As Jesus warns his faithful about the end days when persecution will unfold and no one can be trusted, we are asked to keep watch.
Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. (Luke 21:31)
The first aspect of keeping watch is to look around us and be aware of the events unfolding around us.
He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near”. (Luke 21:29,30)
The global events and political movements we see around us are nothing but preparing the world to receive the lordship of the Antichrist- a time unlike any other in history when one person will rule the world.
“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” (Luke 21:25)
As the earth, stricken by evil, and reeling under the onslaught of man’s sinfulness, degenerates and winds down to its logical end, we signs of old age- natural calamities in various aggravated forms. None of this should surprise us nor leave us confused. The end is coming!
The second aspect of being watchful is to look within us.
“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”. (Luke 21:34)
The natural course for man is to get so involved in the indulgences and complexities of life that his heart gets weighed down. Dissipation indicates wasteful spending and overindulgence that characterizes the lifestyle of most people in affluent communities. It is associated with a state of drunkenness wherein the person is no longer in touch with reality but rather in a world of his own, numb to any promptings of the truth by the Spirit of God. For most people, whether affluent or not, it is the worries of this life that tie them down. Unwilling to trust God for their daily lives, there is always something (or several) that worries them and keep them tied down. The net effect is to be far away from being in the realm of sensitivity to the spirit of God.
“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.” (Luke 21:36)
The onus is on the Christian to be watchful, prayerful and submissive to the spirit of God so that the judgment day will not expose him and shame him.
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