.  They are gullible because they have never been born again and received the true Christ.  They had never repented of sins and obtained Christ’s cleansing mercy through faith.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My word will never pass away.  No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Be on guard!  Be alert! You don’t know when that time will come.” God has warned His people by His word which will never pass away or change.  Part of the deception will be people or religions that set the time of Christ’s coming.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses have set the time of Jesus’ coming at least 4 times and been wrong each time.  Many have been disillusioned by the setting of dates.

In fact, Jesus said that even He did not know the day or the hour, only the Father knew that timing!  In other words, the end could come “in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.  If He comes suddenly, do not let Him find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!'” (Mark 13:35b-37)  The best thing we can do is be ready regardless of when it might be.  Worry is a sin, but watchfulness is obedience to Christ!  Jesus is coming back!  We must prepare and watch out!

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Get ready for the trumpet!

Scripture reading for February 5th: Matthew 24:29-51, Psalm 25, Proverbs 7:6-23

“When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more, When the morning breaks eternal bright and fair, When the saved diverse shall gather over on the other shore, When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.” (Gray)

This old hymn has a lot of theology in it from Matthew 24 and Jesus teaching His disciples what it would be like at the end of the age.  “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn.  they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.  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.” (Matthew 24:30-31)

Jesus told the disciples that He would come back on the clouds of the sky in power and great glory.  When this happened, the people of the nations of the earth would mourn.  This event would happen suddenly and many will mourn because they know that they have not made preparations that they could have made.  Those who were ready would be gathered by the angels from all over the earth.  This event is what we call the “rapture” or “catching up” of believers.

It is described in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 in more detail.  The trumpet will sound and first the dead in Christ will rise.  Those who believe and are living on the earth will be caught up next to meet the Lord in the air.  This will all happen in a moment, “in the twinkling of an eye” at the last trumpet.  (1st Corinthians 15:51-53)  We will then always be with the Lord.

Jesus warned His followers that they must be ready because this would happen suddenly and at a time when no one expected.  No one would know the day or hour, but those who knew the Lord would live in a state of readiness.  They would be trusting in Christ and doing what God had asked them to do.  (Matthew 24:42-46)  Those who were not ready and doing what Christ asked them to do when this event occurred would be left out!  They would suffer with the hypocrites!  Get ready for the trumpet!

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