Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why Bother?

I encounter people almost every day, who are aware of the fact that I am busy spending time watching for the coming of our Lord, Christ Jesus. Quite often I get responses like "we could be in the end times, but I'm too busy to pay attention", or "I don't really need to watch this stuff, because I'm saved and therefore always 'ready'", "we aren't supposed to be wasting time on prophecy, there is too much work to do" (as if somehow watching the signs is mutually exclusive with witnessing or doing other, non-prophecy work in the church etc.).

In efforts to prepare for an upcoming series on prophecy, I was re-visiting some of the scriptures that Jesus provided, in the context of watching for the signs. It is interesting how passionate Jesus was that we watch the signs of the age of His return. It was of tremendous importance to Jesus - not only to be watching, but to be prepared in the last days. Lets look at a brief glimpse of these scriptures:

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42)

"So you must also be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" (Matthew 24:44)

"Therefore keep watch because you do not know he day or the hour" (Matthew 25:13)

"You must be on your guard" (Mark 13:9)

"So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time" (Mark 13:23)

"No one knows about that day or the hour, not even the angels in heaven...So be on your guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come." (Mark 13:32-33)

"Therefore keep watch..." (Mark 13:35)

"What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'" (Mark 13:36)

"Be always on the watch..." (Luke 21:36)

And to add to these scriptures about the urgency to watch the signs, we see a mini-discourse given in Luke 12 about the same topic:

"It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes" (Luke 12:37)

"It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready" (Luke 12:38)

"You must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" (Luke 12:40)

In this same teaching, Jesus also said the following, which is highly germane to the topic of watching:

"He said to the crowd: 'When you see a cloud rising in the west. immediately you say, 'Its going to rain' and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It's going to be hot' and it is.


You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don't know how to interpret this present time?" (Luke 12:54-56)

To summarize:

- It is extremely important to Jesus that the last generation is watching for the signs of His return. That point is clear.
- It is extremely important to Jesus that the last generation is prepared for His return. That point is clear.
- Those who are watching and are prepared will receive special rewards for this "longing for his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8)

- For those who profess to love Christ, yet spend more time on things that they believe are more important (weather signs for farming purposes etc.) are considered by Jesus as hypocrites. Wow. Thats an eye-opener isn't it? But it is right there in plain english. Jesus, in Luke 12:54-56 made this point crystal clear. His audience apparently spent enough time studying the weather signs - signs that would assist them in their daily lives - because it was important to them - yet, they had no idea of the prophetic signs that were around them, in abundance. Signs that indicated that indeed Jesus was the promised Messiah.

The fact that they were unaware of these signs was considered as hypocritical by Jesus. Wow again.

Can anyone really argue that Jesus doesn't want us watching these signs? I can't imagine how, in light of the above scriptures.

Then we come to the next point. Being prepared. How does one prepare? What does this actually mean?

First of all, having an awareness of the fact that we are in the last days, most definitely puts Christ in focus in our lives. The sense that He will return an any moment, is life-changing. And having Christ as our primary focus is how we should all be living at all times - prophetic awareness simply sharpens that focus. Thats a good thing.

Secondly, Jesus requested that we not only watch, but that we remain prepared for His return. I believe there are a multitude of reasons for this, but one central theme comes to mind.

The Bible tells us that we, the Church, are considered as the Bride of Christ. The Bride. Awaiting His coming - a coming in which Jesus will personally come and take us to the special place that He has prepared for each of us (John 14:1-3).

Just think about this for a moment. Jesus - who came to earth in order to "pay the purchase price", on the cross, for each of us. For His bride. What incredible love.

And He is coming back, with great anticipation - to take us to our eternal dwelling place, where we will be in His presence forever.

How can this be met with a boring sigh? How can this be met with someone completely unaware? Not watching? Not caring enough to watch? Hypocrite does sound like the key word. If someone professes to love Christ, how can they have no interest in His return?

Prepared? Yes - prepared spiritually. Jesus clearly wanted us to all take our faith "up a notch" in these last days. He wants us focused on our love for Him as we watch the signs. He wants us to have the same level of excitement and hopefulness that ANY bride would have as the wedding date approaches.

If there is no anticipation of Christ's return - if there is no excitement - if there is no "sharpened focus" - then what message does that send to Jesus?

Jesus desires that we put Him in the center of our lives. That is always the case, and has been for around 2,000 years. But there is something different in the last days. There are probably more reasons - but as the bride of Christ, we are expected to be living with great anticipation and excitement at the prospect of Jesus coming back for us.

As Jesus stated:

"...keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him" (Luke 12:35-36)

And he closed with this:

"It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes" (Luke 12:37)


hartdawg said...

just a side note here, if the post-trib position was correct then all these warnings to watch and be ready and warnings that noone knows the day...would be moot.

DrNofog said...

Nice to see ya here, hart, EI.

Breaking News:
FROM JOSEPH FARAH'S G2 BULLETIN -- WorldNetDaily Exclusive
Moscow on fast track to overthrow Georgia
Move comes after Obama administration shelves support for republic

As I mentioned a while back on a sister site:
Russia Needs That Corridor!

The "hooks in the jaw" are being set...

