Jesus Christ spoke of incomparably difficult times—of tribulation that will occur threatening the existence of all life on earth! In Matthew 24 and Luke 21, these cataclysmic events are revealed to us.
As frightening and terrifying as these future occurrences will be, we are told about them as a warning for our benefit! We are instructed in order to watch what is happening and to use that understanding to prepare ourselves—to be ready.
While deception will be prevalent (as it now is!), we will be saved if we continue to endure in the love of God by fulfilling what He has commanded (compare Matthew 24:13).
Against the backdrop of these dire warnings, we have some specific instructions regarding prayer that will help us stay watchful and ready: “‘And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath’” (Matthew 24:20); and, “‘Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’” (Luke 21:36).
Are these things you are praying about, NOW?
If you are, that is good, but also understand that Christ’s message transcends our just focusing on our own personal safety. We still have a commission to fulfill! We are often reminded of the fact that the gospel of the kingdom will continue to be preached as a witness to the whole world (compare Matthew 24:14).
So, along with praying about some very specific things on a personal level, we know that the servants of Jesus Christ are given a job. In fact, in Matthew 24, verses 45-51, a contrast is made between “a faithful and wise servant” and an “evil servant.” Regarding what these servants were to be doing, Christ states, “‘Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing’” (verse 46).
It is difficult to not fear what is coming! But we—unlike this deceived world—have every reason for confidence. Paul presents a panoramic overview of what it means to be a Christian, in Romans, chapter 8. Let’s never lose sight of the stirring assurance that we have in our calling and in how we can face the future:
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor power, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).