Sunday, July 26, 2015



The Pharisees and the Sadducees came to Jesus in his day, here is what he said to them:

He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

                                                                                                              Matthew 16: 2-3

He continues in verse 4 and calls them  "A wicked and adulterous generation " is it any different today? Signs abound and the church is sound asleep! 

We are also commanded by Jesus Christ in Mark 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!"

How important is it that we "watch"? 

If one is watching, commanded to watch by Christ Himself, does it not follow that we should know why we are watching and what we are watching for? That we should understand the signs of the times?

Consider this: The biblical command to watch is several times coupled with the command to pray. Is prayer important? Extremely so! And so is the command to watch! 

In Mark's and Luke's accounts of Jesus Christ's prophecy, we see that Jesus connected watching with praying. There is much to pray about regarding the present and the future in these last days. W

Watching helps our praying, and praying helps our watching. It is spiritual watching coupled with prayer that gives one the strength to survive the temptations and difficult situations in these last days.

When the New Testament commands us to "watch," it is usually the translation of one of two Greek words ( gregoreuo and agrupneo ), which have similar meanings—to "stay awake" and to "be sleepless." They are usually meant in the metaphorical and spiritual sense—to be vigilant and on guard, fully awake, aware, alert and intently focused—with several applications and implications.

Mark records Jesus saying: "Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time [of Christ's coming] is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch" (Mark 13:33-34; see also verses Mark 13:35-37).

"Awake to righteousness, and do not sin" (1 Corinthians 15:34). Being awake and watchful is equated with righteousness and not sinning. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth, which shows that even true Christians can be spiritually asleep to varying degrees. !!!!!

Paul also wrote: "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awakeout of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11, emphasis added throughout).

In other words, the closer we draw to the rapture and second coming of Christ, the more urgent it is that we awake out of spiritual sleep! Indeed, we have entered the fearful end-time years that are the grand climax of human civilization. If ever there was a time to pay attention and get prepared, it is now!

Christ was quite emphatic here in commanding us to do four things:

1. Take heed to what He had just said.

2. Watch for the signs He had outlined.

3. Pray regularly and earnestly so that we stay close to God.

4. Keep doing God's work!

In Luke's account, Jesus tells us that "when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near" (Luke 21:31). Then He warns about not letting "that Day come on you unexpectedly" (Luke 21:34).

Jesus concludes by saying, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).

"All these things" refers to all that is recorded in this chapter, including the "great distress in the land and wrath upon this people" (Luke 21:23). Mark uses the term "tribulation" and Matthew says "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21).

Of course, Jesus did not mean that we are to only focus our prayers on our own survival and salvation. He meant that if we keep watching our spiritual condition and world events and praying for the Kingdom of God to come and for all that God tells us to pray about, we will be changing, repenting and accepting Christ's sacrifice and help. Then we will be accounted worthy to escape the end-time tribulation and to be with Christ in His Kingdom!

Peter warns us, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Staying aware of the powerful behind-the-scenes role of Satan and his demons enables us to understand the atrocious evil and madness of this world in the last days.

In light of the above, we see that in addition to concern we should have in personally drawing close to God and over what is happening in God's Church, we are clearly also to watch, listen and read to keep up with world news, events, conditions and trends.

In doing so, we should focus on news that is significant rather than sensational. Let your knowledge of end-time prophecy guide you in your selections. 

We are to make "watching" a high priority and dedicate time for it.

In spite of Jesus' command, many Christians don't stay well informed. Why?

Some feel that paying serious attention to news is not "spiritual" enough. But true spirituality is based on obeying our Master, Jesus Christ, who commanded us to watch!

Some people ignore news because it's mostly bad news that interferes with feeling happy and comfortable. But that's choosing escapism over facing reality and obeying Christ's command to "deny" yourself (Luke 9:23). We are not to selfishly shut our eyes and hearts to the suffering of others, becoming indifferent, complacent or fatalistic. We are not to ignore God's end time plan because it makes us uncomfortable! History ends, mankind fails, tough days, very evil days lie ahead, but Jesus Christ is victorious. That is God's plan and nothing we can do will change it. We are in the last days and the world needs to know about Gods plan. 

