We Are All Called to be Watchmen :: By Tom Tillman

Recently, someone asked me why Eschatology, the study of Last Things, End times, is so important to me, why I talk about it all the time and bring it into everything I teach.

Paul wrote to Titus, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age [always] looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:11-13).

To the Philippians He wrote, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body…” Phil 3:18-21). 

To the Colossians he wrote, “If then you were raised with Christ [and we were], seek those things which area above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.   Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. [You’ll come back with Him after the Tribulation.] (Col 3:1-3).

God’s will for each of us, His children, is that we set our hearts and minds on Heavenly, Eternal things… not on Earthly, temporal things.

Long before God laid the foundation of the World, long before Lucifer rebelled, birthing sin in his own heart, long before anything that is… was… He knew me, He loved me and He chose me for Himself. Out of the billions of people who had ever lived… He chose me.

It’s as if… through very bad living, I had accumulated a crushing load of debt… like untold millions of dollars… a debt I would never be able to pay off. My debt was so great that I would be condemned to spend forever in the deep, dank, dark debtor’s prison.

But then one day, a distant relative, a Kinsman Redeemer, someone I didn’t even know, went before the judge and paid off all my crushing debt; and on top of that, he even opened a bank account for me with a balance of $40,000,000 so that I would never again have any debt at all. After all that, he wrote to me that one day, soon, he didn’t say when exactly, but he told me some signs to watch for which would clearly point to the general time of his return when he would come for me and fly me, in his private jet, to an incredible set of islands in the Pacific where I could live in a paradise, forever.

The only thing he wanted me to do, in light of his great kindness and generosity to me, was to tell others, the people I knew and those I would meet, of what he had done for me and that he was willing to do the same for anyone who asked. But He warned that once he finally did return for me and for anyone else who believed his offer… once he did return to take us away to our own private Island Paradises… that would be it. His offer to freely pay anyone’s great debt would no longer be available.

I could hardly believe it. What incredible kindness, grace and mercy that He would do that for me!

To Him, I am one in a million, of the millions and billions who will refuse His offer; He chose me and came to find me, and He called me to Himself.

He brought me to a small gate; He invited me to come through it and to begin a long journey, walking along a narrow, difficult path; but He promised that He would always be with me no matter how difficult the journey. He promised to never leave me, to never forsake me, and He promised to lead me safely to the end of the path, to the airport, from which He will finally fly me to the Island Paradise He has been preparing just for me.

He called me to enter through the small, narrow gate which leads to a long, narrow, difficult road that leads, finally, to Heaven and to His Throne. For every one of us who has heard and answered His call, there might be a million who pass by that small, narrow gate, continuing on, walking, skipping and running on the wide, open, broad highway that eventually leads to a cliff that drops off into Hell.

The most vivid example of the many millions who thoughtlessly, heedlessly run headlong to destruction is in the many Carnival, Marti Gras celebrations around the World like New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Venice and many other cities with a strong Catholic heritage.

Marti Gras, from the French, means ‘Fat Tuesday.’ It dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, like Saturnalia and Lupercalia.

When Caesar Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome, in the early AD 300’s, many pagan festivals and gods/goddesses were incorporated into the new ‘faith.’

Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday when the season of Lent begins, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. They would binge and gorge themselves on all the rich, fatty foods, meat, eggs, milk, lard and cheese that remained in their homes. Then, for 40 days, they would fast, eating only fish or other plain, bland foods. However, instead of being just about foods, it came to be weeklong celebrations of debauchery of every kind, leading to Ash Wednesday when the priest would absolve them of all their sins.

The reason I bring up Marti Gras is that it, along with so many ‘Gay Pride’ parades, which are actually fashioned after Marti Gras parades, to a degree, are perfect examples of people in the World, seemingly doing their best to flaunt their sin, heedless of any restraint whatsoever, throwing off any and all constraints that might be misinterpreted as admission or submission to anything related to God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Like those ‘celebrations,’ the World is becoming more and more rotten, more and more debauched each day.

To Ezekiel, He said, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.  Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done  shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” Ezekiel 3:17-20).

God has called every one of us to be a Watchman. We are to first watch carefully over our own souls: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…” (1 Pet 5:8-9). And we are to carefully watch, guarding our families and whatever ‘flock’ God has placed under our care.

I see what is coming; I see what is coming very quickly and very soon. Most of what is coming, from the moment of the Rapture, seems to open up before me in what I see as a mostly clear, concise, focused, panoramic picture or video; for the most part, it is not cloudy or mysterious.

As I study, as I read His Word, as I pray, I constantly ask for wisdom and understanding; and I believe that He is faithful to give me wisdom and understanding.

I am not more intelligent than anyone else… I have simply been ‘gifted’ in certain areas of understanding that are different than the areas in which God has specially gifted some others.

Paul wrote, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Cor 12:4-11).

What I understand, I teach. What I don’t yet understand, I study.

If others believe or teach differently than I… what we believe about Eschatology does not affect whether or not we are saved. Eschatology should never be dogma.

Tom Tillman