I am certainly not an end times’ scholar, but I am aware enough about what Scripture says to take notice that it certainly seems as though the end times are at our doorstep. We read in the Word that there will be wars and rumors of war, men’s hearts will fail them, many will become more hard hearted and callous to darkness. Indeed we can all agree that our world has become more violent, and people seem to care less about harming one another whether it be in business deals, personal relationships or through actual violent behavior. Darkness seems to loom larger and larger in every area of life and society, and people seem more and more willing to turn a deaf ear. People seem more willing to compromise. Things once seen as clearly wrong have now become fuzzy around the edges.
Scripture warns us that when we see these things happening, we are to do two things. First, we are not to let our hearts be troubled (Jn. 14:1-3). If we stay in the Word and understand God’s love and provision for us, this one is easy. Second, we are to be watchful and pray for the time of our redemption draws nigh (Read the entire chapter of Lk. 21; see esp. vs. 8, 21, and 36). I want to deal with the second of those issues, and the reason I want to settle there this week is because the Lord has said to me, “Awake, oh sleeper.” Brothers and sisters in Christ we must stop sleeping! Let’s awaken and take our responsibility seriously. We are to be the light in this world that overcomes the coming darkness. We cannot stay asleep or dwell in apathy. Lives are counting on our staying awake to the influences of the antichrist spirit present in this world. We need to be aware of the cunning spirits of strife and anger, offense, division, criticism, spiritual forces that come in to destroy peace and steal joy, spiritual forces involving the occult in movies, books, and games. These things are nothing to which we should be turning deaf ears and blind eyes. We, as believers, need to be aware of these temptations in our own lives and be willing to minister grace and God’s love and light to those around us whom we see falling into these diverse temptations. Scripture tells us to “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not He Who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay everyone according to what they have done? (Prov. 24:11-12)”
This is serious business. Be about God’s business. Be aware. Be awake. Pray. Watch. Let’s not be Jonahs. Remember when the Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh and told him to preach against it because of its great wickedness so that the people there could turn from evil and be saved from their destruction. Jonah refused, ended up bringing trouble upon his fellow sailors, and then ended up in the belly of a great fish before agreeing to do what the Lord had asked. When Jonah finally agreed to be the light God wanted him to be, a city of over 120,000 individuals was rescued. We all need to wake up, quit sleeping, and be the rescue God plans to be through us. Read Ephesians 5, the whole chapter. We are to live in the light God has shed abroad in our hearts and find out what pleases God. Devote our plans to Him so that they will succeed; let’s not just go day to day following our own fleshly pursuits, and let’s truly find out His plans for each of us in these end times. In doing that, He will use us to His greatest glory, and oceans of people will be able to spend eternity with Him, because we watched and prayed and listened. Ephesians 5:14-17 says, “Wake up, O sleeper; rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be careful how you live…making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
Let’s be like the ten virgins who were ready when the bridegroom came (Mt. 25:1-13). Let our lamps be filled with oil that we may have light and be light to those who need to see and know Christ.
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this: Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption. I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me. Amen.