Jesus said there will be great “anguish and perplexity” at the end of times, and that “men will faint from terror” (Luke 21:25-26).   After telling His disciples how awful it was going to be just before His return to earth, Jesus gave instructions for those who are waiting for Him to come back:  “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.” (Luke 21:36).

Referenced Scriptures:
Luke 21:36

The End Times

None of us know when Jesus will come back.  People have predicted it many times before, and they were always wrong.  If people studied what Jesus said, they would know that predicting Jesus’ return is nonsense, for Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32)

About all we can know for sure is that He will return (Acts 1:9-11) and He will return when many do not expect it (Luke 21:34-35). There is general agreement in the Christian community that the seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelations are not only seven actual churches at that time, but also represent the seven phases of the Church over time:

Church in Ephesus                           –          Apostolic Age (A.D. 31-100)

Church in Smyrna                            –          Period of Pagan Persecutions (100-323)

Church in Pergamum                      –          Union of Church & State (323-538)

Church in Thyatira                          –          Period of Papal Supremacy (538-1798)

Church in Sardis                              –          Reformation Churches (1798 to early 19th century)

Church in Philadelphia                   –         Great Advent Movement (early 19th century to 1844)

Church in Laodicea                        –           Last Church Period (1844 to the coming of Christ)

This is why many people, including myself, believe we are living in the end times, the age of the Church in Laodicea.  Another way to look at it is that ‘end times’ began from the moment Jesus ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:9-11).  Regardless, Jesus gave specific instructions regarding how to pray about the end times.

Pray About End Times

“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.”  These words from Jesus cause me to pause, realizing I have not been diligent in watching for Christ’s return, and I have certainly not been diligent in praying for God’s protection and provision for me and my family, should it happen in my lifetime.  While I have always known and believed that Christ will return, that fact slips in and out of my consciousness as the years go by.  I am not ”always on the watch.”

Closing Thoughts

One of the best things about The Jesus Said Project is bringing to the forefront little things like this that really aren’t so little after all.  By looking at everything Jesus said about how he wants us to live, and what kind of people He wants us to be, I have picked up on little treasures like this one.  Going back to my original intention when I started The Jesus Said Project , I desire to follow all of Jesus’ teachings, even seemingly minor commands like this one.

God is definitely rewarding the time and effort I am making to study out all that Jesus said.  When praying, God’s Spirit brings scriptures like this one to remembrance more often than before, when I simply read the Bible.  Quite often, when I pray, God’s Spirit leads me to look to the sky and say, “Yes, Jesus, I am watching and waiting for your return.”  I must now trust He will also lead me to regularly pray for His protection and provision for me and my family (including my descendants) during the end times, and that I ”may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Like the song *O Sacred Head, my prayer is, “Lord, let me never, never, outlive my love to Thee.”  When Jesus returns, by His grace I will stand before Him, eager to see Him and be with Him.  I will not be one of those who are unsaved, hiding, and crying out for the mountains and rocks to fall on them; all because they do not want to see the face of the One who could have been their Savior, too (Revelation 6:15-16, Luke 23:28-31).

 

*Words:  Bernard of Clairvaux (12th Century), English translation James W. Alexander (1830), Music:   Hans Leo Hassler (1601); arr. J.S. Bach (1729)