Sunday, November 28, 2010

Watch, Pray and Be Ready

Mark 13:33 Take heed, watch and pray, for ye have not known when the time is; 34 as a man who is gone abroad, having left his house, and given to his servants the authority, and to each one his work, did command also the porter that he may watch; 35 watch ye, therefore, for ye have not known when the lord of the house doth come, at even, or at midnight, or at cock-crowing, or at the morning; 36 lest, having come suddenly, he may find you sleeping; 37 and what I say to you, I say to all, Watch.'

I'm not sure the Lord could have fit the word "watch" in there any more than He did. Do you think He is trying to make a point to us? I certainly do. We are to watch and pray, not tomorrow, not next week, not at the mid point of the tribulation, not at the pre-wrath rapture point, not after the tribulation....NOW. And this is at the heart of the matter these days when so many have taken a broad path that leads to destruction. Many have chosen not to watch for the Lord's return today and I am sure that will work to their detriment.

We are to be watching every season:

Luke 21:36
... But watch ye at every season, making supplication, that ye may prevail to escape
all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

We are given a very clear, very direct command to "watch at every season." Every season means there is no one season that we can "take off" from watching. It means we are watching always. What are we watching for? The Lord also makes this very clear, we are watching for His return. We are not watching for the anti-christ, the tribulation, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, etc etc. We are watching for our Lord each and every day. I don't care what your rapture timing doctrine is, if you are not watching for the Lord today and every day, you are wrong. Not because I say so, but because of the Lord's clear command.

This command we have to watch also illustrates why it is that so many remain on the broad path that leads to destruction instead of the narrow path that leads to life (Matt 7:13-28). If people choose the doctrines of men over the clear commands of God (in this case to watch), then how many other things are people choosing to do in disobedience to the Lord's command? Obedience is a big deal. You do not want to know what the consequences will be for living a disobedient life. I don't want to know either. Will you be "cutoff from the vine?" as we are insructed in John 15? I don't know, and I don't want to find out. We are told:

John 14:15
"If you love me, you will obey what I command"

There it is, love and obedience. Do you think anyone will make it into heaven that does not love Jesus Christ? That's an easy one to answer. You must love the Son of God therefore you must obey the Son of God. If you do not love Him you will not obey Him, and if you neither love nor obey His clear commands, what will become of you? Again, I am not your judge, these questions I ask myself as well as you. We are to test ourselves:

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.

If we are not testing and examining ourselves, then once again, we have missed the mark and it is likely we will suffer for it.

We are commanded to watch, today, tomorrow and everyday thereafter. What are we watching for? The return of our Lord and Saviour. We may have a long time to wait, or we may be face to face with Him tonight. There is coming a time when there will be an open door in heaven (Rev 3). Open doors are for people to go through are they not?

Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

We are told in Luke 17 and Matt 24 that the coming of the Son of Man will be exactly like it was in the days of Noah and Lot. Exactly, not kind of like those days, exactly like those days:

Gen 7:13In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; 14They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. 15And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

Noah and all the animals went into the ark and the Lord shut them in. Noah, his family and all the animals entered into a place of physical separation and protection from the flood that was outside. We are watching and praying for the Lord return that will occur in days just like Noah and Lot encountered. The church in Rev 3 is told that a door has been opened for them and they will be kept from the trial that is coming on all the earth. A trial that is coming on all the earth is the time of Jacob's trouble, also known as Daniel's 70th week, also known as the tribulation. That church will be kept from it. In Luke 21:36 we are guaranteed that there is an "escape from all" coming for those who are worthy of it. What is this escape from all? Escape from all of what? Again, easy question to answer, all of the judgement and wrath coming on this world.

We are told to be watching for the Lord's return. The Lord's return for us is also known as the blessed hope. Our expectation of the Lord's return for us is to give us hope and peace. The Lord has gone to build mansions for us in heaven so that where He is we may be also. This idea clearly portrayed to us in the bible is an exact mirror of the Jewish wedding. The groom goes to prepare a place for the bride and when that place has been completed and the Father approves, the groom comes back for the bride. We, the church are the bride of Christ. We are watching and waiting for our Groom in heaven to come back for us "with a shout" just as the Hebrews have done for centuries in their wedding traditions and just as the rapture of the church, the harpazo catching away of the bride of Christ.

This world is falling into hopelessness and despair. People are spiritually empty and bankrupt. These days are the days of Philadelphia and Laodicea. The Laodicean church thinks it is rich in every way but the Lord tells it that it is absolutely bankrupt and naked. The churches of Philadelphia and Laodicea are the only 2 churches where a "door" is mentioned:

8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.


20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The true church has an open door set before them, but the laodicean church has a closed door where the Lord is outside knocking....big difference wouldn't you say? People go through open doors to get into an ark and to escape what is coming on the entire world.

Let's be found watching for our Lord when He returns for us so that we may go through that open door in heaven and therefore escape all of what's about to happen. Let us also be obedient to the command to pray that we are found worthy of this escape, just as Noah and Lot were found righteous and worthy in their generations to escape all of the flood and all of the fire and brimstone.

These things are what I hear the Lord speaking to me today. Grace and peace