Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WATCH AND OCCUPY

Some people have the attitude and teach that since Jesus is going to come at a time when Believers do not know then Believers don't need to be concerned about it.  This is the incorrect approach.   Let us consider some Scripture on the watchfulness of the Christian believer.

Word study on "Watch".
Matt. 24:42 - “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Matt. 24:43 - But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

Matt. 25:13 - “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

*Luke 21:36 - Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

"Watching" for Christ's return is a command - "Therefore keep watch..." (Matt. 24:42 and Matt. 25:13) and "Be always on the watch,..." (Luke 21:36).  This calls for a constant state of readiness or living that demands the Christian to be responsible and accountable for his/her thoughts, actions, and words unto God, with the aid of fellow Believers, until Christ's coming.

"Watching" is an action word.  This term portrays a sense of expectation.  However, instead of sitting and waiting for the arrival of something, the Matthew 24:43 verse describes a type of "watching" that is proactive.  It displays an owner of a house that if he had known about a thief coming to rob his house, the owner would have been prepared.  Back then they did not have house alarms so citizens would have to defend themselves by listening carefully to street talk, buying a guard dog, and possibly taking guard shifts of the family property.  That is proactive watching in the natural.  Proactive watching in the spiritual is recognizing all the signs that pointed to Christ's First visit and realizing their TOTAL fulfillment in prophecy.  Then recognizing there is a promise by Christ to return again for His true believers with signs of the times supplied to show us the season of His coming.  Additionally, proactive watching for the Christian should exemplify Christ-like living while studying the Bible and the times concerning Christ's return.

Word study on "Occupy".
1 Tim. 4:15 - Occupy thyself with these things; be wholly in them, that thy progress may be manifest to all. (Darby Translation)

Romans 12:7 - or service, [let us occupy ourselves] in service; or he that teaches, in teaching; (Darby Translation)

*Luke 19:13 - And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. (KJV)

According to these verses, the word "occupy" is a term that denotes action in expectation of something else.  Said another way - busying oneself for a desired result.  In the 1 Timothy 4:15 verse the things we should "occupy" or busy ourselves with are listed in verses 7-14, SO THAT "thy [your] progress may be manifest [known] to all."  The next two verses, Romans 12:7 and Luke 19:13, deal with serving or ministering (being busy) on this planet and in this world [human systems] for the Lord and the extension of His Kingdom.

I have heard teachings for the Christian on the concepts of JUST occupying this earth for the Lord.  I have heard teachings on JUST watching for the Lord's return.  Imagine if we JUST did both - watched while we occupied.  Both of these terms have active ingredients in them, not passive only.  The watching for the promised return of Christ (for His true Believers) can occur simultaneously while occupying this planet and the land that we call home.  In fact, the act of watching for our Lord should set-off proper behaviors and mind-sets and speech in Christian Believers that aid us in our effort of occupying until He comes.  So, the next time you hear any teacher dismiss "watching" by itself OR "occupying" by itself, I encourage you to politely challenge them on the matter.  Christian Believers are commanded to do Both.