“But know this, that in the last days, perilous times will come.”
At no time in history has this verse been truer. With terrorism rampant throughout the world, hunger and disease affecting many countries, and immorality infecting all society, we know we are in the last days. Paul’s second letter to Timothy contains warnings of future events to come, things we are seeing today. If we as Christians aren’t careful, we also can be carried away in the hysteria of fear and turmoil as we watch world events unfold, bringing us ever closer to the beast system and finally to the return of Christ. We must, however, watch, wait, and stand fast, if we are to share in that wonderful inheritance waiting for our big Brother, Jesus Christ.
The first thing we must do is watch. Paul, writing to the church in Thessalonica, described the world in which we live today. First Thessalonians 5:1-11 exhorts us to watch and be sober (self-controlled). We must be aware of world events, noting calmly how each event fits into place. Each event has its purpose, and if we can have the proper understanding, we can help others through these perilous times. Jesus also warns us to watch in Matthew 24:42-44. We cannot go about life ignoring what is happening around us. To do that would invite disaster–failure. Jesus states in Matthew 26:41 that we must watch and pray else we enter into temptation. Worldliness and its effects can cloud our judgment and cause us to fall into lethargy and despair, doubting whether Christ is really coming back or not. We must stay focused on Christ and not let down our guard.
The second thing we must do is wait. Waiting is hard, for as humans, we usually want all the good stuff now without having to put up with any bad. However, we all know it doesn’t work like that. Just as the first-century Christians waited in the upper room “for the promise of the Father,” we must wait patiently throughout our lifetime for the rewards that come, frequently after suffering. Paul shows us in Romans 8 that even the creation groans in travail waiting for redemption. So for us to wait a few years is nothing compared to what the whole universe has suffered because of sin.
Lastly, we must stand fast. We must not be moved, but be planted firmly in God’s Word. Passages such as Ephesians 6, Philippians 1, 1 Thessalonians 3, and 2 Thessalonians 2 describe how to stand against Satan, who is the perpetrator of all things evil. He is our enemy, the one who would keep us from our reward if possible. Our goal, as put by Paul in Colossians 4:12, is to labor fervently–and stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
The will of God is that we become full and complete children, in the same measure and stature of His firstborn son. The way we do that is watch, wait, and stand fast.
By Dean Roberts
For more thoughts … Here is an article of “Things to do While Waiting for Jesus to Return”