We Need to Prepare
When the end comes it will surprise most everyone. Most do not think it will happen in the way that it is going to come about; Many do not believe that it will actually happen – in spite of that it will occur.
What’s Going on in the World Right Now
AMERICA: Corona virus; riots; unemployment; economy failing;
OECD: murder rate 2nd highest to the drug cartels of Mexico; 2nd worst to raise family [foundation of a society]; 4th worst in human rights which includes: “the right to free speech and the right to education.”
20% of Americans suffering from mental-health issues each year and a suicide rate that has “increased by 33% between 1999 to 2017.”
As the American hegemony, our political, economic, military predominance over the world disappears, other world powers are seeking to fill the vacuum. But they are not in a better situation to do it than we are.
All that is in the news seems like a lot but is nothing compared to what is coming. Perhaps this a dry run….
We are Not at the Very End Yet….
The things that are going on now are not it
Revelation 6:1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”
Revelation 6:2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
Revelation 6:3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.”
Revelation 6:4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.
Revelation 6:5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
Revelation 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”
Revelation 6:7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”
Revelation 6:8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
Revelation 6:9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
Revelation 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
Revelation 6:11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Luke 21:28, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Evaluate our Spiritual State
Why We Need Discernment
2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Peter 2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
2 Peter 1:11 for [it is necessary] so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
2 Peter 1:13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,
2 Peter 1:14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent [time is short; everyone will not be around forever to keep remind you of these things; how many first generation Christians of this era remain], just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.
2 Peter 1:15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease [death].
2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables [these are not just made-up stories] when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
2 Peter 1:19 And so we have the prophetic word [logos] confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
2 Peter 1:20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation [it comes with a specific meaning],
2 Peter 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man [again these are not just made-up stories], but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
We are to be awake to our shortcomings and how we measure up against the Word of God
1 Corinthians 15:32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE!”
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
We need to be right with God before we can begin to try to help others
Definition of “watch”: Stay Awake!
Matthew 26:37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.
Matthew 26:38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
Strong’s: to keep awake, that is, watch (literally or figuratively)
Substitute this when we read the word “watch”
Matthew 26:39 He went a little farther [even though He was going away they were still to watch or be awake with Him] and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.“ [a point right before His crucifixion, so you can imagine the fervency and that Jesus was well and truly awake].
Matthew 26:40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation…”
When Jesus Christ says this we see the spiritual application and the figurative use of watching:
This is not talking physically that we need to stay awake or else we will enter into temptation, but rather to be awake spiritually
2) metaphorically give strict attention to, be cautious, active, (Strong’s: vigilant)
2a) to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one
Primarily it refers our spiritual condition. One in which we are to be spiritually awake and aware. The focus of the watch is introspectively: lest you enter into temptation
This is why we are to be watchful or better awake. And this is why Jesus Christ makes it a command
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray this is an imperative. There is no equivocation. It is not a suggestion; He does not say watch if you want to. The way that it said here gives up no choice but to watch….and pray
These two go together:
Colossians 4:2 (KJV) Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
(CEV) Never give up praying. And when you pray, keep alert and be thankful.
When we pray we stay awake spiritually and when we watch, we pray. The two go hand in hand creating a successful formula for us to be doing what we are supposed to be doing.
We must be on guard; we cannot succumb to escapism; we cannot say that this cannot happen to me or just hope that I will be ok; we cannot rely on somebody else to keep us on track; we cannot be following someone without verifying that they are following Christ!
Watch for Satan and Those Who do His Bidding
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant [G1127]; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them [allow them to receive] strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Wake up Now or Else!
Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.
Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Christ’s Return Will Be Unexpected
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. [we know this is going to happen].
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. [So as those who are Christians and know better:].
1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. [not drunk, but alert. Being sober is often mentioned in connection with being awake. Not only are we to be awake, we are to be alert and prayerful].
1 Thessalonians 5:7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
Not Everyone is Going to the Place of Safety
Many will go through the Great Tribulation because they are not doing what we are talking about today. Not everyone in the church is going to be protected during this end-time trial – Revelation 3 and 12 makes that very clear. We have our trials and tribulation and tests now that we need to pass now.[Place of Safety]
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2 Corinthians 4:9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
2 Corinthians 4:10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2 Corinthians 4:12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
2 Corinthians 4:13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED AND THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe and therefore speak,
2 Corinthians 4:14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
What should be our mindset now, then?
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
2 Peter 3:11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
2 Peter 3:12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
What is our frame of mind?
We must be about our Father’s business
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.