Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; – Titus 2:13
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. – Hebrews 9:28
One of the great doctrines of God’s Word is the rapture. That is when God’s people will be caught up to meet Him in the sky. That is the day that Christ comes to call us home. To the Christian, it is the great culmination of our lives. It is that for which we have been waiting. Imagine the delight that we would feel if the trumpet were to sound today and we were caught up to meet our Lord in the sky, never again to be separated from our Lord? This day is mentioned 318 times in God’s Word. Why? It is because it is the day of days to the child of God. God wants His people to be watchful for His glorious return. How could a redeemed child of God not delight in the thought of seeing our Lord and being eternally with Him? How could blood-washed Christians not be watching eagerly for His return? Unfortunately, many are so caught up in this world in which we live that they are not eagerly awaiting and watching for His coming. Think of what would happen to us if we were watchful Christians.
Watchfulness is preparedness.
Matthew 24:44, I John 2:28
One great Christian saint said, “I want to be ready so I will not be ashamed if Jesus were to come today.” Surely, if we were expectantly watching for Him, we would be ready so as not to be ashamed. Too many of God’s people are not truly prepared for the coming of the Lord. When we are watching we are preparing.
Watchfulness is steadfastness.
One of the reasons why some are not more steadfast is because we are not watching for the coming of the Lord. Steadfastness comes from focus. When we focus on His return, it steadies us in the work and ways we live.
Watchfulness is eagerness.
We ought to be delighted in the thought of seeing Him. There ought to be certain eagerness as though we were anticipating a loved one to come home for a big event. God’s people ought to have innocence and excitement in them as they are eagerly watching for the coming of the Lord, hoping that it may be today.
Watchfulness is earnestness.
When we go about God’s work in a sloppy, half-hearted, and lazy manner, it is a sign we are not earnest in watching for His return. If we were watching for His return, we would be more diligent in the work of God. We would be more diligent in the winning of souls and reaching the lost. That is why the early Christians were so zealous. They believed the Lord was coming back soon. What would we do if you knew that the Lord was returning next week? The truth is that He could return today, or tomorrow, or next week. We would be more earnest if we knew He was coming today.
Watchfulness is prayerfulness.
One of the aspects of prayer is talking to the Lord and having a relationship with Him as we eagerly anticipate His coming. The more watchful we are, the more prayerful we will be. The more prayerful we are, the more watchful we will become. May God help us to be more prayerful as we watch for His return.
Watchfulness is awareness.
God bought me so that I could once again be His own. A couple expecting a child is aware of one who is coming soon and are beginning to prepare already for that one. There needs to be more awareness in all of us on a moment-by-moment basis that Jesus is coming. When you are preparing for company, you work hard to get everything ready because you are aware that they will soon be arriving. That is exactly what this matter of watchfulness is all about. It is the awareness that He is coming and that He might show up at any moment. If you knew the preacher was coming to your house at any moment, you would be careful about what was going on at your house. A child who is aware that their mom or dad may walk into their room at any moment is more careful about their behavior. A child of God who is aware of the coming of the Lord also is more aware of doing what is right.
Watchfulness is safeness.
There is a security in knowing that our Lord is coming for us. There is a security in realizing that He did not leave us comfortless. When Peter was discouraged at the time that he found out that he would deny the Lord, Jesus said in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” There is a safety and a security in knowing that our Lord is coming back for us.
Today, let us push the reset button on this matter that Jesus is returning. Watchfulness is the conscious realization that Christ is returning at a time that we do not know. We should be looking for Him at all times. By the way, we should be telling God’s people to be looking for Him. His return ought to be one of the regular subjects that we talk about and think about as Christians.
by Pastor Greg Neal
Pastor Neal, through his preaching and his counseling, displays the compassionate heart of a pastor, follows the true leading of the Holy Spirit, and expresses a fervent desire to see lost souls come to know Christ. It is his ultimate desire to see the greater Jacksonville area reached for the cause of Christ and for revival to come to Northeast Florida.