The second coming of Christ is one of the prevailing themes of the New Testament, and the encouragement to be faithful is a common thread throughout the letters of the apostle Paul. “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he finds you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:35–37). Those who watch are spiritually awake and sober. They live their life in such a way that they are ready for Christ’s return.
Watchfulness is not limited to caring for one’s own welfare. “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb. 10:24). The watchful Christian is concerned that his fellowmen are ready for the Lord’s return. What can we do for those who are unprepared that they would be willing to set their spiritual house in order? May we live so God can use us as His conscientious followers to cause the sinner to consider his life.
To be watchful is to live a sincere, sanctified life, finding satisfaction and joy in the things of God. The sincere Christian looks forward to spending time alone with God and to reading His Word. He enjoys to sing with the believers and to listen to their inspirations. He is thankful to be a member of God’s church and quietly fills his place. He keeps the faith regardless of where he is or who he is with.
To be watchful is to be prepared not only for the Lord’s return but to be willing to do the common, everyday tasks He sets before us. To be faithful we must be attentive to the still, small voice—the Holy Spirit. We humbly submit to His promptings and give ourselves freely to the cause of Christ. As we make God and His interests our priority, we will find we have time to involve ourselves in the things of His kingdom that with the carnal mind we may have thought we were too busy to do. Selfishness will keep us from finding fulfillment in everyday Christian life.
At an evening gathering, some youth were asked, “What would you have done differently today if you knew the Lord was returning tomorrow?” This is a question all of us should occasionally ask ourselves. I may have prayed a little more fervently or read my Bible with more interest if I had known I would meet my Maker at the end of the day. “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40).
Thankfulness is a hallmark of those who live in readiness of the end of the world. Someone asked, “What would you have if you awoke today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” When we are watching for the Lord’s return, we take nothing for granted and thank God for the blessings of the day.
God would not have His children to be fearful of Jesus’s return. Should someone have questions about something in his life—is it acceptable or not—he should seek counsel so his fears can be allayed. To have no regrets may not be possible; however, it is something to strive for. We endeavor to live with an eye on eternity, knowing that when we are ready to meet the Lord, we are likewise ready to live for Him.
By faith one can optimistically welcome Christ’s return. “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God . . . we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:12–13). This hope is alive when we are unreservedly surrendered to God’s judgment upon our lives and accept His will for our future. Here we find the rest that God has prepared for His people, and we can humbly pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
From Adult and Youth Sunday School Lessons, March 4, 2018