Recent re-blogs’ references to one of eight possible eschatological scenarios, that of a pre-Tribulation Rapture, plus a theological blog’s discussion has prompted me to revisit and expand upon one of this blog’s earliest entries – ‘Why Watch?’ (as on the menu!). It’s now time to consider who, why, when and what are we watching out for:
You, me and everyone, especially those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ – HE is the WHO and thus the basic reason we should be watching. If you’re not familiar with His life, ministry and status, or with the fact we can be in a close, loving relationship with Him, then dip into this blog’s brief outline at Do You Know Jesus?
For me, a spectacular, life-changing event in 1989 made watching very personal and connected into relevant, directive scripture. Then in 2008, wanting to check Jesus’ parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13, I opened my Bible and IT EXPLODED! and I heard
“This is ALL about to be fulfilled!”
Thus began my series of emails to friends and church leaders about prophecy, as told nine years ago this month in part one of The Endgame Is Now In Play, wherein I wrote:
‘Jesus urged His disciples to look out for and observe signs of the times. Regarding their questions about His return at the end of this Age, the earliest Gospel account has Jesus stressing 7 times, “Watch…be alert…on your guard“ (Mark 13). Matthew 24 reports Jesus saying 4 times, “Watch…and when you see…” followed by the parables of the burglar and of the virgins > “Don’t be caught napping!” [Is the Church still asleep?] Luke’s account has, “Be always on the watch…” (Luke 21:36 and chapter 12 (NIV) has sections on watchfulness and interpreting the times. In each Gospel Jesus commands, “Learn the lesson of the fig tree…”. Also, the Apostles went on to give more indicators (Acts 3:20-1, Hebrews 12:26-7, 2 Peter 3, 2 Timothy 3 and the first and second letters to the Thessalonians).’
It’s claimed that for every OT prophecy about Jesus Christ’s birth and life there’s seven to eight times as many about His eventual return or ‘Parousia’, also called ‘The Second Advent’ or ‘Second Coming’. I’m of the opinion the likelihood of that event sometime in our lifetime is rapidly increasing !
Jesus stressed the great importance of His return. Eg, His instruction to the four who’d been with Him from the outset of His mission is given at Mark 13:33-37 (NKJV):
“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping! And what I say to you, I say to all, ‘Watch!’.”
That’s why I’m watching and, believer or not, you too are included, as can be clearly understood from Jesus’ words: “I say to ALL…“
How can we be sure?
You may object and say, “But even if that’s an accurate quotation it’s only guesswork”. That is, prophecies don’t always come to pass. In answer and in synopsis only [more details here], I therefore offer the following key to foretelling the future.:
We’re privileged to learn what Almighty God has decided is to happen. He shared his plans with a select number of ancient sages, or prophets, over a long period that started 29 centuries ago, and several centuries before Christ. Amidst extensive instructions He told the prophet Isaiah:
“For I am God and there is no other, I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand and I shall do all My pleasure’…” (Isaiah 46:9-10 NKJV)
In fact, some years before Isaiah the first of the ‘writing prophets’ had received a distinct word about God’s intention to divulge His plans. This is recorded in Amos’ scroll at the seventh verse of the third chapter (in modern notation):
“Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
Next, we learn when we’re to be watching for whatever’s coming…click to continue