More Breaking News:
A nagging suspicion has come over me lately concerning the 2012 election in light of the growing "rumors of wars" in the M.E., with its potential 'spill-over' consequences, coupled with the increasing tensions of the so-called "western wild-fire states" challenging the new "Evil Empire" on illegal immigration, 2nd Amendment gun Rights, the "Commerce Clause", asserting States' Rights under the 10th Amendment, and the constant drumbeat of "we're overdue for another 'terrorist' attack"...

Did I mention the growing challenges over producing the real, "long-form" birth certificate...?

...If the M.E. flashed over, and if something 'untoward' were to happen here [God forbid], our 1st Kenyan-born, illegal-alien-in-chief OhBumr might... could just declare martial law, bring in the 'blue helmets', [as most of our guys are off in foreign wars], ascend the throne, and "let the civil wars begin"...
[But then again, I could just be paranoid, in spite of the people looking for me...]

hartdawg said...

if mr obummer declared martial law and suspended elections as you said there would be a major upheavel. i think someone would kill him.

DrNofog said...

dawg! Don't use the 'k' word, the gestapo frowns on that... :(
If he got MLK'd, it would be because he would be more useful as a martyr, like MLK, for riots, revolution, & the 'Reconquista' of Aztlan, ie. full-blown civil war, blacks, Mexicans, and patriots.

rodthebod said...

This is so well stated! Why christians aren't encouraged by His promises is beyond me. He knew in these days it is this blessed hope for which we are to watch.

john said...

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!!!
As always, Great Stuff Scott!
John Green
Rapidan Va.

The Golden Nugget said...

Thank you, Scott, for that message. It was really clear teaching that the whole church needs right now. I liked what you said about the bride anticipating her wedding day. It got me thinking about the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.

Do you have any thoughts about these verses?:

<> The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'

"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." <>

Is this scripture talking about Christians in the last days do you think?
Do you think there is any way Christians might be unraptured (left behind) if they are not ready for Christ's return? I realise this is a controversial idea, but it has been nagging at me for a while now.

God bless you, my brother.

DrNofog said...

GN said...
"Do you think there is any way Christians might be unraptured (left behind)..."

No Way!! Jesus's COMPLETE salvation does not include an INCOMPLETE Bride (His Body) with missing 'body' parts [foot, leg, arm?] !!!

Perry Stone [MannaFest] did a excellent program a yr or so ago on that gave me a totally new perspective on that controversial, much disputed passage that made much more sense. The 5 wise are the Christian church, the 5 foolish are Israel.

Oil represents the HS that ALL ten clearly have, only Israel doesn't have enough to be ready for the reception - wedding feast.

At 5:6 "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out."

Perry then pointed out again, that according to vs 9, the Oil ==> the HS that they had some of, and that "They" are not cut out altogether, but rather, They must go back to their roots of faith and 'buy' more of the Oil => HS to receive their original promise.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Hope this helps.

Scott said...

The parable of the 10 virgins seems like one of the most disputed passages in prophecy related scriptures.

I have read so many different commentaries, that it is dizzying.

I hadn't previously read what Perry Stone felt about this, and that is interesting.

For starters, I have never bought the idea that Olivet Discourse is ony directed towards the Jews/Nation of Israel, simply because we don;t apply that logic anywhere else (wasn't Jesus only speaking to the apostles at the last supper ? Isn;t that where we (the CHurch) began communion?

But I digress.

Personally, I feel that it is a rapture related reference, and those prepared with the Holy Spirit (those with oil) will be raptured and those w/o oil (keep in mind - there is no evidence that these virgins ever had ANY oil in their lamps) - were destined to be shut out.

If you note, the parable reveals that the door was shut ...Note in Rev 4 - when John ascends to Heaven in a manner paralleling the Rapture, he saw an open door - very interesting parallel IMO.

Even for folks who don;t take that view --- it tells us one very important thing:


Thats the bottom line on the parable regardless of the nuances.

God Bless

Scott said...

One more point...If you have a lamp w/o oil, it would burn brightly for a brief period, then go out. I believe this points to people who appear as Christians, and do all of the outward things (burning the wick), but they really have no oil (aka Holy Spirit). The church, unfortunately, is full of such people....But when it was too late, they realized that they had no oil, ie, not filled with the Holy Spirit.

Just my humble opinion :)

Again - bottom line -

Be ready and prepared...

Expected Imminently said...

I cannot make my AMEN!!! Big enough.

Some lovely Christians seem afraid of looking too closely at GOD'S prophetic Word. I have heard it said it makes folk unbalanced. Well I cannot deny that can happen to some, but just because some people get hay fever doesn’t mean every one else must stop smelling the flowers!

Jesus is the Bridegroom coming for His beloved! He has written her all these love letters to keep his Bride bright eyed with expectancy; what Bride in love with her future husband would be indifferent to exciting plans for their future together? Just to be soppy, I have all the letters my husband-to-be had written to me when he had to work away. I knew every word and every space between off by heart but still read and reread them and slept with them under my pillow all tied up in red ribbons. They were written between 1960 and 1965 and I still have them.

HOW can The Lord’s plans for our future together be considered unworthy of our keenest attention, bound as they are with the scarlet thread of redemption?