Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mark 13:31-37)
Sleeping When The Lord Comes
There’s a great day coming, and this great day will be unlike any event in the history of the earth. Thousands of years ago, God formed the word with the breath of His word. The world is held together by that word reserved for judgment on the final day. Jesus said heaven and earth will pass away. As Creator, He knows the fate of the earth, moon, sun, and innumerable stars that fill the heavens. The Earth is the only place where life dwells in the vast universe of space, and on this tiny rock spinning around the sun, billions of souls live unaware of a fateful day that will change their lives for eternity. In a moment faster than the eye can blink, with the deafening sound of eternal judgment, the universe, including planet Earth will melt in the heat of divine righteousness as God brings to a close the history of humanity. The Lord has returned as promised.
The day of the Lord took on many forms over the centuries. In the days of Noah, the day of the Lord began with the heavens bursting forth in water and the fountains of the deep filling the world until all life on earth was dead except eight souls. For the nation of Egypt, the wrath of the Lord was unleashed upon the most powerful nation on earth through the plagues and destruction of the army of Pharaoh. Other countries would suffer the same fate as the Lord God brought judgment against those who stood against Him: Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Israel would suffer the day of the Lord twice; first, against the northern tribes and then the captivity of the southern tribes. Jesus spoke of the day of the Lord coming against the city of Jerusalem. In 70 A.D., the Roman general Titus destroyed the once city of God, including razing the Temple.
Writers in the early church warned of the coming of the wrath of God. Two thousand years have passed, and nothing has happened. The population of the world continues to be oblivious to the firm reality that aside from death, a day is coming that will destroy all life on earth. In the destruction of the heavens and the earth, all men will be dissolved in eternal fire. Only a few will experience a new birth in eternal life, while the majority of souls will face the abyss of Hell and eternal darkness and fire. The great day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. There will be no warning, no signal, and no announcement of His coming. Every day is a blessing because there is no guarantee another day will come.
Jesus declares the day of the Lord is kept secret from everyone – including Himself. The Son of God does not know the day His Father will determine the end of humanity has come. Deciding to destroy the world is the divine judgment of the Lord God Almighty and Him alone. What Jesus wants His disciples to remember is the day of the Lord is unknown, and the faithful must be on guard and alert so they will not be caught unprepared. Three things are necessary to prepare for the day of the Lord: take heed, watch, and pray. Taking heed is setting life in order to be pleasing to God. Watching for the Lord is rising each day in the hope the Lord returns that day. Praying is a vital part of a watchful life as God hears the voice of His children seeking His love and mercy.
The most important part of the Christian’s life is never to be found sleeping, unaware, surprised, and unprepared. No one knows the day of the Lord, but remaining awake for His return will be a blessing of joy rather than the horror of unpreparedness. Keep a good watch and pray. Long for the day the Lord will return. If He does not return in your lifetime, death will be a blessing to preempt that day, and the same joy awaits. Take heed, watch, and pray – for the day of death can come suddenly. Let that day be a day of joy. Watch.