Signs of the Times
Is God Telling Us to Wake Up?
September 1, 2011
Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.—Matthew 24:42
by Anne Graham Lotz
On Sept. 11, 2001, America was attacked. Along with record-breaking hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and forest fires that followed, I believe 9/11 was an alarm that God allowed to go off. He wants us to wake up in our relationship with Him. He is using these alarms to underscore the fact that time is short. We need to pursue Jesus now—in this generation!
But we need to pursue Jesus according to His Word, not following the sensationalism of our day. Earlier this year, people everywhere were caught up in discussion about the end of the world. That discussion was triggered by a group of people who were convinced that Jesus would return on May 21, 2011. They paid a lot of money to get the word out and, while I admire their zeal, they were dead wrong.
When the disciples asked Jesus when the world would end, He emphatically said no one could know the exact day and hour, not even Himself. Only the Father knows that information (Matthew 24:36). But Jesus gave His disciples signs so they could know the generation.
Through His Word, you and I also can know whether we’re living at the end of human history as we know it, because Jesus clearly stated that there would come a final generation. As you match the signs He gave with our present generation, do you think this could be the last one?
If so, how then shall we live?
I. BY WATCHING
- What do you think “watching” means? Write down the dictionary definition.
- What do you think Jesus means by “keep watch” in Matthew 24:42?
- Why is this important, according to Matthew 24:42-44?
- What are some things that accompany watching, according to: Psalm 130:6? Proverbs 8:34? Micah 7:7? Habakkuk 1:5? Matthew 7:15 with 24:4, 11? Luke 21:36? Colossians 4:2?
- Substitute the word church, family or America for Israel in Ezekiel 33:7. What does this mean to you?
- What are some practical things you can do to pursue Jesus as a more focused and alert watchman in this generation?
II. BY WORKING
- From Matthew 24:45-47, what does Jesus want to find you and me doing when He returns?
- Is this an easy assignment? If not, why? Give phrases from Nehemiah 4:11, 19; 6:9.
- What kind of work do you think Jesus was referring to in Matthew 9:35-38? Relate this to 2 Timothy 4:5.
- Give another aspect of the work from John 6:28-29.
- How does John 9:4 imply an urgency to our work?
- What does 1 Corinthians 3:13 indicate is our motivation?
- If Jesus returns in the next five minutes, what will He find you doing?
- Would you take a moment now to ask Jesus to give you a work assignment—something you can do as you pursue Him—that will make an eternal impact in this generation?
III. BY WALKING
- What do you think it means to walk with God? See 1 John 1:6-7, Ephesians 4:1-3, Micah 6:8. Based on these descriptions, how does your walk measure up?
- What difference did walking with God make to Noah? See Genesis 6:8-18 and 7:23.
- What difference did walking with God make to Abraham? Read Genesis 18:16-19.
- What does Jesus not want to find you doing, according to Matthew 24:48-51?
- In light of the imminent return of Christ, how are you to live? See 1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3:11-12, 3:14, 3:17-18.
- How does the hope of the return of Christ impact our lives according to 1 John 3:3? Can you give an example of this impact from your own life?
- What are some practical things you need to do to adjust your walk to keep pace with His as you pursue Him in this generation?
We can’t predict when Jesus will return. But He is coming. We don’t know the day or the hour. But one day, either at Christ’s return or your death, you will stand face to face with Him. If you live your life expecting to see Jesus in the next five minutes and you don’t, what have you lost? Nothing. What have you gained? Everything. So wake up! Give God your full attention. Refocus on His Son, Jesus Christ, as your hope for the future. Ask God to reignite such an expectancy of seeing Jesus that you live the rest of your life with no regrets.
On this 10th anniversary of the attack on America, would you choose to give God your full attention in your watching, your working and your walking? Pursue Jesus … in this generation!
©2011 Anne Graham Lotz