You Can be a Watchman
The Power of Can’t
Did you know that about 100 years ago, in Track and Field, no one tried to run a four-minute mile. Olympic runners tried to win their races, but did not try to run a four-minute mile. Why? Because someone said, “you can’t – it can’t be done.” Coaches believed it and told athletes, “it can’t be done,” and so it wasn’t done. During the 1910’s, 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s, no one ran a four-minute mile, largely because no one thought it was possible. But in 1954, Roger Bannister ran a four-minute mile and suddenly, the mindset changed. In the next decade a dozen others ran four-minute miles – not because they had better shoes, but because they had a better mindset.
Hearing “you can’t,” and giving credence to the negative will compromise your potential. Focusing on “you can” is empowering and energizing. I believe God wants His people to hear, “you can.” Let Philippians 4:13 guide your thoughts: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
It is Satan who slanders, saying, “you can’t.” When you’re down he wants you to stay down. He wants you permanently discouraged, despondent, and disabled. He does not play fair – he will kick you when you’re down. He screams, “you can’t get up! You are not worthy. You are not able. You are not good enough. You have no hope.”
Who You Are Made in Christ
But remember, Satan and his minions are liars. Satan is the Father of Lies. Satan may accuse you, and may be guilty, but in Christ you can be forgiven. And because of Christ, this is how The Bible describes you: you are “chosen” and “called.” God calls you “His child” and “my beloved.” You are “anointed,” “indwelt,” His “ambassador for the faith,” an “heir,” a “Child of the King,” and “minister of reconciliation.”
2 Timothy 2:21 notes that you are a “noble instrument, useful to the Master.” Let those awesome declarations sink in and as necessary, heal your soul. Ephesians 2:10 notes that “we are His workmanship.”
In the Spring of 2019, a guitar once owned by Kurt Cobain sold for a record $600,000. The guitar was valuable because Kurt Cobain held it – played it. But you, God made you. You are “His workmanship.” The word in the original (Greek) text for workmanship is Poimea, which means, “masterpiece.” You, my friend, are a masterpiece in the eyes of God.
And it is because of how God loves you, and believes in you, and has invested in you, that he has entrusted to you the important task of evangelizing the world and correctly discerning the signs He said would precede and announce His return. As these “signs” appear and intensify (during a season Jesus referred to as “Birth Pains”), there should be a growing sense of urgency to do what you can do to ensure as many as possible are spiritually ready to meet the Lord.
Remember, God does not give you knowledge and insight just so you can be blessed. God wants you to share what you know so that you can be a blessing to others. One of the most important truths we can share is that this world, as it is, will not last forever. The Tribulation is coming. The Anti- Christ is coming, and most importantly, Jesus is coming. And end of life on earth as we know it is coming.
What Jesus Said is Coming
In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples asked, “What will be the signs of your coming and the end of this age?” The Lord’s reply flows through Matthew chapters 24-25 in what is often called the Olivet Discourse.
Verse 6 notes there will be “wars and rumors of wars.” Certainly “wars and rumors of war” have plagued the earth for many centuries. What makes the “wars and rumors of wars” a particular sign for the last days is their frequency and intensity. Question: Do we see an increase in global skirmishes, wars, police actions, or civil conflict?
Verse 7 notes that there will be famine. Revelation 6 notes there will be pestilence. Studies show that about 1 billion people are on the bring of starvation at this time. Currently, the world is grappling with COVID-19, a global pandemic.
Verse 9a notes that in the last days, believers in Christ will suffer persecution. Today, Christians can be passed over for promotion, lose their job, and in many parts of the world, lose their life. Several international watchdog groups note that Christians are now the “most persecuted people group in the world.”
Verse 9b notes that love will decrease and hate and violence will increase. Studies show an increased loss of empathy and desensitization (hardening of heart) regarding violence in society. An uptick in shootings and street protests is reported in many cities across America. Violence is on the rise.
Verse 10 notes the last days will be marked by apostasy. Many individuals today are turning away from the Lord. Many church leaders are preaching a compromised message. Government restrictions on gatherings are fostering a sense of normalcy for non-involvement in a church or ministry.
Verse 12 expands on the last half of Verse 9, stating “lawlessness will abound.” Authority figures, such as Police Officers and government officials, are not respected today, nor are the law they enact or try to enforce.
