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 156 messages in this series.
This is message #157 titled, The End Time Commandments: Work, Watch, and Pray (Part 2)
This weekend, many Americans are marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Since that fateful day, our nation (and the world) has learned by experience what it means to be watchful and vigilant. Several divisions of our nation’s military and intelligence departments are dedicated to 24/7 surveillance in order to prevent another such attack. The men and women who work in these agencies are a living example of what Christ meant when He said that we should always be watching, working and praying.
From this passage, we have seen the importance of Jesus’ three-fold command to His followers in light of the end times. Only God knows when the return of Christ will come to pass. Often, it looks like it could happen tomorrow, but it may not occur for the next 300 years. What are we to do in the meantime? We are to work, watch, and pray.
In this passage, Jesus likens Himself to 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.” Jesus Christ gives each of His followers tasks to accomplish in His absence. Our main concern should not be when Jesus will return, but whether or not we will be found faithfully fulfilling our tasks. This means we must be faithful day in and day out. When a security guard is on duty, he must be alert, vigilant, and watchful at all times. He can’t be vigilant some days and not vigilant on other days. Why? Because, to use another parable from Jesus, he does not know when the robber will try to break in.
For some of us, we would consider it poor etiquette for someone to turn up at our house unexpectedly. When we open the door we might say something like, “I wish I had known you were coming.” (Some of us might not open the door at all and just pretend not to be home.) The Lord Jesus Christ will be like a surprise visitor when He comes. He will not send advance warning. He won’t say, ‘Get ready. I’m coming on this date.’ Thus, we must be ready at all times. We must be at our posts fulfilling the tasks that God has commanded us to fulfill.
Why are we commanded to pray as we watch and work? J.R. Edwards stated, “The delay of the second coming induces complacency and neglect; lack of knowledge induces resignation and defeat. These and other factors tempt disciples to forsake their vocation.” It is easy for us to sit around and worry over when Jesus will return. It is human nature to concern ourselves with those things that we cannot control. However, the act of prayer itself is a reminder that we are not in control. It is through prayer that we surrender all of our needs, worries, and concerns — including concerns about Jesus’ return — to God. Through prayer, we cast all of our burdens on Him who cares for us.
When we lay all of our concerns and worries upon the Lord through prayer, we can remain focused on the work that He would have us to do. We will not succumb to the tendency to become complacent or neglectful of our duty to watch and work.
Ultimately, our goal is to always be prepared — to always be ready to meet our Savior. Perhaps, you can think of a time this past week when you would have been ashamed if the Lord had come back at that moment. Maybe you had slacked off in your Christian duties, maybe you were harboring sinful thoughts, maybe you had a negative attitude. Imagine how terrible you would have felt if the trumpet had sounded and Jesus had summoned us up to meet him in that moment. Remember, the Rapture will only take a split second to occur; there won’t be time to hurry and make things right. So work, watch, and pray!
Jesus warned us to watch, ‘lest coming suddenly he find us sleeping.’ What does it mean to be found sleeping? Sleeping in sin. Sleeping in prayerlessness. Sleeping in unfaithfulness. Sleeping in bitterness and resentment toward another believer. Sleeping in unforgiveness. Sleeping in pride. Sleeping in faithlessness. You don’t want Christ to come and find you sleeping. So work, watch, and pray!
Perhaps, you were not always ready for Jesus’ return in the past. You can thank God that you are still here, and you can determine from this point forward to always be ready — to always be working, to always be watching, and to always be praying — by the grace of God.
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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.