The Lord gave us these signs of His coming not to scare or alarm us, but to the contrary, to prepare, encourage and comfort us.
In John 14: 1-3 our Lord told us to “not let your hearts be troubled” because He has gone to prepare a place for us and is coming back to get us so that we may be with Him. So, we know that He is returning to come back for us.
In verse 27, He reiterates to us to not “let your hearts be troubled” as well as “do not be afraid“ as He has given us His peace. The Lord is reassuring us that we need not be fearful regarding His return.
In fact, knowing the signs of His coming can help give us His peace as we see the world scene destabilizing because we know it is all in His perfect plan.
We can be comforted as we see this chaotic, spinning out-of-control world, knowing that He will be soon coming for us as He promised.
So, instead of fear, seeing the signs coming to pass should give us hope, excitement and joy knowing just how very close we are to seeing our Lord and what He has prepared for us!
1 Corinthians 2:9 Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
We are instructed in Hebrews to meet and encourage each other "all the more as you see the Day approaching".
If we are not watching, we cannot see the Day approaching in order heed the dictates of this Scripture.
Jesus gave us these instructions for us to gather together so that by our fellowshipping we can exhort one another to operate in the Spirit as it is only by His Spirit that we will be emboldened to proclaim His Gospel and the nearness of His return.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We are actually warned in Revelation 3:3 that if we do not watch, He WILL come upon us a thief and we WILL NOT know the hour when He is coming.
To the converse, if we ARE watching, He WILL NOT come upon us a thief and we WILL know the hour of His coming:
Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not WATCH, I will come upon you as a thief. and you will not what hour I will come upon you.
In 1st Thessalonians 1:5-6, we are reminded that "the day of the Lord will come like a "thief in the night."
Next, we are given end time signs to watch for:
"While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape."
Then, we are told that we are "not in darkness" meaning that since the prophetic Word gives us so many end times signs to be on the watch for, that we are not being kept "in the dark" as to God's end time prophetic timeline.
Conversely, those who are NOT watching will NOT be awakened to the nearness of the end of the age to see the many signs He forewarned us to watch for, come hurtling at them.
They will then be more easily overtaken as by a "thief in the night".
For this reason, we have been commanded to "not sleep, as do others; but let us WATCH and be sober".
1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us WATCH and be sober.
There is a perpetual preparedness that naturally accompanies a fervent watch. In the following parable of the virgins, only the wise were prepared, having their lamps filled with oil, as they watched for the coming bridegroom.
Matthew 25:1 Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming ;go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’13 “WATCH therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
As we approach the end of the age, we need to be watching and operating in His spirit as the Spirit is the oil in our lamps that enables us to be ready for His return.
As with the foolish virgins who were shut out of the wedding so shall it be for the "foolish" professing Christians who have not been watching and staying in constant readiness.
In fact, to those who are not watching and are thus unprepared the Lord will say " Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you". They will be then be left behind because the door will already be shut.
As this parable relates, NOT watching has dire consequences. If Christians are not watching for the signs and thereby not even aware of their fulfillment, they will be lax and unprepared as were the foolish virgins.
Whereas, watching incites us to realize the lateness of the hour which spurs to ready ourselves and to ensure that our oil in our lamps are to the brim as we await the bridegroom.
Note that this parable of the virgins concludes with the admonition for us to WATCH:
“WATCH therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." Matthew 25:13
Important to note is that in Luke 21:28 we are told that If we are watching for the fulfillment of the prophetic Scripture, then we will be able to know "when these things come to pass" so we can then anticipate our soon redemption.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
As such, only those aware of the prophetic Scripture and watching for its fulfillment would know when to "look up, and lift” our heads; for the coming “redemption" that "draweth nigh".
Those who have not heeded the Lord's command to be on watch, will be clueless when it is time to "look up" to await redemption.
In Luke 21:36, we are commanded not only to watch but also to pray that we may be counted worthy to escape the wrath to come, and stand before the Lord, Jesus Christ:
Luke 21:36 WATCH you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Therefore we are supposed to be not only diligently watching for the signs of our Lord's return as He instructed ,but also praying that we "may be accounted worthy to escape" the coming wrath.
The Lord is so gracious and merciful that He gave us the signs of His return. These many end time signs coming together, signaling the end of the age, are to remind us that it is time to separate from the things of this world.
They are but temporary and these earthly lives that we live are as a vapor as we face eternity, which is everlasting.
If only the children of the Most High God will obey His command to WATCH they will see that He is providing clear evidence to us that His return as near, even at the door.
It is now time for those who truly belong to the Risen Lord to lessen their grip on the material distractions of this world, shifting their focus upward, to things eternal.