Be Always On the Watch

 

I have good news and bad news. Actually the bad news is the good news. Despite all the talk about the marvelous technology of the future and how longevity is increasing and the environment is getting cleaner and people getting healthier and cures for cancer and AIDS are right around the corner the opposite viewpoint is offered at the same time. More wars, bigger bombs, chemical and biological warfare, EMP bombs, financial collapse, the end of privacy and freedom, and on and on. Well which is it? Will the good news overcome the bad news or will the bad news wipe out the good news. The answer is both! The bad news will take us to the brink of total annihilation and when it seems all is lost our savior, the Lord Jesus, returns.

 

That means it could get very, very scary before it get much, much better. Can you perhaps just skip the bad stuff and go directly to the good stuff? Well, yes and no and maybe. But letís read what Jesus said in Luke, the 21st chapter.

 

(Luke 21:5-32 NIV)Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, {6} "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down." {7} "Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?" {8} He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. {9} When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." {10} Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. {11} There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. {12} "But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. {13} This will result in your being witnesses to them. {14} But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. {15} For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. {16} You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. {17} All men will hate you because of me. {18} But not a hair of your head will perish. {19} By standing firm you will gain life. {20} "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. {21} Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. {22} For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. {23} How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. {24} They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. {25} "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. {26} Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. {27} At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. {28} When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." {29} He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. {30} When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. {31} Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. {32} "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

 

(Luke 21:33-36 NIV)Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. {34} "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. {35} For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. {36} Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

 

Surfeiting or Dissipation: Overindulgence, intemperance.

Drunk: Overcome by strong feeling or emotion.

Anxieties: A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties. Cares of life.

 

Much of what Jesus spoke of has been experienced in the past, but that doesnít mean it will not be experienced again. Many scripture make it clear that in the last days many Christians will be martyred for their faith just as many were martyred for their faith in the centuries since our Lord ascended to heaven. Perhaps the fortunate ones will be taken by death in order that they will not see the terrible things that that will soon take place. Such a death might be a blessing, especially if it occurs while one is sleeping peacefully.

 

Pray that whatever the circumstances you will stand strong with the Lord.