Watch and Be Ready For the Coming of the Lord

by Thomas W. Finley


This booklet will focus on the urgent warnings of our Lord to His disciples in the Gospels to always be ready for His sudden coming. Believers know that Christ’s appearing is our “blessed hope,” but too few realize that He will be coming again to judge all men (Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16; Jude 1:14-15). He will not only judge and recompense the unbeliever, but He will also recompense the believer. "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS” (Matt. 16:27). For the believer the Lord’s return may bring great blessing, but it also may bring great loss and even negative judgment. This is why the Lord warns us to be alert and to be ready. What is at stake is not our eternal salvation, as that was settled forever, apart from any of our works, at the time we believed (Jn. 5:24; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:8-9). Yet, at His return He will recompense us according to what we have done since we became a believer. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). Also, we shall see that there is a special end-time reward available to believers related to the rapture. But for this we must watch, pray and be prepared at His coming! Because there are numerous passages and fine points related to these great matters, we cannot go into great detail or this writing would be too lengthy. This writing can only introduce you to some details and principles. It is for you, as a believer, to then be serious about these things and bring them to God in prayer, while searching the Scriptures to learn if these things be true.

Admonitions of our Lord to “watch,” to “pray,” and to “be ready”

We will focus on the following specific gospel passages where we find these pressing commands: Matt. 24:42-44; 25:13; Mk. 13:32-37; Lk. 12:35-40; 21:34-36. Let us be clear about one thing. These commands are aimed at believers, not at Jews or unbelievers. If you will check the gospel texts you will see that the talk given by Jesus on the end-times known as the “Olivet Discourse” is recorded in Matt. 24 and 25, Mark 13 and Luke 21. Mark 13:3 shows us that the ones who heard this talk were Peter, James, John and Andrew – all apostles. So the warnings to “watch” addressed to them must be to the church. Also, it was Jesus’ disciples who were addressed in the narrative of Lk. 12. Besides, to “watch,” or to “be alert,” here means to be spiritually alert, paying attention to spiritual realities and taking needed action, especially so that one can be ready when Jesus returns. No unbeliever, or unregenerate Jew, has any capacity to be spiritually alert, nor do they have a belief in the return of Jesus. Only born again believers have the ability to be spiritually alert. We will clearly see that the warnings of our Lord to be ready have to do with much more than just being saved, or being born again. Many believers today feel that if they are forgiven and born again into God’s family then they are ready for “heaven,” or for the Lord’s return. Nothing could be further from the truth of God’s word. Do not be deceived by this kind of thought, but instead be open to learn the truth and be prepared for the imminent and soon coming of Jesus!

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And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13, NASB)