“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
After Jesus tells the disciples about the end times, He warns them: “Watch yourselves.” Don’t watch the signs of the times or the things of this earth, but your own heart. Stay awake, pray; keep your lives free from the sin that so easily hinders us.
- 2 Peter 3:11-18; “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not
carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.”
Lest your hearts be weighed down
We are called to live our lives differently in light of Jesus’ promise to return. Considering our hope of eternal life, we are commissioned to conduct ourselves in holiness. This is not to for the sake of earning favor with God or impressing each other with greater levels of self-attained righteousness. The purpose of our calling to holiness is so that our hearts will not be weighed down. Sin is an entrapment. It burdens us. The Lord wants us to be free from the cares of this world. He wants us to be free from the encumbrance of sin.
- Hebrews 12:1-2; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Stay awake at all times, praying
Psalm 127:2 says, “He gives His beloved sleep.” Jesus is not asking us to stay awake physically but to stay awake spiritually. Be alert. Be watchful. Be aware. Do not be spiritually lazy. Keep watch, not for signs of the times necessarily, but of yourselves. Set your eyes on the Lord and so keep yourself in the love of God.
- Colossians 3:1-10; “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Watch yourselves. In lieu of Jesus’ imminent return and your guaranteed inheritance in heaven regardless of whether He returns in your lifetime, live your lives in holiness conducting yourself throughout the time of your stay here in godly reverence. Don’t become entangled in the overwhelming weight and hindrance of sin, but set your eyes on Christ, our life. When He appears, we will appear with Him and be evermore in His presence where there is fullness of joy and pleasure forever.