2 Corinthians 6:4,5
4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
As we labor and work we should also watch for the coming of our Lord Jesus. He told us of the signs to watch for in Matthew 24:3 it says,
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Jesus then goes on to describe all the signs we should be looking for, but before He gives us the signs to look for He says, Take heed that no man deceive you. Here are the signs listed in Matthew 24:
1) Many will claim to be Christ and deceive many
2) Wars and rumors of wars
3) Famines, pestilences, and earthquakes
4) Believers will be afflicted, killed and hated of all nations
5) Believers will be offended and betray one another and hate one another
6) Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many
7) Iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold
8) The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world
9) Then shall the end come
10) Abomination of desolation (Man of sin or Antichrist declares himself to be God in the temple of God) 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
11) Then shall be great tribulation
12) False Christs, and false prophets, shall show great signs and wonders
13) Matthew 24: 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the (13)sun be darkened, and the (14)moon shall not give her light, and (15)the stars shall fall from heaven, and the (16) powers of the heavens shall be shaken:Matt. 24:30 And(17) then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven
So Jesus tells us exactly what signs to look for before he returns in the clouds of heaven. The parallel passages for Jesus end times teaching here is Mark 13 and Luke 21, for more details and comparison. He then goes on to command us to watch for these signs and to be ready for His return.
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
We are specifically told that no one knows the day or hour of Christ’s return, more specifically that only the Father knows in Mark 13:32, but we do know the signs to look for. We should understand that all of these signs must take place in sequence before the end comes. For more details on the signs to look for compare Matthew 24 with Revelation 6 and the opening of the seven seals, you will see that it is the same sequence of end times events laid out in Matthew 24.
Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
Of course the signs of the end times are not the only things we, as followers of Jesus Christ should be watching for.
Ezekiel 33:6 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 iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
This passage in Ezekiel 33 is a very famous warning to the watchman on the wall. Men of God need to be the spiritual watchmen over their households, Pastors need to be spiritual watchmen over their congregations, and every believer needs to be a spiritual watchman over their own heart, mind, and body. We do have an enemy with his own army who is set out to destroy us as churches, families and individuals.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
God tells us to be vigilant, meaning watch closely for the evil spirits of this world that are working to destroy our faith. We shouldn’t fear the devils that fight us but we should be aware of their tactics. Our three main adversaries that we should be vigilantly watching out for are the world, the flesh and the devil.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.So we end here for today, where we started a few weeks ago in 2 Corinthians 6:4, approving ourselves as the ministers of God, or making full proof of thy ministry. This is another spiritual commandment we must learn to obey in order to fulfill God’s calling on our Christian life to minister to others, we must watch