Summary: The Bible teaches us that we are to be alert watching for the return of Jesus
There are many Christians WAITING for the return of Jesus Christ -- but not that many who are WATCHING for the return of Christ! The Bible doesn’t teach us to wait for His return; we are to WATCH for His return! What then is the difference between WAITING and WATCHING?
Would you rather have when the enemy might attack, someone on guard-duty who is simply waiting for the enemy to show up or someone on guard-duty who is watching to see if the enemy has showed up? The difference between “WAITING” and “WATCHING” here might mean the difference between life and death! – Source Unknown
The Bible teaches us that we are to be wide awake watching for the return of Jesus, not just waiting for it. Those who watch for it will keep themselves alert and self-controlled; those simply waiting may slip into sloppy business with other things and let their priorities slip!
2 Tim 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
I. NEED FOR ALERTNESS!
1 Thess. 5: 1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
Why do we need to have a watchful attitude?
The momentum of fallen man will be toward getting worse and worse if we are not on GUARD, we might allow ourselves to slip slowly away from a firm commitment to Christ!
Paul’s point in saying that Jesus will come “like a thief in the night” is to emphasize how those outside of Christ will be caught OFF GUARD!
And for unbelievers, they will be caught off guard by Christ’s coming!
But for those watching for Christ’s return it will not be a great surprise!
Paul describes these "last days" in his letter to Timothy:
2 Tim. 3:1-7 “They will be terrible times.”
“People will be lovers of self, money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having forms of godliness but denying its power” ... depraved minds.
This sounds like CNN.
1 Thess. 5: 3 For when they shall say Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child and they shall not escape
The use of the illustration of a woman in labor is to illustrate the fact that the return of Christ is a fact of certainty ... just as labor pains prove a baby is soon to come, so will the rot of sin in increasing measure around the world prove the soon coming of Jesus Christ!
During those last days people in the world will think things are really getting good, they will be thinking “PEACE AND SAFETY!”
While the world is saying "PEACE AND SAFETY" doom will hit them at that very moment!
The world will be caught OFF-GUARD!
According to Mark 13 we as God’s people are called upon a number of times in this passage concerning the future to be “WATCHING” ... “BE ALERT” … “DON’T BE DECEIVED.”