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Christian Biblical Studies
WATCHING WHILE WAITING
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
– Mark 13:37 –
References are to the King James (Authorised) Version
That there would be an indeterminate hiatus between Christ's First Advent and His Second and a period of confusion on the part of the watching disciples, is suggested by Jesusʼ parable of the ʻpoundsʼ, in which the master of the household departs with an exhortation to his servants to ʻoccupy till I comeʼ – that is, until I return (Luke 19:13).
The master is Christ; the servants are His people, awaiting His promised Second Advent in the end of the ages. We are to ʻoccupyʼ or ʻtradeʼ (so the Greek), with patient resignation, in an attitude of hopeful anticipation until He is made manifest to the world. That this will happen is certain; but just when, we are not told. The kingdom of God is simultaneously both near and far off, a contradiction which the thoughtful and attentive watcher may appreciate. Striving to live in this present evil world requires one daily to live in hope of a practical, future deliverance, penetrating the haze which intervenes, with trust in the declarations and prophecies found in the Word of God.
There is much yet to come in the Divine plan. Opinions may differ on how far along we are on the stream of time and the trouble now upon the world. Nonetheless, it seems that the unambiguous indicator of how far things have progressed is the establishment in 1948 of the nation of Israel, the bellwether of God's plan, a straightforward fulfilment of biblical prophecy. It is the near-destructive assault on that nation, yet to come, which the Scriptures prophesy as the precursor to the setting up of Christ's kingdom on earth. See Isa. 2: 2-5 and Zech. 14: 1-3. This singular event could be years away, and we are well advised to pay attention to the signs of the times in the meantime.
God is in no hurry and is not obliged to synchronise His clock with our febrile expectations. And so we must wait, patiently and industriously, heeding the advice of our Lord, who in addressing His immediate disciples also addresses all of us here in the end of the ages – watch!
June 2018. no copyright.