Luke 21:34-36, Jesus Says “Watch Out!”

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Jerry Simmons shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from Luke on Sunday, February 19, 2023 using the New Living Translation (NLT).

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Here in Luke chapter 21, I've titled the Message This morning. Jesus says watch out and you need to know that this is something the Lord Jesus says. Watch out. We find it. Of course, in verse 34, he says it right there at the beginning. Watch out with an exclamation point. So that you understand there is some urgency here, there's a need to pay attention. Watch out is what Jesus wants to talk to us about this morning. There is a need for us to be on the alert to be aware of some danger. Leaders. We need to watch out now. Luke Chapter 21, of course, is an interesting chapter because in it Jesus talks about what you might refer to as the signs of the times. Where the disciples asked Jesus what? What are the signs that will precede his return? And in their minds, the destruction of the temple and the end times had to happen simultaneously. They couldn't imagine it any other way, and so they're asking about the destruction of the temple. They're just asking about the end time. And the Lord goes on to give them a bunch of signs. And as you work your way through Luke Chapter 21, he walks through those signs that are related to the destruction of the temple as well as the signs of the end times. And so here's a quick look at some of those things that Jesus walked through. What to expect before the end that we can expect deceivers, we can expect wars and rumors of wars. We can expect disasters. Natural disasters and earthquakes in various places we can expect persecutions. We can expect Jerusalem to be destroyed, that has already been fulfilled back in 70 AD, we can expect Jerusalem to be trampled and there's still a little bit of that going on. There with the. Battle over the city of Jerusalem and the occupation of Jerusalem. By Gentiles and then expect signs in the Sun, Moon, stars and sea, and so there's a variety of signs that Jesus says we can be looking for, that we can expect. And so these are things that we can be observing and watching out for. But as we look at this passage this morning here, 3435 and 36 of this chapter, I'm going to suggest to you that it's not these signs that Jesus is telling us to watch out for. That he's really not telling us to watch out for external things. But here in these verses he his focus, his primary concern for us is to watch out for the condition of our heart. That it's not so much about the signs that we have to be hyper alert for but but it's the condition of our heart that we need to be aware of. Pastor Warren Wisby says it this way. Watch does not mean to stand around looking for signs. It means be awake, be alert and don't get caught unprepared. Don't get caught. UN prepared. The signs help us to be prepared to recognize the season that we're in and he gives the illustration. Of a a tree. In the preceding verses, he says, look, when you see leaves on a tree and you see it begin to bloom and blossom, you know what season it is. And in a similar way, when you see the leaves fall off of a tree, you know what season is by looking at the tree. By looking at those signs, you're able to discern what season we are in in a similar way, the signs that Jesus walked through those are signs of the times and helps us to discern. The season that we're in, but but again the watch out here is not so much about discerning those signs as it is. Discerning the state and the condition of our heart, this word watch out as he's calling us to do this indicates a danger. There's something to be aware of. There's a danger to be alert, alerted to so that you do not get caught unprepared and. Unready and so. So we're going to look at three dangers. This morning to watch out for three dangers, Jesus says here's what I want you to watch out and be on guard against the first one found in verse 34. Here's point #1. Watch out for a dulled heart. Watch out for a heart that is dull or weighed down heavily. Verse 34 says watch out. Don't let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness. And by the worries of this life. Don't let that day catch you. As Jesus says, watch out here. He begins to explain a little bit about that. What are we to watch out for? Well, first of all, we're to watch out for a dulled heart. Jesus says, is a danger that you need to be aware of, that you could potentially have a heart. That becomes dull. The danger that Jesus wants us to be thinking about and considering is the dullness of our heart. Now I think this is interesting and important because how often do we get it backwards? Where we are concerned. Very concerned about dangers that God told us not to worry about, and then we are unconcerned. For the dangers that God specifically says, this is what you need to watch out for so many times. We get it backwards. When Jesus says watch out in context of Luke Chapter 21, there's a lot of times that we as believers can take that and then just relive all of the signs and the warnings that preceded. And and be. Super concerned about those end time signs and be concerned with freaked out about and and hyper aware of all of those things. But here Jesus is saying. What you need to watch out for is is not so much those signs. Those are there to help you discern the time, but but the real issue at hand. Is a heart that becomes dull by carousing and drunkenness and by. The worries of this life. We all know the scripture in Philippians Chapter 4 where Paul tells us to not worry about anything. Don't be anxious about anything. Instead, pray tell God what you need. Thank him for all he has done and you'll. Experience God's peace. Which exceeds anything that we can understand. And many times we are worried. We're watching out. We're very concerned about things that God has told us. You don't need to be. Concerned about that? Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. You don't need to be stressed and worried and overwhelmed by those things. That's not what you need to be. Watching out for. In fact, if you're watching out for those things, and those things are preoccupying you, your heart is going to become dull. You're going to not be very sharp. That word dull when he says that dullness of heart, it literally means to be burdened or weighed down. The idea here is the heart is not light, it's not loose. It's not sharp because it's got all of these burdens and these extra things on it that that don't belong there. And so there's a dullness. That Jesus is warning us against. And and again. I I would ask. You to really consider this and and if you would just pray a little prayer in your heart before the Lord right now that that he would open your eyes because I think that many times for us dulled hearts. Are what we're aiming for. Jesus says watch out. Don't let your hearts be become dull. But what we, as humanity often desire, is a dullness of heart. That we recognize there is perhaps an unsatisfied ache in our heart. And and we don't want to feel that we don't want to experience that. And so we seek to dull. Our hearts so that we don't feel so much that we don't feel that ache. Sometimes our hearts are overwhelmed with pain. Pain of loss, pain of disappointment, pain of discouragement. And and our objective many times is to dull our hearts so that we don't feel the pain so much. And so we engage in various things and we try to distract ourselves in a variety of ways. And the Lord here is warning us against. Dealing with our hearts in that way. He says don't let your heart. Become dull. The dullness of your heart is entirely in your hands. Jesus is saying you are responsible for your heart, he says. You need to pay attention to your heart. And so watch your heart. Keep an eye on your heart. The the idea here of not letting it become dull. Literally, the Lord is saying to take heed to your heart, that is to bring it near, to pay close attention to it. To bring it near. So bring it close to you so that you. Can understand it well that you can have a close eye on it. Keep a close eye on your heart. Left to itself. Your heart will become weighted down. Dull with things that the Lord has called you away from. Now Jesus gives a couple of examples here in verse 34. Don't let your heart be dulled by carousing and drunkenness. So here's one way that many people dull their hearts. By carousing and drunkenness. And intoxication is a strategy for some the technique to deal with. The condition of their heart, the feelings of their heart, the the status of their heart to soften. It's a coping mechanism for what they don't want to experience. And so, of course, drunkenness is 1 approach to this. The word carousing. It could be understood a couple of different ways, but it essentially means that excessiveness. I think it's safe to look at this and understand that God is addressing all kinds of addictions and excessiveness that we might pour ourselves into as a distraction to as a softening of. As an escape from the realities. Of our heart. There needs to be for us a healthiness that we could sit alone with the Lord. And be comfortable and be silent and be quiet and have a peace with God. That is true and genuine. In our hearts. There needs to be within us a a healthiness to our heart that that we don't have to run from it. Listen, this is not something that is easy for us. We I think we all battle these things at least. From time to time in our lives, if not all the time in our lives. For those of you who are married, you could understand it this way. You know there's some. There's some topics you just don't bring up in your marriage relationship because you know what will, what will follow, right. And so you kind of tiptoe around some things. Perhaps you kind of leave things unresolved and undealt with because. Of the difficulty that it will bring. In a similar way, we do that with our own hearts. We tiptoe around things, we try to avoid situations, we try to avoid conversations. We try to. Prevent ourselves from having to go face to face with. The realities of what we feel the. Realities of what is going on within. And So what we do. Is distract ourselves. We jump into carousing and drunkenness, excessiveness and addictions. We we pursue those things to try to soften that because we can't stand. The feeling. Of being face to face. With our hearts alone with God alone. At peace and at settled, that's. Not something we experience alone, we. We ache, we hurt, we're overwhelmed. And the Lord is warning us. Against dealing with the condition of the heart in that way. You see what we need to do is to bring our hearts to the Lord and invite him. To bring the healing to bring the transformation to do the work that needs to be done. It doesn't happen overnight and it's not always pleasant. To work through the situation of our heart, the condition of our heart. But the alternative? Is to dull our hearts. With things that God has called us out of. And so the Lord says here, look, the end is coming. There's all these signs. You can recognize the season. And the more we see that we are nearing the return of the