The Watchful, the Wise, and the Worthy :: By John Salom

Convergence or Blitzkrieg

Prophecy teachers have for some time now grown fond of the term “convergence.” Admittedly, it is an excellent word to describe that phenomenon that students of Bible prophecy have been experiencing in recent years as we have observed the signs of the times begin to manifest simultaneously. Only it seems the word convergence is one that conveys a sense of order, implying the merging or coordination of those things which are converging. It is a tidy descriptor that once perfectly captured what it was that was occurring in our day but somehow fails to fully define that which is now taking place as we are quickly approaching the midnight hour.

Today I can write an article about the most current events that carry with them a prophetic significance, and when that article posts just a few days later, it is already old news! The signs of the times are coming at us at a blistering pace in what feels like an overwhelming barrage of mounting evidence under which we are being buried. Blitzkrieg seems a more appropriate aphorism for what today’s watchers are experiencing. Truly, it has become nearly impossible to keep up with it all.

Where once we looked up toward the sky and felt those early drops of rain on our face that pointed to a brewing storm, we now stand in a torrential downpour, ankle-deep in rushing water, holding an upturned and torn umbrella. The gentle lapping of prophetic waves onto our bare feet as we strolled passed the shoreline of humanity has become a tsunami of debris and churning muddied waters that are rapidly changing the landscape before our eyes and sweeping away all that we had once known to be normal.

The Day of the Lord?

To say in this hour that all of the signs given to us in scripture point to the soon return of Jesus is comparable to that of your local weatherman predicting snowfall in the middle of a blizzard. Much like the Thessalonians, people today are beginning to wonder if the Day of the Lord has already come. It hasn’t, of course, but it goes to show just how truly close we are to its arrival.

Today’s dutiful watchmen are no longer spotting some indeterminate threat that lies in the shadows somewhere off in the distance; no, today, they are observing as their walled cities are actively being surrounded and their gates approached. They faithfully continue to ring the bells, sounding the alarm to a mostly unsuspecting populace.

Within lies a city that is casually going about its daily activities, eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage. Nevertheless, there remains a remnant that is keenly aware of just how late the hour has become.

It is my firm belief, friends, that we have turned that last corner in our race and have now entered the final stretch toward the prophetic finish line. It lies just in the distance before us, now tangibly within reach, and truly many of us can sense that it won’t be much longer before we are standing face to face with our Master, who has finally returned from that far country to which He has journeyed. Our gathering together to Him could be but the ticking of a second-hand away, which leaves us with the single most important question facing this generation of Christians.

What should I be doing with what little time I may have left before I am, in fact, standing before the Son of Man?

Where do we go from here?

As with anything in this dark world, the Word of God remains that lamp unto our feet and the light we so desperately need along our path. It is only within that Word that we can reasonably expect to answer a question of such gravity with a response that bares with it the genuine weight of truth.

Thankfully, the Lord Himself took the time to address this very question when once His closest disciples had approached Him with their own inquiring minds. Following what many have affectionately referred to as the Little Apocalypse or Mathew 24’s Olivet Discourse, Jesus shares plain yet profound wisdom that uniquely applies to this generation more than it has to any other before it. It would behoove us to lend an especially receptive ear to that which He once taught our predecessors.

Watch and Pray

Matthew, Luke, and Mark each give us this advice in a very similar format. Let us observe closely the lesson being conveyed here.

“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:43-44 NKJV).

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing” (Matthew 24:45-46 NKJV).

“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” (Luke 21:36 NKJV).

“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mark 13:35-37 NKJV).

I am reminded of the popular food and travel show No Reservations, which was once a big hit for the Travel Channel. These verses all carry with them a similar motif. Jesus does not have, nor does He need reservations for His return to this earth. The theme playing out here in all of these passages is that of someone dropping in entirely unannounced. Like a homeowner who can’t possibly know when a thief might break in, we are to be vigilant at all times.

Too many in the community of those closely watching for the Lord’s return allow themselves to place greater importance on certain times of the year or to label certain seasons “high watch” based upon current events which may or may not fit that which we are presented with in God’s prophetic word. Likewise, many have become disillusioned and even burnt out as they eagerly anticipate the sounding of that trumpet but are instead repeatedly disappointed by what they were sure amounted to a perfect time for the rapture.

