Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning – Luke 12:35
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Be in readiness. One does not need to adhere to any particular eschatological doctrine in order to understand that we do not know when our end will come. Nevertheless, the mass of people, including many who follow one religion or another, live in a state of unthinking security, unaware and in spiritual slumber.
The night of the ancients was divided into four watches, the second and third falling on either side of midnight. We speak of the “midnight cry”, but the parable Jesus gives here of the watchful servants indicates that, while we might expect the Lord’s return at the darkest hour, we must remain watchful even when that time has passed. In fact, Matthew 14:25 says, “And in the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea.”
Neither the midnight nor the storm nor yet our fears will move God before the time comes. Faith must persevere through darkness and turmoil. We must watch and pray even when all seems hopeless and lost for we do not and cannot know what the Lord’s plan is or when and how it will come to us.
Only one thing is certain: there will be an end.
And, if there is, our watchfulness, our willingness to stay awake, to keep our lamps trimmed and burning, to stare into the darkness looking for and waiting for the Lord will be rewarded. A lot of Christians are going to face this. Christians are being martyred and driven out of the Middle East. So far, in most of the West, we are facing ridicule, which is no big deal. More and more, however, there are moves to try and silence us.
I will admit that sometimes I think the best thing some Christians could do to further the kingdom would be to shut the hell up. Still, the idea of punishing people for “hate speech” is odious and offensive to those who love liberty, and I would not want to see that day come. I don’t always get what I want.
Some believe that what I am waiting for is an escape from an impending Great Tribulation where all the wicked will be left behind to suffer under the wrath of God while we believers are transported to a party that will last for seven earthly years. I don’t suppose I would complain if that turned out to be the case; I just think, in this world, as Jesus promised, we will have tribulation. So, no matter how dark the night, how fierce the storm, or how terrifying the circumstances, I will try to keep my watch faithfully and always be ready for when He will call me.