TEXT: Mark 13:32-37
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 155 messages in this series.
This is message #156 titled, The End Times Commandments: Work, Watch, and Pray (Part 1)
There has been an increasing amount of talk regarding the second coming and signs that lead up to it especially as we enter the month of September. It is an important month on the Jewish calendar as it contains the two most important holidays — the start of the Jewish new year and the Day of Atonement. Also, this month, we will see the appearance of the fourth so-called Blood Moon this year which some have linked to major events regarding prophecy. Some have pointed to the Iran nuclear deal, the souring Israel-U.S. relationship, the pope’s visit to America this month, and the ongoing turmoil regarding the global economy as signs that something big is getting ready to happen. I agree with Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn who recommended, regardless of what happens or if anything significant happens at all, that all Christians make this a time of prayer and repentance — especially in light of the Supreme Court legalizing homosexual marriage which accelerates our nation’s descent into total destruction. The recent series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos has also highlighted the heinous crimes being committed against innocent, unborn babies in this country.
Beyond the turmoil and problems that we hear about non-stop in the news, each of us ought to be looking forward to much greater events — the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I am sure that many of you have recently wondered, When is it going to happen? When is He coming back? In our passage today, Jesus tells us, “Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
However, Jesus does not leave us there. He goes on too give us a three-fold commandment that we should obey as we wait for His second coming. He says, “Take ye heed, watch and pray.” And the reason why we should do this is because we “know not when the time is.”
Why should we take heed to the Lord’s command? Because if we do not listen to Him, pay attention to what He is saying, and obey Him, we run the risk of not being prepared when He comes. If you are not working for Him, watching for Him, and praying to Him, you will be surprised when He arrives. It is not God’s intent to surprise us with Jesus’ return. We ought not to be shocked by it, rather we should be expecting it every day. If some family members whom you had not seen for a while told you they were coming for a visit from out of state or out of the country, you would not neglect their impending arrival. You would clean the house, buy extra food, and make sure that the guest room was fixed up. You would be working in light of their soon coming, watching for their arrival, and hopefully praying for their safe travel.
To illustrate this point further, Jesus gives us a parable. He describes Himself as a “man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.” He says, “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.”
When Jesus went back to Heaven, it was not time for His followers to do as they pleased. We are not to be the proverbial mice who play when the cat’s away. We are not to allow our spiritual fire to grow dim. Rather, we are to fan the flames through working for God, watching for Jesus’ return, and praying without ceasing.
Like the man who went on a long journey and left his affairs in the hands of his servants, Jesus has left His affairs in our hands. He has committed to us the building up of the kingdom of God on earth through the work of evangelism and discipleship. Notice two things that the man in the parable gave his servants — “authority” and “work.” Christians today have the authority to carry out Christ’s work on earth. In fact, we are under a mandate to do so. Each of us carries out this mandate in a unique way. The parable says that “every man” has “his [own] work.” The construct of the sentence emphasizes that each servant has an individual task that he has been ordered to carry out. Your work may not be the same as somebody else’s work, but you serve Christ by fulfilling your role in His absence.
Undergirding the work that we do for Christ are the tasks of watching and praying. As we work, we ought to be working expectantly — as though we are really waiting for Jesus’ return. As we work, we also ought to be praying, because it is through prayer that we communicate with God and gain the spiritual strength and direction we need to continue our work and to keep on going strong for God in these last days.
Recently, a New York Times religion reporter said, “There are days when I feel despair about the news.” It is easy to see how she can feel that way. It is easy to see how any of us can feel that way in this day and time. However, as Christians, we have the benefit of looking forward to an even greater event — the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ. And as we await those events, we must work, watch, and pray.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.