Luke 21:25-28 & 34-36
The Imminent Return Of Christ
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
“Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
This is a clear word to us as Christians. Jesus says to be on guard and to keep on the alert at all times lest the day of His return come upon us suddenly. In other passages of scripture it says that the generation that sees Israel regathered as a nation will not pass away before He has returned. Israel was re-gathered in 1948 which is around the same time my Mother was born. (Just to put things into perspective) Jesus could return in my Mothers lifetime. So let us think earnestly about what Jesus is saying here, and that He is not trying to keep these things hidden from us but is speaking plainly. Let us think in terms of being a soldier and on guard duty. We have heard that a great army is approaching and that we must give warning to the rest of the troops before they get close so that everyone might have time to get ready and defend the fort. Now, it would be nice to think that we could establish a certain time every day on the wall and that the enemy should only try and attack during the time we have designated. However, the enemy looks for a time when we are not at our post or at least not going to be very alert so that they will have the advantage. We can see how foolish it would be to assume that the enemy will only attack when we are on duty. Let us compare this to our Christian walk. As long as the Lord returns on Sunday or Wednesday night we will be alert at His coming. Or as long as He comes when we are half asleep and trying to read our Bible just before bed, then we will not be taken by surprise. We can see from these examples that it is easy to treat our alertness for His coming too casually. Examine your day and ask yourself just how much time do you spend with Jesus in a day and honestly, how prepared are you too actually to meet Him?
Jesus says to be careful not to be tangled up in the pursuits of the world and the worries of life. He was obviously quite aware of the daily struggles and earthly pleasures that we face. He did not make light of how hard it would be for us to hold on until His return and to be able to stand securely in His presence. He said, “Be on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place.”
Let us look at the practical steps for being constantly on the alert. We can start by setting time aside every morning and evening to be with Him. We can begin memorizing verses in the Bible or sing worship songs in our heart while we work during the day. This really helps during the day when we are bombarded by worldly music and coarse language. We have to counter those things that fill our minds with evil thoughts and desires by replacing them quickly with whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is true and of good repute. We have to take every thought captive. To be on the alert is also to be constantly ready to help our neighbor and to share the good news of the Gospel of Christ. We are to be continually sowing the seed of His word and to be unashamed of Him so that when He stands before the Father He is unashamed of us.
So let me encourage us to keep on the alert as soldiers of Jesus Christ who will soon return and will reward all those who have been faithful. God bless you all!