January 18, 2022
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming (Matthew 24:42).
The word ‘watch’ is a present imperative word in the original Greek text. The present tense indicates continual action. The imperative mood indicates a command. The word itself means to stay alert, stay away, keep watching. Putting all of this together, Jesus told His disciples to continually stay alert expecting the Lord’s return based on the signs He has given.
When Jesus returns, those who have outright rejected Him, and those who simply don’t care about Him, will be swept into eternity having lost their opportunity for salvation here and eternal life in heaven. Two things are important for us today: (1) We know the days are drawing us near to the time when Jesus takes His church out of the earth before the 7-year tribulation begins. The days are drawing near, but we don’t know the day the rapture will come. Therefore, Christians must continue to be aware of the times we are living in, knowing that at any moment our opportunity to bring lost souls to faith in Jesus Christ will be over. Jesus said, I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work (John 9:4). That must be our attitude as well.
(2) The generation that sees the dawn of the Tribulation after the rapture will be the generation that will witness the 2nd coming of Christ. Those who know the Scriptures will also know the period will be the most horrific period of death and destruction in all of human history. However, they will not know the day the Lord will return to cut the Tribulation short of total annihilation.
The Apostle Peter wrote (2 Peter 2:4-9) For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) - then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.
The Lord knows those who belong to Him and those who don’t. Although many Christians have died, are dying, and will die for their faith in Jesus before the rapture comes, and many more will die for their faith in the Tribulation, God will deliver a multitude of saints alive before the rapture comes, and before the 2nd coming of the Lord.
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the promise of life, abundant life, and eternal life in You and in Your Kingdom. May we be faithful to You and persevere until the very end.” Amen.