Jesus Said “Watch” :: by Gene Lawley

He concluded that alert with this timing factor, “For you do not know when your Lord may return.” So what are we to watch for, or how are we to be watching?

He used those cautions in various parables that illustrate that stewardship of responsibilities is to be accountable to Him at His return.

Yet, there was no guideline as to how long He would be gone, and for centuries we have had resounding in our hearing, “no man knows the day or the hour” of His coming. Match this situation with the fact that God has made promises that would have to be fulfilled before He could come and wind up human history as we know it, and as prophecy brings to light. For example, the promise He would return the Jews to their promised land and make of them a new nation:

“’And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,’ says the Lord God, ‘when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols” (Ezekiel 36:23-25).

The beginning of that fulfillment was on May 14, 1948, despite the belief of many today who try to tell us that God reje3cted the Jews when they rejected Christ, and those promises now are for the church. Its called Replacement Theology and is an outright slap in the face of God and makes Him out to be a liar!

It looks like He has hallowed His holy name before that crowd also. A god who lies is no god at all, and if Numbers 23:19 is not true, then “We are, of all people, most miserable!” Remember this—memorize it and start every Bible question search with this truth in the front of your quest:

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

In regard to the watching issue, it seems that the first time we are told what to watch for is in Luke 21:28:

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

What are “these things?”

In the context before that alert, He described the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple that occurred in 70 AD and told of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Israel being “led away captive into all nations, and [that] Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (verse 24). His prophecy leaps ahead, then, to the time when the age of the Gentiles begins to be fulfilled:

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:25-27).

This picture of Jesus coming in great power and glory seems to be pointing to His Second Coming when He comes to the earth where “earth dwellers” will see Him arrive. He says “they” will see Him, not those looking for Him as it will be for the Rapture that comes seven years earlier.

In verse 24 two events are referenced—the return of the Jews to Israel and the fulfilling of the times of the Gentiles. Earlier I quoted Luke 21:28 and asked, “What are those things that are to begin  happening?”

The very next thing told is the parable of the fig tree. You may recall the time Jesus was passing by a fig tree on His way to the temple with the disciples and discovered the tree was all leaves and no fruit, and He cursed it (Mark 11:12-14). Immediately after, He entered the temple and drove out the money-changers and traders. A religion that bears no fruit, no positive eternal results, that was the picture that the disciples saw. The fig tree and the olive tree are used to illustrate Israel in scriptural comparisons.

This parable of the fig tree in Luke 21:29-33 relates to the blossoming of Israel again, just as Ezekiel 37 with the valley of dry bones taking on flesh and reviving again to become one people in one place instead of being scattered throughout all nations as their judgment has been:

“Then He spoke to them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away’” (Luke 21:29-33).

It is clearly this current generation now in the 21st century to which He is pointing toward, for that generation has passed away long ago. The “things” that  are happening now, today, should also tell us that this generation, not the next one, will be the one to experience them. When He says, “…you see and  know for yourselves,” it becomes a very personal and individual issue, not just “those other guys.”

Very appropriately, the next portion of that context, Luke 21:34-36, bears out the subject of this article—watch and be faithful and ready to stand without shame before the Son of Man:

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly, for it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

“How to be worthy” apparently is a fearful thing for some folks, and I have wrestled much with that issue over these past sixty years as a believer in Christ. The truth is, as I have found out as I began to believe the Word of God that was right before my eyes, I never could have saved myself, so how in the world could I have kept myself saved? My own “works of righteousness” are identified by Scripture as “filthy rags,” and not good for anything. It is just as Paul told Titus:

“…Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

Earlier Paul had told Titus the proper attitude for us to have in these uncertain last days, an attitude of hope and expectation of blessing and joy unspeakable:

“…We should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:12-14).

There are more events to watch for that will be physically evident, not to discount or ignore those geophysical tragedies that the globalists want to call “Man-made climate change events.” There will be a confirmation of a covenant that will promise Israel a seven-year period of peace and allow her to rebuild the temple and restore its religious practices (Daniel 9:27).

That verse also tells us that halfway through the seven years he will void the agreement, enter the temple and declare himself God.  The New Testament Scriptures indicate that its signing, or an announcement for it to be signed, will trigger the Day of the Lord when “sudden de3struction” will envelope the whole earth. Paul wrote of this in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3:

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night, for when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.”

This Scripture says the triggering event will be when “they” shall exclaim, “Peace and safety!” Thus, it could be an announcement of an agreement having been made and a date set, sooner than later, when the signing ceremony is to take place. The Day of the Lord is that period when the “time of Jacob’s trouble” begins and God deals again with Israel’s restoration and their eventual recognition of Jesus as their true Messiah (Zechariah 12:10).

The Body of Christ, the born-again church made up largely of those “taken out of the Gentiles for His name” will have been taken to heaven, as Paul revealed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Quietly and without fanfare to the world, like a thief in the night, He will take away those whom He has purchased with His own blood—His purchased possessions—to be with Him forever!

In the secular, physical world we should be watching for and seeing the subtle but steady developments of that beast of Revelation 13 as its seventh head begins to form. It will be the  seventh kingdom to rule the whole world, and some signs of its development are the efforts for a New World Order to emerge as the sovereignty of individual nations are destroyed. The capstone of that goal is the United States of America, and it is not hard to see how well the globalists in favor of this movement think they are doing when we consider President Obama’s statement on April 30 at the Annual Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C.—“The end of the Republic has never looked better!” [1]

Jesus said in Luke 17:26 and following that when the coming of the Son of Man is upon us, people will be buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage, building and planting. They will be unaware of what is hovering over the world, and those statements of Jesus indicates that the “sudden destruction” that the Rapture will bring will be the expected economic and financial  collapse that is projected in news reports today. [2]

At this point in the chronology, our “watching” will have been finished, for that Rapture event changes everything! However, Peter writes that some are not so sure and apparently will make themselves heard, fervently:

“…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’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Really, we must ask, in defiance? Without a doubt, it is a time for Christians to reject that old scoffing rebuttal, “Where is the promise of His coming,” and be prepared with daily close accounts with the Lord. For are we not “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ?”

End Notes:

[1] President Obama:

[2] Crashing Economy:

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