Verse 14 notes that before “the end,” the Gospel will be preached throughout the world. This is an incredible prophecy in that at the time it was spoken, there were few true followers of Christ, and ministering beyond the Hebrews was unthinkable. However, with modern technology and strong missionary efforts, this prophecy has been fulfilled.
Verse 15 references a restored Israel and new (3rd) Temple. Again, this must have been viewed as an amazing prophecy as when Jesus spoke it, Israel had not been a sovereign nation for more than 600 years. The Roman Empire was powerful and in control, and after more than 40 years, the 2nd Temple project was almost complete. Yet, in 70 AD the 2nd Temple was completely destroyed, in 1948 Israel was restored as a sovereign and independent nation and plans for the building of a 3rd Temple are now in place.
Why The Signs Given
Scripture notes that these signs serve as a warning that the day of the return of the Lord draws near. Some are looking for the Psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38-39 Rapture, the return of Jesus, from preceding those events. 1 Thess. 4:18 notes, “For the Lord will descend from heaven…and we who are alive will be caught-up to be with Him in the air, wand with Him will always be.”
The Lord is coming. A Rapture is coming. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church that the event will be sudden. “In a moment, in the twinkling of the eye” (1 Cor. 15:52) we will be caught-up in the air. Jesus said it will be like this: “There will be 2 grinding at the mill…one will be left…there will be 2 working in the field. One will be taken. One will be left behind” (Matt 24:40-41).
So what is one to do? Matthew 24 presents 3 directives:
- Be Ready: Be spiritually ready for the return of the Lord. Maintain a state of readiness. Remember, the Rapture will come without notice and will be instantaneous. There will not be time to seek forgiveness, do one more good work, make something right, or share with one more person. Be ready.
- Be Faithful: Be faithful to do what God wants you to do and say what God wants you to say.
- Be Watchful: Watch for the signs of His return, and for opportunities to serve and share.
Watchmen Are Needed
Matthew 24 notes believers should be watchful. Ezekiel 33 references the term Watchman. According to Ezekiel 33: 1-9, a watchman watches for signs of danger and warns people of what is coming. A watchman also watches out for the spiritual welfare of others.
In the book of Genesis, Cain flippantly asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Ezekiel 33 indicates the answer is, “yes!”
In Ezekiel 33 we read that if God has called you to be a watchman, and you see danger coming but do not warn others, and harm comes to them, God will hold you accountable. For believers today that means: If you are in close contact with someone who is lost, burdened by sin, unaware and unprepared for the return of Jesus and you say nothing and that person is not taken in the Rapture and dies in sin – God will hold the watchman accountable. I am not certain what that means, but I am certain I do not want to find out.
At this critical time in history, I believe God is raising up an army of watchmen (male and female) to be a light in an ever-darkening world. Watchmen today watch for the signs that indicate the hour of the return of the Lord is near. Watchmen warn, care, share, sacrifice, serve, and witness.
You may be thinking, No, I can’t serve as a watchman. I’m not trained, I’m not ready, I’m not bold, I’m not righteous. Remember, it is the enemy wo says, “can’t.” God says “CAN.” Phil. 4:13 notes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
As for excuses, The Bible records many good excuses from good people – none were accepted by God. Jeremiah told God he was too young. Abraham questioned God saying he was too old. Amos told God he was not trained or educated, but just a “simple tender of Sycamore trees.” Moses told God he could not be His spokesman because he was not a good speaker. Peter said he was a “sinful man.” Note this: IF God is calling you to serve, He will anoint and equip you to serve. God will always help you to do what He calls you to do.
So today, hear the still small voice of God saying, “you can.” You can be forgiven. You can, as the Bible says, be a “noble instrument, useful to the Master” (2 Tim 2:21). You can live a life of honor and, as Scripture notes, “Live a life worthy of your calling” (Eph 4:1). You can finish well! You can watch, warn, witness, and be a watchman for the Lord.
I believe, when we, with courage, take the steps of faith God wants us to take and be the watchmen He wants us to be, then we will receive God’s rich favor and reward. We will live a life of honor, finish well, and at the Judgment see the Lord smile and hear Him say, “well done my good and faithful servant.”
Maranatha and Amen.
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