Do you remember the time where Jesus was about to be betrayed by Judas? It’s in Matt 26:36-46.
He was in the Garden of Gethsemane with His disciples when He went off to pray, telling them, “Watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation.”
When He came back what did He find? They had fallen asleep, after several warnings.
Notice that while the eleven slept rather than pray, there was one who was awake and very busy not far away – the betrayer, Judas!
It’s a lot like that today in the Churches. And the story may even warnings be a picture of the Church when He returns to earth for us.
Are you asleep, or is your Church sleeping? I believe it’s time for us all to wake up, to be aware of the evil one all around us, and to pray always, as commanded by Jesus and the apostles.
Only if we do this will we avoid missing out when He returns – what an awful thought to miss His return and the rapture as in 1 Thess 4:17.
How do we stay awake and pray? The comments below this may help.
Are You Watching for Jesus’ Return?
I am finding that there are many different attitudes of Church leaders to the important teaching of the return of Christ.
I am not speaking about the TIMING of the rapture. Christian interpretations differ on that. I am talking about the sure and certain Bible teaching that the rapture of the true Church will occur, no doubt about it, in God’s timing.
But I am concerned that:
1. Some preachers ignore the return of Christ altogether, despite it being a major article of our faith.
2. Some preachers seem to take it for granted that their hearers know and believe, so leave it at that and concentrate on the here and now.
3. There are others who deliberately misinterpret the doctrine, even poking fun at Christians who believe. These are probably the worst of all, the “false shepherds” Jesus spoke about.
The Lord Himself presents a very sober picture to the Church at Sardis: “But if
you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” [Rev 3:3]. Frightening.
How are we to watch?
1. Be discerning of our leaders. [Matt 24:4]. Even expect to be deceived by false teachers.
2. This means we should thoroughly study the Word and meet often to pray.
3. Live as we are taught in the epistles, eg, 1 Pet 4:7: “… be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”
Are You Speaking Out?
As the Church becomes more and more apostate and the world becomes more and more wicked and ungodly, I believe it is our Christian duty to speak out to warn of our Lord’s return to judge.
Despite the difficulties in getting a letter published in a newspaper these days, it is still possible for Christians to speak up for Christ and His values, not to mention His salvation, in any number of forums in the social media.
This is why it concerns me that the silence from the great majority of Church leaders is the most noticeable thing in the current community debates on the issues of homosexual “marriage”, abortion, and so on.
If our leaders won’t speak out (and thus expose themselves to public
ridicule) this is no reason for us to stop doing good.
We should STAY AWAKE and warn the community and the Church. If Christians in compromised Churches don’t speak out, who will?
If our MP’s and the likes of Hinch, Faine, Bolt and Mitchell don’t support Christian values that is one thing. But for us to fail to warn them and their listeners/readers is inexcusable.
Can you Recognise the Signs?
We are in the last of the last days. If you don’t see that you need to look a bit harder.
Prophecies about Israel, the world and the Church are all coming together.
There is not room here to present many details, but those with eyes to see will understand.
Take a look at Israel – on the verge of war with its neighbours once again,
who could be forming a coalition as described in Psalm 83.
Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones coming to life has been happening rapidly since 1948.
An interesting, as yet unfulfilled prophecy in Isaiah 17, relates to the total destruction of Damascus. For the first time this appears to be possible although we are not told when it will occur.
These are all signs of the coming of the day of the Lord and His return.
And what about the accurate description of society and the Church in the end times in 2 Tim 3:1-5?
It’s like reading today’s newspaper. When all these things converge, we should stay awake.
A good website on this topic is: http://www.ldolphin.org/keepready.html
The Church in Sardis
Jesus’ warning to the Sardis Church in Rev 3 could well apply to the Church today.
“You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead,” He said. “I have not found your works complete.”
Does this apply to your Church?
A quick look at the list of works quoted in Rev 2:19 shows: love, faith, service and patient endurance.
Apparently, in the sight of God, the Church at Sardis was doing good works, but they were only formal and external, not reliant on the Holy Spirit.
They were an outward show so the community could give them praise.
“Wake up!” says Jesus. “Strengthen what remains.” This is no time for sleeping.