Lord, the the more we need to be aware of the condition of our hearts, not the more we need to be aware of the headlines that there's place for, that there's value in that. But but the more we need to be aware of the condition. Of our heart is your heart. Weighed down? Is it dull? Not sensitive to you, not able to discern. The Lord's voice. And the Lord's work. Because of. Carousing and drunkenness or Jesus goes on to say the. Worries of this life? The worries of this life. Again, Jesus taught us Matthew Chapter 6. Not to worry. Taught us to trust God to provide for the things that we need. And yet, at the same time, we recognize there is a temptation, there is a. Tendency for us to get caught up with and consumed with the worries of this life. You remember the parable of the soils that Jesus taught. One of the soils where the seed fell was the thorny soil. Where the seed was planted and began to grow, but but it was choked out. By the cares of this life. By a focus and the. Attention on the things that are temporary. Instead of the things that are eternal. And so the excessiveness of this life, the intoxications that we can pursue, the addictions that we can indulge in. Dull our hearts. But so does. Worry and anxiety. Over the things that are here in this life and temporary. Pursuits of the things in this life that are temporary. The chasing after the things of this life being all caught up with the system of this world and filling our minds and our hearts with. The things that are happening around us in the physical realm. Those things. Way down and wear down our hearts. And so, Jesus says, watch out. For a dulled heart. These things keep you from being sensitive to the work of God. Keep you from that close communion with. The Lord and keep you from being able to receive. What the Lord wants to provide for you? A dull heart. It's a heart that's. Faking it, it's a heart that's. Putting on a show and pretending but. The reality? Is a lack in fellowship with the Lord a lack in a relationship with God? The the dull heart is a a heart that has unresolved issues. That instead of addressing and working through those issues with the Lord. We're distracting ourselves. We're redirecting ourselves, keeping ourselves from having to face those things, to feel those things, to walk through those things and address what it is that's happening in our hearts. And so this morning, the Lord wants you to be on the alert. And it can be very challenging because, well, as we know from the prophet Jeremiah. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it? But then it goes on to tell us I the Lord, search the heart. And so we have a hard time with this ourselves, but we have some awareness. And we should have enough awareness to be able to run to the Lord, invite him to search our hearts. We need his help. To walk us through. The twisted path that we are on the twisted path that the twistedness of our hearts to to bring us out to the open, to the whole and to the healed. Place that we need to be. Again, so many times we get it backwards. What we're concerned about and the dangers that we are aware of, are the things that God told us not to worry about. And the things that we are. Unconcerned about are the things that God said you need to pay attention to that. You need to deal with that. There's a danger. Where we lack things that we need, we lack conditions in our heart that need. To be there. There's a danger where we lack things in this life. And that's not to be a big. Concern for us? But lacking that relationship with the Lord, lacking that healing in our hearts, that is something to be concerned about and. And so the Lord says, bring that to me. Watch out that you don't allow your life to be kind of manipulated by. And attempt. To distract from the condition of your heart. Don't watch out for. The concerns of this life seek first the Kingdom of God. Some would say danger, danger, danger mark of the beast. Now, if you were around back then in the 70s and 80s, people will said hey man, that credit card credit cards, now they're starting to come with chips and that might be the mark of the beast. And so don't. If you if they're you're being issued a credit card with a chip, don't accept that. That's the mark of the beast. I've heard the tapes back when they were cassettes on, you know, teachings like that, warnings against that. It's coming, you know. Watch out. Danger, danger, danger. That that's not the concern, really, that the Lord is calling. Us to here. That's not what we're to watch out for. We're never told to watch out for. The mark of the beast. We're told to watch out for the condition. Of our hearts. How's your heart? How's your personal relationship with the Lord? How's your quiet time with the Lord? How's your Ability to sit alone with God. And have peace and wholeness. And healing. In your own heart. The Lord continues on at verse 34 and 35 to give us point #2 watch out for a deceived mind. And so we have to watch our hearts and guard our hearts. As the proverbs says, keep your heart with all diligence, because out of it flows the. The things of life. And so there is the need for us to pay attention to the condition of our heart, to recognize when we are distracting ourselves and avoiding things that need to be addressed and resolved by the Lord. We also need to watch out for a deceived mind. Let's read verse 34 and 30. Five again, it says. Watch out. Don't let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don't let that day catch you unaware or ignorant. Like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the Earth. Here's the Lord continues