People get depressed when they feel helpless. But by watching and praying, we are strengthened. We can help others to understand what's happening, plus we are more effective helpers with God's work in other ways!

Our God-ordained responsibility is to watch and pray. 

Ignorance comes from ignoring, and God does not want us to be ignorant and "in darkness" (see 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10). Our Master and role model Jesus Christ certainly understood the issues, politics and personalities of His day. We should do likewise.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13). The rest of the verse is clear, but what does "watch" mean?

Paul wasn't telling us to be passive spectators—of entertainment or anything else. He meant something far different.

Watching also means properly using our minds. God gave us marvelous minds to use —to study, learn, observe, analyze, judge and think.

Life is time. To waste time is to waste life. Many people are mentally lazy—wasting a tragic amount of time on the trivial and temporal, mundane and materialistic. Many squander countless hours vegetating in front of their TV or computer seeking only to be entertained.

Real readers are becoming rare. A society becomes shallow and superficial when most citizens rely too much on pictures and images, entertainment rather than words. In-depth learning requires language.

It is quite significant that God's true religion is based on spoken and written messages that were compiled into what we call the Bible. God's people are to be "people of the Book." In contrast, most pagan religions emphasize images, idols, symbols and rituals.

You see, God wants His people to zealously read and study, to think and meditate. He wants us to be well-informed regarding the major geopolitical, cultural and spiritual issues and events of our time. God deplores ignorance, indifference and being "dull of hearing" (Hebrews 5:11).

This is where the Bible comes in, providing the essential framework for a godly worldview. The Bible is God's divine revelation of absolute truth, which is just as relevant today as it ever was.

Because of this, the Bible should be the prism, lens and filter by which we can accurately perceive and judge all other information. It enables us to develop a godly worldview—the framework and foundation by which we can accurately interpret all that is going on in the world. We can then understand our confusing world scene with amazing clarity, sense and logic in these last days.

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for their hard-hearted mind-set. If they had not had evil attitudes and had believed the Scriptures, they would have been able to "discern the signs of the times" and to realize the Messiah had come (Matthew 16:1-3).

We need knowledge of end-time prophecy

To know where to focus our attention, we particularly need to know the Bible prophecies of the end time, especially the prophecies surrounding the rapture and second coming of Christ.

We are to "eagerly wait for" Christ's return, not just passively wait around (Hebrews 9:28). Jesus was emphatic that His followers should hope for His return,expect His return and pray for His return! In addition, our enthusiastic anticipation and excitement will intensify as we see more and more world events fulfilling Bible prophecies—especially those that point to the increasing nearness of Christ's return. 

Sadly, we are very close and the modern church is sound asleep!

Note the watching, waiting, anticipation and preparedness in the following passage:

"Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching " (Luke 12:35-36).

Jesus concluded His message by saying, "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Luke 12:40).

Much later, Jesus echoed that point: "Behold, I am coming as a thief [meaningsuddenly and unexpectedly ]. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame" (Revelation 16:15). Wearing garments, especially white raiment, symbolizes a good spiritual condition (Revelation 3:1-5,Revelation 3:18). We must not be caught undressed—unprepared.

God called the prophet Ezekiel to be a "watchman" to the nation of Israel to warn them to repent of their wicked ways or else suffer dire consequences (Ezekiel 3:17; Ezekiel 33:7). God told Ezekiel that He would hold him accountable—that if he didn't warn the people he would share the guilt for their suffering (Ezekiel 33:1-6).

So this is another application of Christ's command to "watch." He means for us to act as watchmen!

Keep watching! 

Perhaps the best summary of this subject is this sobering warning from Jesus Christ in Mark 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!"

Are you watching?

Is your church watching?

Does your minister have a clue about any of this? Sadly, most don't!

Are you obeying Jesus if you aren't seriously watching and warning people?

We are in the last day's, the church age will be over very soon, we should all be watching and warning as never before. 

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

                                                                Revelation 3:3


Paul tells believers, "You are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief". In other words, if we are trusting in Christ and looking for His coming, even the very day does not have to surprise us.

"None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand" 

                                                                                                                         Daniel 12:10



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