‘Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36 (NIV)
Jesus tells us of what to expect to find in these latter days. He speaks of events and attitudes which will come along. Does it sound like it would be easy to relax and fall into some kind of distraction? Is the weight of all God´s intentions for us resting firmly upon how we react to His words? Could all eternity depend on just how we take His instructions for us right now? Which of the warnings that Jesus gives to help survive in faith in these last days do we feel are the most threatening for us? Would it be the big events which we cannot do anything about? Or would the most life-threatening on an eternal scale, be those which are subtle and could escape our awareness?
We find the Saviour warning us about the collapse of much of what we hold to on earth. He warns us of being led into deceiving teachings. He warns of wars and persecution. He warns of diseases and natural disasters. He warns of divided opinions and dissention. He warns of treason and death. He foretells of true followers who will have to flee from their comfortable lives, homes and society to stay true to Him. He speaks of unexplainable signs that will shake all the inhabitants of the world. He tells us that just as we can recognize the coming seasons and weather, we should recognize that His words are coming true. Should we be able to see that His Kingdom is not far away from us? Should we think that even our own generation could pass away without experiencing these dangers? Then does He warn us of our hearts? Does He warn us of accepting the attitudes of those around us? Does He warn us of chasing after all those enticing things that our world runs after? Does He warn us of drinking in and having a party with our time here on earth? Is He trying to keep us from getting carried away with the worries of this world and our lives here in it? Which are the more dangerous threats to us now?
Christ goes on to give us encouragement and instruction to help us through these difficult times. He gives us these warning so that we can see and recognize the truth in His words. He tells us to look for them and to be alert of the dangers. He gives us Himself. He tells us He is here. We can pray to Him for the help we need to accomplish the difficult task of staying true. Should we think we can make it without Him? Will we need to be extremely close to Him in thought and deed? Will we have to lean on our relationship with Him just to be aware of what we dangers we are experiencing? Will we need to know Him intimately to find in Him the help to stay firm?
Then He gives us the goal. He gives us a reason worthy of passing all these tests. He gives us the glorious prize of standing one day before the Son of Man. Is that a goal we are shooting for today? Is this why we search our heart and the scriptures to find Him? Is this what our religion comes down to? Is this the bliss and the future home we seek?
Dear Jesus, we hear Your warnings of all the dangers that we may still have to face. Please open our eyes, ears and hearts to heed Your warnings. Allow us to come so close to You that we will know where to focus our attention as we face each threat. Build our relationship and our love so that nothing will deceive us or let us lose sight of our Goal. Let us faithfully press forward so that one day we may have that highest of all Prizes! Help us pass every threat to stand one day directly before You!