To Be Watchful
Revelation is the only book of the Bible that states you’re blessed by reading or hearing it. I feel that just from this verse alone, Christians should be scrambling to read and teach on the book of Revelation and prophecy in general, however, we can see the very opposite in the body of Christ. Some people don’t approach it due to fear of what it’s talking about, or others might be confused at it’s symbolism and avoid it, or there may be a lack of interest in this part of the Bible. I believe that as followers of Christ, being watchful of the times we’re living in, and the signs preceding the return of Jesus Christ is also important for us. You don’t need to be a scholar in eschatology and know the ins and outs of prophecy, but having a basic understanding of what the Bible says will occur and how what’s unfolding in the world should also be a priority for us.
“He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘ It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘ It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:2-3)
In Matthew 16:1-4, the Pharisees and Sadducees approached Jesus to test him; to see if he really was who he said he is. Jesus soon chastises them for not being able to discern the “signs of the times”. Notably, the first coming of the messiah. The Messiah the Jews were looking for was right there in front of them, but they rejected him. The signs were there and prophecy was being fulfilled right before their eyes but they still ended up missing it and rejecting the truth before them. Even more so, how many will miss the signs preceding the 2nd coming of Jesus to earth?
This verse easily still applies to both Christians and non-Christians today. If we’re not careful, we can easily be swept up with the rest of the world and lose touch with what the Bible says we should be paying attention to. Let’s not be caught off guard but stay wide awake to the events happening on the earth.
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
Signs of the Times
So what does it even mean to be watchful? What should we as Christians be watching for? The Bible tells us clearly what the last days will look look in the passages below:
Deception – “And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He, ’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.” (Luke 21:8)
Scoffing/Mocking – “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’” (II Peter 3:3-4)
Society – “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (II Timothy 3:1-5)
Persecution – “’If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” (John 15:18-21)
Wars & Rumors of Wars – “But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Luke 21:9-10)
Disturbances in Nature – “And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11)