Be Vigilant Now!

May 10, 2017

Friends,
A few days ago, while meditating on God’s Word, Rev. 3:3 really struck me. Jesus says there, “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; keep it (adhere to it / obey it) and repent. But if you do not wake up (are not watchful), I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you (come upon you / come to judge you).” (This comes from several versions at biblehub.com).

What I particularly noted is that Jesus is informing us that if we do remain vigilant, we can then discern the times, as He expects us to do. (Luke 12:56 & 21:29-36) In remaining alert, we will be hearing God’s heart and voice (10:21 // John 10:27,28), we will be training ourselves to be godly (1 Tim. 4:7), we will not let ourselves be deceived (Mt. 24:10-13), and we will know Jesus intimately which is eternal life. (John 17:3) By being alert, we will not be caught unprepared at Christ’s return. (Mt. 25:1-13 // Luke 12:35-40 // Rev. 16:15)

Verse 2 of Rev. 3 is also pertinent: “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” We should be testing ourselves often to see if we are truly in Christ (2 Cor. 13:5), for the faith of many will prove useless on that Day. (1 Cor. 15:2 // 2 Cor. 6:1 // Heb. 12:14-17 // Ja. 2:26 // Rev. 3:3) Why? Because their works will be found incomplete. Because they did not follow Christ closely. Because they were not careful to be continually dressed and ready. (Rev. 16:15)

The Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. (1 Thes. 5:2) That is, He will come like a thief for those who are blindly saying, “Peace and safety.” (v. 3) Yes, “destruction will come on them suddenly… and they will not escape.” (Same verse) But, for those who are “alert and self-controlled” (v. 6), there is this assurance: “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” (v. 4) We belong to the Light and so should not be asleep as are those who belong to the darkness. (v. 5,6) “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation…” (v. 9)

So let’s ask ourselves and others: “Have you been careful to keep your heart from being ‘weighed down with… the anxieties of life’?” (Luke 21:34), for if we have not been observant of the times and heedful of Scripture’s words, Jesus warns that, “that Day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” (Same verse) We must be alert and watching! (v. 36a) We must be pure and righteous! (Rom. 6:16-23) We will be, if we have been constantly feeding on the Word of God (Mt. 4:4) and putting it into practice. (7:24-27) Then we will know to also be “praying that we may be able to escape all that is about to happen and to be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (See Luke 21:36b) If we are not walking in such discipline, we do not abide in Eternal Life. (John 6:53-63 & 10:27,28 // 1 Pe. 1:22,23)

Let’s ask ourselves and everyone else who has made the pledge to follow Christ: “Has the Lord Jesus been your Boss 24/7?” Because this is required! Let’s not deceive ourselves, for it is not just about eliminating bad things and doing good things. The Pharisees did that, and so do Mormons and other benevolent, ethical, and/or moral people. Truly, the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law were deceiving themselves about the righteousness they believed themselves to be adhering to, and Jesus said to them, “You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to Hell?” (Mt. 23:33) John the Baptist also said to the same, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance… The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (3:7-10)

Are we producing the fruit God has ordered us to produce? Or have we been lazy? Are we even awake? “For we are His (God’s) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). These works —those which the Lord ordained for each of us personally (as well as those commanded in Scripture that all Christ-followers are to live by)— are the works we are to do in order to be in God’s will and thereby inherit eternal life. (Mt. 7:21 & 12:50). Yes, knowing the Lord intimately and allowing His Spirit to control our thoughts, words, and actions, are key to inheriting eternal life. (John 17:3 // Rom. 8:9)

We remain in Life, meaning in Christ’s love, IF we obey His commands (John 15:10) –those commands which come through His Word (Luke 11:28) and His Spirit. (Rom. 8:9) 1 John 2:5 informs us that God’s love is made complete in the person who obeys God’s Word. So it is obedience that enables us to know Him which brings Eternal Life. (John 15:14 & 17:3 // 1 John 2:3-6 & 3:24)

I cannot urge all of us strongly enough to make sure we are prepared to stand before the Judge. I believe time is incredibly short.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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