When you see a STOP sign do you remember what one is to do beside stop the vehicle that you are in? Remember that you are not only to stop, but one is to look and listen. It is a warning sign of danger. We are to be ever watchful of the danger that is on the road. Likewise the Bible does the same for us.
In the Old Testament there is the watchman. This is an individual that was appointed to be on the walls of the city and watch. He was to watch for someone coming close to the city, identify that person and call out if that individual was an enemy or not. In some cases he would call out the name of the person coming close to the city. God gave a stern warning to watchman of the city, “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniqiuity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 33:2-9). There are warnings sounded for us today; let us consider some of them.
First, we are to “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 5:15). While this passage does not say we are to watch, it does say we are to beware. These false prophets will come in to the sheepfold and kill many of the sheep. We are to be watching for them.
The elders are also called shepherds (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-3). Hebrews 13:17 tells members that the elders, “watch for your souls, as they that must give account.” So not only are we to be watching for false teachers, but the elders are to be helping us in watching. They are to be sounding the warning about men who would come in among us in sheep’s clothing and taking away and killing some disciples. Brethren let us watch!
Second, we are to “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13). There are other passages with the same conclusion. The idea of Matthew 25:1-12 is that we are to be prepared for the second coming at any time. Christ may come at any time so we need to be ready. What does it mean to be ready? We are to be living like He is coming in the next second! We are not to be saying the wrong things. We are not to be seeing the wrong things! We are to be ready. We know this and to be considered wise we must be living like we know this.
Thirdly, Jesus asked His disciples if they could not watch but for one hour (Mark 14:37). Do we get bored with watching for our soul? Do we think that the Lord has delayed His coming therefore we do not have to be worried about His coming in our life time? He may not come again in our life time, but we will all meet Him. When the pale horse and his rider come our way to take us with him we must be ready. We cannot be weary for watching. Let us watch more than just an hour but be continuous in our duty of watching.
Fourthly, we are to “continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:7). Not only are our prayers to be continuous but our watching is also to be continuous. Along with these continuous prayers and watching, but they are to be done with thanksgiving. We are to be thankful for the blessings and the warning that are contained within the pages of Holy Writ. That is something that we may not always do. God wants and desires us to go to heaven. He has told us what we must do to inherit eternal life. He has sounded the warning, and we must listen and take heed to those warnings if we want to be saved. We then ought to be thankful for all that God has done. If we do not take heed our blood is upon our own head.
Fifthly, we are to be sober in our watching. I Peter 4:7 says, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” A sober mind is needed when contemplating the trails that will come upon a Christian. A sound mind, a sober disposition, and a regular and persistent prayer life are the best things that a Christian can have when the storms of life attack. When the devil and his angels come seeking whom they may devour a life of sober watching and persistent prayer are in demand. Let us soberly watch!
Lastly, we are to watch for if we do not the Lord will come upon us as a thief (Revelation 3:3). We have all these admonitions for watching. Are we listening to what is being said? Are we paying attention to what the Lord has warned us about? Are we therefore watching or are we going about our daily lives without any care or concern about our future and the end of life? Let us watch brethren.