7 Commands Of Christ To Prepare For The End Times.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gives His followers seven commands as a rough map to navigate the coming tribulation and final judgement. Jesus does not answer His disciples' questions in regards to the timeline of these events; this is purposely left uncertain. However, He does proceed to warn them about the dangers ahead, tending more to promote caution than to satisfy curiosity. His priority is their internal response not the external events. He guides them away from dangerous speculation to practical obedience, giving clear commands to prepare them [and us] for whatever is to happen.
1) Don’t be deceived.
Jesus tells us to not be misled by misrepresentation of truth.
He cautions His disciples to stand on their guard against false teachers. These false teachers will pretend to come from God with new revelations, and must be rejected. We must remain determined to never trust a leader teaching extra-biblical doctrine. The primary false teacher will be the anti-christ, setting himself up as a false Messiah and suggesting himself to be the person designed by God to be the deliverer of Israel.
2) Don’t be troubled.
Jesus tells us not to be distressed mentally, physically or spiritually.
When the heart is fixed, trusting in God, it is kept in peace, and is not afraid even in troubled times. It is only when the heart is found in God that people find complete peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7) Sustaining a vibrant prayer life, both corporately and individually, is vitally important to dispel fear in light of the last days.
3) Endure to the end.
Jesus tells us to carry on despite what suffering may come our way.
We must hold to the profession of faith in Jesus, withstand the violent persecutions, and preserve the pure and incorrupt doctrines of the Gospel. Like Christ and the great cloud of witnesses before us, we must patiently and courageously bear any afflictions that might beset us, enduring to the end of our life or the end of all suffering.
4) Preach the Gospel.
Jesus tells us to continue advancing the great commission.
Jesus preached His gospel openly and then commanded the preaching of that gospel to all the world. The last days will not come until the gospel has done its full work. The gospel is the singular most important communication of God to man this side of heaven and must not cease spreading. Any diversion towards eschatological efforts or energies that distracts from this gospel mission is unwarranted and unbiblical.
5) Be ready.
Jesus tells us to prepare for persecution and the day of His return.
Let us make our calling and election sure. Then no enemy or deceiver shall prevail against us. God is in control the coming persecution. He will not forget His people. This is all we need to know about the future to motivate us to live rightly now. Be reminded that there are no last minute opportunities for repentance or bargaining. Our Lord's coming will be a happy day for all those that shall be found ready, but very dreadful for those that are not.
6) Stay faithful.
Jesus tells us to be found doing the work of the Lord.
This is the way to prepare for Christ’s return: engage in doing the will of God and advancing His kingdom. We should be found diligently serving others, leading them to repentance and faith in Christ. The 'work of the Lord' here also means "that which the Lord requires," meaning all the appropriate duties of a Christian. We must stay faithful in the Word, in holiness, in prayer, and in fellowship. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Gal. 6:9
7) Watch and pray.
Jesus tells us to stay awake, stay alert, and stay eager for His return.
We are to be vigilant, to keep our eyes open for danger, and to never stop praying. The right to pray and receive an answer from the living God is the greatest privilege a Christian has. At times of great crisis the duty of watching is coupled with the second great duty of praying. These warnings, suggest the need of preparedness and imply that the last days should not take us by surprise.
“But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” (1 Thes. 5:4)
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)
“We wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)