to warn us to say, watch out there's dangers to be aware of. Now he goes on to say, watch out for ignorance. Don't let that day catch you unaware. Like a trap. That we're unaware. Describe something that is sudden or unexpected. Something that is unforeseen, something that you could not anticipate or understand. How it happened? Now there's a lot of things that we will face in this life that fit that description. Things that we just could not have foreseen. Things that could not be anticipated and and we're just surprised how that could ever happen. There's lots of things in this life that will fit that description. But that day, Jesus says. Should not be one of them. What day? The day of the Lord now. Prophetically, you can walk through this and understand the day of the Lord encapsulates more than just 24 hours. The day of the Lord is. About the whole real end time scenario and the returning of the Lord, it includes the idea of the rapture of the church. It includes the idea of the tribulation period. It includes the second coming of Jesus at the end of the tribulation, includes the Millennium as Jesus rules and reigns for 1000 years. That day that has been promised and prophesied. Jesus says. That should not happen in your life. As a sudden, unexpected, unforeseen surprise that you could not anticipate or understand how it could happen. Now, he's not saying you should know exactly the day and the time. Of course, we know that he says exactly the opposite of that. No one knows. The day or the hour? But the fact of the return of Jesus. Is made abundantly clear in the word. Of God. And so the the idea that Jesus. Could return for his church. Right now in this moment. If that were to happen and we were to be caught up in the clouds right now to meet the Lord in the air. The idea is. You shouldn't be surprised by that. That we should always have this anticipation, this awareness of the reality. That Jesus is returning. That his promises will be fulfilled. Jesus says, watch out. Don't let that dig catch you by surprise. Don't be surprised if Jesus returns. And so if you would be surprised. If Jesus returned today. Well, This is why, where did the point this way watch out. For a deceived mind. A deceived mind says. It's not going to happen today. A deceived mind is in that condition of. It's it's not going to happen. It can't happen today. It's probably not going to happen today. I'm not concerned about it today. I'm not needing to prepare for it today. A deceived mind. Is putting off and delaying even if you believe. In the day of the Lord, a deceived mind delays it, pushes, pushes it back. And thinks of it as impossible for right now. Watch out for a deceived mind that that day would catch you unaware like a trap. Now, if you think about a trap. Traps are designed to be deceitful. To be completely hidden and not observable, or if they aren't fully hidden to appear as something that they're not so that. They're safe. My workplace, just down the street here. Big warehouse, the. There was a cat that somehow got into the warehouse and so it was, you know, knocking over trash cans. And while we were away, you know, messing up things and. There was concern about it. So OK, we need to try to catch this cat. How do you catch a cat in a 70,000 foot square? You know, square foot warehouse, right? It's like. It's a hard thing to do. Well, finally what they did was they. Got a trap? And they put some food and water inside the trap. Now don't picture a death trap. OK. It's safe. You mean capture a trap, right? Also, I wasn't in charge of this, so don't leave me out of it but but so anyway, so so they put some food. And water inside this. Crate that would close once the cat got inside. And so we ended up, they ended up trapping the cat. It was deceitful, the cat thought we were being nice and feeding it. The cat thought. All right, finally these people are taking care of me and giving me something that I need. And so the cat. Got in. Partook of the food and was caught, and then it proceeded to escape and then was caught again and then escaped and was caught again. It was quite the ordeal. But that's how traps. Try to make you feel comfortable. Try to make you feel like it's providing something that you need. Something that is good and then snap. You are caught, captured by. The trap. Jesus says lookout. Pay attention. Beyond the alert. That this day does not catch you unaware. Like a trap. That you get comfortable that you feel like this life is what's most important, that what's around you and the right now is what's going to satisfy you. And so that you are not aware. Of the reality of the return of Jesus. Don't be deceived. Don't allow yourself to be caught off guard. And thinking that. The day of the Lord. Is not about to happen. Is not happening now. Paul tells Timothy and first Timothy, Chapter 4. The Holy Spirit tells us clearly in the last times, some will turn away from the true faith. They will follow deceptive spirits and teachings. That come from demons. In the last days, he says, the Holy Spirit says clearly there will be a departure from the faith. There will be a turning to. Deceptive teachings, deceptive doctrines, things that will keep us. From being prepared for the return of the Lord. The deceived mind. Is fully convinced. It cannot happen right now. Even if I believe that it will happen, it's not right now, it's not. Something I need to? Be concerned with or prepared for. Right now. Think about the parable of the. Rich guy who had a great harvest. And Jesus said he thought to himself. Here's what I'm going to do with all this extra wealth that I've come