The watchman has found that reading the Bible as led by the Holy Spirit brings a fresh route every time. Here is what happened today. He was led to read Matthew 24, continuing from previous day’s reading but with a fresh perspective. The passage starts with verse 9 (Boldness added by watchman) all about Christians (disciples of Jesus) would be hated all over the world because they follow Jesus. It does not make sense to the Western and more affluent modern societies. Urban churches are booming with wealth and power, from the viewpoint of an ordinary man in the street. Going to booming churches has become popular to many. Of late he has emerged briefly from some outback rural scenes in some of the poorest people groups to be dazed by the affluent glittering urban world and saw this popularity phenomena. And yet on his first visit to a Christian bookstore in that city he saw and bought the only copy of a book that he had wanted for three years —”Foxe’s Book of Martyrs“.
Jesus clearly said these words as follows:
[9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[b] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.]
Yes, this generation has witnessed the signs of end-time: strives, calamities, distress and unrest that Jesus had warned His disciples—wars between nations and kingdoms, earthquakes and famines, hypocrisy and falsehood, lies and deceptions even in churches, rampant sin everywhere, and cold love. How does this observation fit into the current popular church pattern? Either what Jesus has said has become outdated and irrelevant or there has to be another way of observing. The watchman asked the Holy Spirit to reveal the way. Reading what Jesus has said he sees the clear difference. No, His words are valid today and forever.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bible verses: (quoted in parts)
30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
32 “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation[j] will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
37 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38 In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
40 “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
45 “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them.
48 But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49 and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51 and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(KJV: 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.)
Jesus was talking about the attitude and not the action. He mentioned ordinary activities including daily living and special occasions. He mentioned two persons doing the same occupational activity like working in the field or grinding flour at the mill. He talked about those enjoying banquets and parties and weddings which people still do today.The activities are common. Some are work-related and some are social and leisure activities.
Yet Jesus said while doing the same work one out of two would be taken. Yet Jesus said that while doing the social engagements those people would be swept away. Yet Jesus used the word ‘evil’ to describe a servant who ‘merely’ pursued some physical and social gratifications/pleasures during his master’s absence. Jesus condemned that servant to hell.
One word ‘hypocrite’ sticks out in this passage. In the context it means someone (the evil servant) who pretends to be what he is not before his master. He underestimates his master’s ability to know and see the truth about him.
Noah is the only historical example Jesus used to describe end time day of calamity. Jesus specifically described the activities (attitude implied) of the people except Noah right up to the moment when the flood swept them away. Noah was an ordinary man who married and had three sons. What made him different from the rest was: he could hear God and walked in close fellowship with God. He obeyed God even at the cost of being ridiculed and hated by all the people around him. His persistent faith in action (building the ark for 100 years preparing and watching for the flood) condemned them.
Let us read the key verses:
8 But Noah found favor with the Lord.
9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. 10 Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Hebrews 11:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
7 It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight peoplewere saved from drowning in that terrible flood.