Friends, the signs are all in place. We know by those signs that the hour is so very close. Let us hold on to the Blessed Hope, which we know is fast approaching without inadvertently allowing ourselves to be taken for a ride on that emotional roller coaster that is ultimately based on sight and not on faith. The scripture does not say watch and pray during the Feast of Trumpets, or watch and pray at Pentecost, or watch and pray during high watch times, or during a blood moon, or during the Feast of New Wine, or at any particular time, for that matter. It says, watch and pray Always.

“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately” (Luke 12:35-36 NKJV).

Surely the Master will come when He is good and ready. It is our job to be prepared to receive Him at any hour, for He is arriving unannounced and without a reservation.

Purify and Prepare

The Lord then goes on to tell us the story of ten virgins in Mathew 25, five of which had made previous preparations and thus were ready to meet the bridegroom and ready to enter with Him to the wedding. Exodus 19 gives us rich parallels to this preparedness which the scripture calls us to.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people” (Exodus 19:10-11 NKJV).

“So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. And he said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day'” (Exodus 19:14-15 NKJV).

Moses was readying, consecrating, and purifying the Children of Israel for their impending encounter with God. How interesting that similar language concerning our clothes or garments is thrice used when the Lord is addressing the seven churches of Asia in Revelation 2 and 3.

Often, we have found encouragement in the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 4:8.

“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

How many of us are not anticipating this crown of righteousness as a result of our great desire to see the Lord’s return for us in the sky? We mustn’t forget, though, the words of John as they pertain to His appearing.

“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (I John 2:28 NKJV).

It is difficult to have loved His appearing if we find ourselves ashamed before Him at His coming. This is where preparedness in meeting the bridegroom is a characteristic of the wise.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (I John 3:2-3 NKJV).

Friends, this is not a purifying that we can do for ourselves but one that the Holy Spirit alone does for us. John explains this earlier in his epistle.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:8-9 NKJV).

Let us be continually washed with water through the word, saturating our minds and hearts with God’s word (Eph 5:26). Found to be abiding in Him. Taking our sins to the Lord that we may have our feet washed, knowing that the rest of us is completely clean (John 13:10). Let us have clean and washed garments with which to enter the wedding feast with the very moment we hear those words, “Behold the bridegroom cometh, go out to meet Him!” (Matt 25:6).

Can you imagine a bridegroom who has been anxiously waiting for and anticipating with great longing and desire for that day when He is finally able to come and be joined to his beloved bride? Imagine Him showing up at her doorstep with overwhelming joy and excitement in his heart only to have her open the front door not wearing her wedding gown but in faded sweatpants and a ratty old t-shirt, her hair a tousled mess and her makeup all smeared with her eyeliner running as though she’d spent all night crying. Imagine her telling him, “Can we do this some other time? Today is really not a good day for this; I’ve just got a lot on my plate right now.”

Redeeming the Time

Finally, Jesus concludes His words to His inquisitive disciples with a closing parable about the settling of accounts between a Master and His servants (Matt 25:14-30). He here encourages them to trade with that which is His while He travels to a far country. In Luke, He uses the phrase, “Do business till I come.” The Apostle Paul echoes this sentiment in his letter to the Ephesians.

“‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’ See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:14-16 NKJV).

What are your gifts, dear brother or sister? Ask yourselves the question, what is it that I have been entrusted with while my Master is away? Each of us has a particular place in the body. Don’t try and fill a position for which you are not suited. If you are not occupying the time doing something to advance the Kingdom, then ask the Lord to reveal to you what it is He has uniquely equipped you for, and step out in faith and begin doing it! The time is so very short. Let us each pray for the boldness that the early believers in Acts petitioned the Lord for that we may step out and continue to be salt and light to a dying world right up until that moment that He calls us home.

Jesus once asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). I want my answer to be a resounding YES! I hope and pray that it will be for you as well! May we be found in the good company of the watchful, the wise, and the worthy, busy about our Master’s business upon His imminent return.


John Salom