into this harvest, I'm going to build bigger barns. To hold all of this, and I'm going to have a greater harvest next time. And so I'm going to fill these bigger barns and he made all these plans for this life. And Jesus said, you fool. Tonight your life is required of you. You will enter into eternity today. And here's the thing about a deceived mind. And in not being prepared for the return of the Lord, you're also not prepared. To enter into eternity and. To meet the Lord in that way. A deceived mind is unprepared. For that encounter with the Lord, whether he comes to meet us or whether we go to meet him. Watch out for a deceived mind that is caught up with the things of this life. Distracted by convinced. I've got many more years to think about spiritual things, to develop spiritual life, to serve the Lord, to work on those things. I've got many more years to. I don't have to worry about that right now. I don't need to be prepared for that right now, I don't have. To be concerned about that right now. Watch out. Don't let that day. The day you enter eternity, one way or the other. Jesus coming down or you going up? Don't let that day. You entering eternity catch you unaware. Like a trap. And you don't know the day or the hour. So that's not the point. It's not like you need to have the schedule clearly in mind and have that calendar date in your books and and no. OK, I'm coming. Up it's like 3. Weeks away. OK, I've got it there. No, that's not it. The idea here is to always. Be ready to meet the Lord to live in such a way that you are prepared. This might be your last day on Earth. And if you are not convinced of that, if you're not living that way, you have a deceived mind. I mean, we know the saying tomorrow's promise to no one. We know the saying, but how many days do we live that way? How often do we abide by that? We know that Jesus can return at any moment, but. How often do we live that way? How often do we abide by that? Watch out for. A deceived mind. That is convinced it can't happen today. It's not that God doesn't want us to plan or have you know, future ideas and things in place. It's not. It's not that God's not against. That that's wisdom. But at the same time, we cannot be so consumed by the future. That we neglect. We can't be so consumed by today that we neglect the future and also we can't be so consumed by the future that we neglect today. Watch out for a deceived mind in. Marks accounting of this same teaching of the Lord Mark Chapter 13. He says some of the same things, but some things a little bit differently. Let me read to you, Mark 13, verse 32. It says however. No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen. Not even the angels in heaven or the sun himself, only the father knows. And since you don't know when that time will come, be on guard. Stay alert. The coming of the son of man can be illustrated by the story of. A man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions. About the work they were to do. And he. Told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You too must keep watch. For you don't know when the master of the household will return in the evening at midnight before dawn or at Daybreak. Nobody knows the day or the hour. We can't predict or schedule the return of Jesus. At the same time. We are not to then say nobody can know, so just pretend like it's not going to happen. Just live. If it's as if it's never going. To happen, Jesus says. No, since you don't know, here's what you need to do. Be on guard and stay alert. And if you're not on guard and staying alert then. Your mind is deceived. You're convinced. It can't happen today. It's not going to happen today. It's not going to happen right now. It's not going to happen here. Watch out. Jesus says you need. To be on guard. And again, he gives this illustration of a master going away and the master is coming back, but the return is a surprise. And so all of his servants. Are to be living each day with. The understanding that today might be the. Day that the master returns. And so Jesus says that's how you're to live watch. And pray for the return of the Lord. It might be at evening, it might be at midnight, it might be. Before dawn or at Daybreak. Be aware of the condition of your mind. Are you ready? Are you living? In a state of preparedness for the. Return of Jesus. And verse 35 he goes on to say for that day will come upon everyone living on the Earth. The return of Jesus is a fact. It will happen, and that day is not going to be isolated. To a particular location. It's quite overwhelming to think about what's happening. Right now, in Turkey and Syria. With the earthquake. That has gone on. The recovery efforts that are happening. I did a quick look this morning and I think the count is now over 43,000 people. Who have died. As a result of this earthquake that happened. Just a couple of weeks ago. 43,000 people. Died from this one event but. We're so far removed from that. If that were to happen in Corona. That would be about 1/3 of the population of Corona. I mean, we would feel it, we would know it, we would be living it. It would impact us quite differently. If it happened in Corona or let's say Riverside, right, if it happened nearby and we were fully present and understood and we knew people in there then. We would be hugely impacted by that. But many times these things that happen, it's like it's far away. It's a lot of people, but it's not super real to us. It's not super concerning to us because it's. Somewhere over there and and not really hitting home for us. But here, Jesus reminds us. That day will come upon everyone