Dr. Jack L. Arnold Lesson #8
WATCH AND BE READY!
II. WATCH FOR THE LORD -- Matthew 24:42, 43
ILLUSTRATION: In a small country store in a southern state a Negro lady came to do her shopping. Two or three young men were standing around passing the time of day, and knowing that she was a Christian, they began to taunt her. “We hear you’re expecting Jesus to come back,” they said. “I sure am,” she replied brightly. “Do you really believe he’s coming?” they asked. “Sure as you’re born,” she answered. They said, “Well you’d better hurry home and get ready, he might be on the way!” She looked her tormentors straight in the eye and said, “I don’t have to get ready,” she said, “I keep ready!”
III. BE READY FOR THE LORD -- Matthew 24:44
2. To Keep Busy Until He Comes: To be watching and ready implies that we are to “occupy until he comes ( Luke 19:13). What are we to do? We are to carry out spiritual works according to the Bible (John 8:31, 32). We are to 1) pray, 2) study, 3) witness, 4) give, 5) love and 6) work for Christ, for the time is coming when no man will be able to work. NOTE: Of course, we must carry out secular tasks but these must never take precedence over our spiritual responsibilities.
ILLUSTRATION: Poem by James Slater
Watching, watching, we are watching,
In the hope that keeps us pure;
That in trials and afflictions
Gives us strength to still endure.
Watching lest earth’s vain attractions,
Would our glorious prospect dim;
As in blest anticipation,
We in patience wait for Him.
Praising, praising, and rejoicing,
Since we shall His triumph share;
We shall see Him, and be like Him,
When we meet Him in the air.
With our mortal bodies changed,
In the “twinkling of an eye”,
“Where oh Death, is now thy triumph?”
Will be our victorious cry.
3. To Be Alert To Deceit: One thing the Lord has repeated over and over again in Matthew 24 is that believers are not to be deceived. Believers are not to swallow the philosophy of the world no matter how wonderful it may seem, for the world’s philosophy is shallow, phony and unreal. The Christian is to follow the teachings of His Lord, proving himself to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.
4. To Live A Holy Life: The imminent coming of Christ should challenge the child of God to Christ should challenge the child of God to a holy walk before God. Almost without exception, when the coming of the Lord is mentioned, it is followed by an exhortation to godliness and holy living on the part of the Christian. Prophecy is all about the coming of Christ. If prophecy does not make you more holy, godly and saintly, then you have missed the whole point of prophecy.
ILLUSTRATION: If a good friend comes into town unrepentantly and calls you to say that he will drop over for just a few minutes, this usually brings a state of crisis to a home. The woman, in anticipation of his coming, begins to sweep the floors, dust the furniture, pick up things off the floor. Often this is her reaction when the place is clean. The anticipation of a visitor spurns the desire a clean house. So the anticipation of the coming of Christ for us, stirs us to live a clean and holy life for Him.
i. I John 3:2, 3
ii. II Peter 3:10-12
iii. Titus 2:11-14
iv. I Timothy 6:11-16
NOTE: Are you living in daily expectancy of the return of your Lord? If not, then you are probably living a subnormal Christian life.
ILLUSTRATION: Annie Johnson Flint
“It is not for a sign we are watching --
For wonders above and below,
The pouring of vials of judgment,
The sounding of trumpets of woe;
It is not for a Day we are looking,
Not even the time yet to be
When the earth shall be filled with God’s glory
As the waters cover the sea;
It is not for a king we are longing
To make the world-kingdoms His own;
It is not for a Judge who shall summon
The nations of earth to His throne.
Not for these, though we know they are coming;
For they are but adjuncts of Him,
Before whom all glory is clouded,
Besides whom all splendor grows dim.
We wait for the Lord, our Beloved,
Our Comforter, Master, and Friend,
The substance of all that we hope for,
Beginning of faith, and its end;
We watch for our Savior and Bridegroom,
Who loved us and made us His own;
For Him we are looking and longing:
For Jesus, and Jesus alone.”