We just recently finished up our study of Jesus’ teaching on the End Times from Mark 13, which is often called the Olivet Discourse. We concluded from this study that Jesus doesn’t want you to get caught up in predicting the future. He wants you to be faithful in the present. He wants you to watch out! To stay awake!
Don’t be like the doorkeeper in Jesus’ parable in Mark 13:33-37 who falls asleep because his master stays away longer than expected. If you fall asleep, you may be woken suddenly to realize that he has returned and you weren’t ready for him. A person who has fallen asleep is anyone who is living their life like Jesus may never return. Peter addresses this in 2 Peter 3 starting verse 3, “Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” A person who has fallen asleep is living like Jesus may never return and in his absence they scoff and follow their own sinful desires. They have fallen asleep and in their sinful stupor they are going to have a rude awakening.
On the other hand, a person who stays awake is one who lives life like Jesus could return at any moment and is even motivated to watch for Him. It is the grace of God, the awesome fear of Him, the desire to please Him, and the eager expectation of his return that all compel a person to STAY AWAKE. Again, Peter is really helpful in expanding on these thoughts. “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deed, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
The gospel teaches us to live in light of that day. The gospel causes us not only to look back in faith but to look forward with great hope—to Stay Awake. Are you ready for the return of the Son of God?