Are You Watching?
Intro; Last Sunday morning we talked about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And as we closed in the scriptures, Jesus warned His disciples and all that they needed to “Watch!”
Watch- look, take heed, keep awake; turn one’s attention to, beware, to guard.
Watchfulness or watching indicates that the Christian is alert or vigilant in order to defend himself against a spiritual foe. To be in a continuous state of readiness to learn of any future danger, need, or error, and to respond appropriately. He is to be properly prepared for any change in his circumstances in order that his fellowship with God in prayer may be undistracted and successful. [Word Study Dictionary]
The best definition of scripture for “watch” as far as what Jesus meant, I believe is found in the Book of Titus;
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.
So for us to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age, looking [watching] for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”, then we must be active in good works till He returns. That work is proclaiming the Gospel!
Text; Mark 16:15-20
Mark 16:15-16,20 (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
1. Go Preach; 15
1. Go Preach; 15
“Watching” is to “Go Preach the Gospel”
It is not an option, but a command to all who call Jesus “Lord.”The church has a preaching task. It is the duty of the church, that means that it is the duty of every Christian, to tell the story of the good news of Jesus to those who have never heard it.
What is the Gospel? It is the history of Jesus Christ. His life, death, and resurrection. We are to instruct people in the meaning and intention of this and the advantages a person has in believing them.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Where are we to preach the Gospel? In all the world! That means we start where we are [home, neighbors] and then tell it wherever we go [work, trips, missions].
We are not all evangelists in the formal sense, but we have all received gifts that we can use to help fulfill the Great Commission.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Who do we preach too? Every creature [everyone]. No people group is to be left out.
Every human being, regardless of their sinfulness, the color of their skin, their religious background, or where they live is a candidate for the “good news.”
30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
Here is a great evangelism text and I marvel that I have never heard it used in that connection. It allows for only two kinds of people. It is not relative but absolute. We divide humanity horizontally, high class, middle class, low class. God divides vertically, to the right and to the left. This cuts against the grain of popular thinking. They say that there are so many grades, shades, degrees, varieties of people, they cannot be lumped arbitrarily into lost and saved, for Christ or against Christ. But Christ leaves no neutral ground, no middle way. He does not recognize neither nor. With Him, we are either or.
Havner, V. (1976). All the Days (p. 62). Fleming H. Revell Company.
2. Baptise; 16
2. Baptise; 16
Is Jesus saying that a person has to be baptized to be saved? Or that if you are saved but not baptized you will be damned to hell? No. Jesus is saying that the person who is saved will desire to be baptized.
It is the rejection of Christ that condemns the soul not the failure to be baptized.
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
If baptism is a necessity of salvation, then the thief on the cross beside Jesus would be in hell and Jesus would be a liar!
42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” 43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
But if a man is saved it will be his desire to be baptized. Baptism is an act of obedience and identification in Christ.
Obedience- comply with an order, request, law or submission to another's authority.
Belief is an act of obedience to God’s demand if a person wishes to be saved. [Jesus is our substitute for sin, He died and rose again! “Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart and you will be saved”]
Baptism is an act of obedience to God’s demand if a person believes. It’s pretty simple, if a man wishes to be saved, God demands that he believe; and if a man believes, God demands that he be baptized.
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Identification- the action or process of association with someone; regard as having strong links or ties with someone; regard oneself as sharing the same characteristics or thinking as someone else: Baptism identifies with us Christ!
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
“How can a person honestly be saved if he rebels against being baptized?
A person who truly believes in the Lord will not refuse to follow Jesus in baptism or anything else!
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
3. They Went; 20
3. They Went; 20
After His ascension into heaven, the disciples went in obedience and did what Jesus commanded them to do, “Preached the Gospel to every creature, everywhere!”
But they didn’t go with their own opinions or in their own strength. They went in the power of Christ with His message.
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Going in the power of the Holy Spirit is the only way the gospel is effective.
Pentecost- 3000 were added to the church [Acts 2]
Peter and John heal a lame man and preach the gospel and are put in custody. From their obedience the church grew from 3000 to 5000. [Acts 3-4]
Stephen preached with such power that the religious council were cut to the heart and gnashed at him with their teeth. They stoned him but it had an impact on a young man named Saul of Tarsus. [Acts 7]
Philip held preaching services in Samaria and multitudes were saved [Acts 8]
Peter preaches to Cornelius and the Gentiles [Acts 10]
Paul is saved and preaches to the world [Acts 9]
The Acts of the Apostles was the power of Christ working with them and through them for His glory that men would be saved! We have the same command [Go], with the same purpose [Gospel], with the power [Holy Spirit], for the same purpose [the salvation of souls].
Are You Watching?
Are you working for the growth of His kingdom?