I remember reading a tract long time ago (you have to live a long time before you can write sentences like that). In it the author said that a certain kind of vulture in Palestine was laying an over-abundance of eggs, theoretically dramatically increasing the buzzard population of the area.
Well, he speculated, could it be that the Great Day of the Lord was approaching and all those buzzards would be needed to consume the carcasses of the people killed at the battle of Armageddon?
I read about those buzzard eggs and trembled a bit. Scary stuff for a teenager.
Lest you think that it’s just the young who are moved by such things, Billy Graham speaks about a conversation he had with John F. Kennedy. The President wanted to know about the Coming of the Lord. He’s not the only one.
For many it’s just something to laugh about and make fun of believers. For others, it’s dead serious.
So, what should our attitude towards the coming of the Lord be? Build a bomb shelter, stock it up and get ready for a catastrophe? Quit our job, move to a mountain-top and gaze towards the East all day long? Run from prophecy conference to prophecy conference and read prophecy book after prophecy book so as to be ready?
Or just laugh it off?
Jesus will return. That has nothing to do with Mayans or New Age predictions. God told us a long time ago in His Word and one day–suddenly–He’ll appear.
That truth shouldn’t scare those who love Him but it should provoke a certain lifestyle in us. No, not hiding in caves. The Lord told us to do three things while we wait: wash, watch, and work. Matthew 24:42-47.
If we’re living in a way we know displeases the Lord, we certainly don’t want Him to come back and find us like that. (Mat. 24:51) “But if he should be a bad servant who says to himself, ‘My master takes his time about returning’, and should begin to beat his fellow-servants and eat and drink with drunkards, that servant’s master will return suddenly and unexpectedly, and will punish him severely and send him off to share the penalty of the unfaithful—to his bitter sorrow and regret!” (J.B. Phillips)
If you’ve allowed sin to dominate any part of your life, you might want to come to Him for cleansing and power to live like Jesus. The Lord’s coming isn’t good news for those who persist in disobedience.
“Watch” according to Strong’s Greek dictionary means to keep awake, be vigilant, watchful. That’s easy to do after you’ve read a buzzard-egg tract or heard about some scary development in the Middle East. But, how do you stay aware and watching, after you’ve watched for a long time and nothing has happened? Christians have been waiting and longing for the Lord’s coming for a long time.
When the Spanish Armada sailed towards England in 1588, some Christians feared the end of time had come. They were looking for the Lord to come then.
A watchful spirit doesn’t only come from scary signs, though there are some signs of His coming in the Bible that are flashing red right now. I’m amazed at our ability to read the last prophecy best-seller, get all stirred up for a week, then our spiritual caffeine wears off and we’re back like we were–spiritually sleepy, busy about other things, and sometimes involved in things we know don’t please the Lord.
No, a watchful spirit comes from reading the Word ourselves and staying in daily contact with the Lord. It comes from spiritual friendships with people who are looking for his coming.
Then if we believe He’s coming we get busy working for Him because we want to be doing what He told us to when He comes back. Each one of us, without exception, was born into this world for a reason. God planned us before the world began. We don’t want the Lord to come and find us simply worrying about having a good time, or accumulating piles of the latest stuff, or depressed by worry. Get busy doing what God created you to do.
“But, I don’t know what that is!” some wail. Once my old high-school football coach was diagramming a play for us. Each one of us had a man to block or a place to be. Coach added, though, (and I’ll put it in my words since he was a football coach), “If you don’t know who to hit, just knock the daylights out of someone!”
Those, loafing around waiting for a revelation of God’s will would do better finding something to do for the Lord. Then when God speaks specifically, they’ll already be in motion.
“Intercession is not just a practice; it is a lifestyle. Those moments of intimacy and revelation can occur anywhere, anytime.
“The secret? To be attentive. We often miss so much in life by inattentiveness. In the realm of the Spirit, the same applies. If we are not watching and listening as we pray, we may miss the mission. I encourage all of us to be mindful of God. In being mindful we become awake and alert.” Beryl McNamee