“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matthew 25:13)
The Bible teaches us to watch for Christ’s return (Mark 13:33). Many Christians are waiting for His return but they are not really watching and familiarize themselves with Bible verses that warn us of what is to come (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Those who watch for His return will keep themselves alert, self-controlled and are prepared; they know Scripture and are not deceived by false teachings. Those who are simply waiting may get involved with worldly things and let their priorities regarding Christ take less precedence. Watch out “for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” (Matthew 25:13)
A good example of watching and waiting is the parable of the ten virgins. Those who were watching were diligently preparing themselves for the Master’s coming, heeding the call to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
The foolish ones knew the Lord was coming, but they were not prepared and had no oil, they thought that they still had time. The Bible tells us the consequences of those that are not watching and were not prepared with enough oil. “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hourin which the Son of Man is coming. (Matthew 25:10-13)
The Bible reveals that without the Spirit of God the natural man cannot receive the things of God for they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). Therefore, without oil in the lamp, there will be no natural illumination, and without the Holy Spirit there will be no spiritual illumination.
Why do we need to have a watchful attitude? Because fallen man is getting worse and if we are not on guard, we might allow ourselves to slip slowly away from a firm commitment to Christ. The reason Paul says that Jesus will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) is to emphasize how those outside of Christ will be caught off guard. However, for those watching for Christ’s return it will not be a great surprise because “we are not in darkness”, meaning without understanding. We are also not “asleep” like the world is, and therefore we are alert and watching. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6)
Watchfulness also involves being knowledgeable about the enemy and aware of the environment around him, having understanding of warfare, being alert to dangers and planning for the future. Those who simply wait do not have the comprehension of preparedness.
So the question is: Are we just waiting for Jesus to return, or are we using time productively while watching for His return? Remember a good watchman is mentally alert, disciplined and self-controlled.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:42-44)
“Take heed; keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come.” (Mark 13:33)
“Therefore, be on the alert . . . in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.” (Mark 13:35-36)
Jesus said: “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37)