Watch and Pray

 

*   (Luke 21:5-36 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. {33} 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."

The entire world seems to understand that the entire world, all of nature and civilization, is coming to a climax. Some think the only chance for salvation is in political systems. Some think the only chance for salvation is in technology. Still others think the only chance for salvation is in mysticism and an entire spectrum of false religions that lift up everything and anything other than Jesus, the Son of God. Woe unto them! There is salvation in no name save the name of Jesus.

 

Yes, there are still terrible times ahead. What we see now is terrible but it will pale in comparison to what is to come. Watch and Pray.

*   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.

You may not escape. Yet even if you die for Christ you shall live and be victorious with Him!

 

*    (Rom 8:11-28 NIV)  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. {12} Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. {13} For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, {14} because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. {15} For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." {16} The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. {17} Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. {18} I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. {19} The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. {20} For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope {21} that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. {22} We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. {23} Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. {24} For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? {25} But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. {26} In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. {27} And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. {28} And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

*   (Rom 14:8-9 NIV)  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. {9} For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

*   (Phil 1:21 NIV)  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

 

Remember, you are only a loser if you give up! Watch and Pray!