living on the earth. These things that are going to unfold at the return of Jesus in the last days, the tribulation period, all of these things, they are not going to be isolated to some distant land far off that will never affect you. And you can live in a way where you. Are treating the day of the Lord in that way. Like sure, that happens to some people that will happen to, you know, in other but you know. Not not me. I'm not needing to be concerned about that or living according to that, that's not something I need to. Be aware of but. The Lord is saying no, you need to understand this is for everybody on the whole earth. Everybody who is living on the earth will experience this. A deceived mind says. It's not going to happen right now, a deceived mind says it's not going. To happen right here. Don't think of the end times events in the end times scenario as just limited to Jerusalem and the surrounding regions. This is going to impact the world. The return of Jesus is not just a small insignificant thing that will take place for some. In some locations this is. Something that will happen for all. Who are living on the earth? But sometimes we allow our minds to be deceived. And we're not considering. The reality of the return of Jesus? We're not considering the imminency of the return of Jesus, he. Is coming for his bride any moment. And it will happen to those everywhere. We need to guard against a dulled heart. And a deceived mind. And then finally #3 looking at verse 36. Watch out for a drowsy spirit. Watch out for a drowsy spirit. Verse 36 says keep alert. At all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors. And stand before the son of man. Jesus says keep alert. At all times. Keep alert. It means to watch. To stand guard. When you're standing guard, you need to keep yourself awake. If the guard falls asleep on his watch, bad things happen. The guard is to resist the urge to sleep. Resist the desire to sleep. The guard is responsible to do what's necessary to keep themselves awake, keep their eyes open, keep their attention tuned to what is going on. Keep alert at all times, Jesus says. Because this judgment is coming on this world. There will be signs. You'll see them intensify like labor pains. They'll start out slow and somewhat mild, but they'll get closer together and increase and develop more and more intensity. As the end draws near. So watch. Keep alert. Keep yourself awake. Are you awake? Or do you have a drowsy? Nice comfortable slumber. The apostle Paul and Romans chapter 13 encourages the Romans. In verse 11 he says this is all the more urgent. For you know how late it. Is time is running out. Wake up. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone. The day of Salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don't participate in darkness. Of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourselves with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. Clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Put on. Full fellowship with God. Now I find it interesting here in verse 11 where Paul says wake up. He wrote the book of Romans, probably around 58 AD. 25 years after Jesus was crucified and then ascended into heaven. And already the church in Rome needed this message needed this call. To wake up. It's not just that, you know, now, 2000 years later, we need this call already. That is, at any point in our lives, we can find ourselves. In a state of sleep. Where we need to wake up. Where we are behaving in such a way that we. We are showing our spirits has become drowsy. We're not caught up with and consumed with a relationship. With the Lord. We're not clothing ourselves with the presence. Of the Lord. We've got all. Other kinds of things going on in our lives. And our relationship with the Lord has taken a backseat. We have this spiritual life given to us by the Holy Spirit. As we are born again regenerated, there's this life that is born. This life, this, you know, spam. Like that. Burns into a flame. But, but there's maintenance required. There's this need for us to draw near. To keep ourselves awake, to stay in that fellowship with the Lord. And if you take a log out of the fire, right, it it begins to. And the farther away it is, the longer it is away. The more it dies out. Now there's no flame. It's just the embers. And if it's kept away, those embers begin. To die out. It's interesting that this exhortation was needed so early. It's a warning for us. It's a call to pay attention. Watch out. For a drowsy spirit. It's happened to believers from the very beginning. Where we believe in Jesus, we experience the work of God in our lives. But then. We allow the things of the world to creep in. We allow the things of this life to grow and importance and to dominate our hearts and minds, and we neglect. Our relationship with God and our spirits grows weak. And drowsy. So, he says, be alert. All the time and pray that you might be strong enough. To escape. He gives you the prayer to pray. Pray that you might be strong enough to. Again notice. The attention that the Lord is giving us. In light of end times in light of all of these signs of the times. Is not pray about all those terrible things happening out there. It's personal, it's internal. Pray that you pray for yourself. That you might be strong enough to. Commentator Leon Morris says the prayer he urges involves an attitude of life. An attitude that seeks to flee worldly. Sins as the believer concentrates on the service. Of God, what are you to pray about in the last ease? What are you? To be concerned about and what is to fill your prayer life, yes. We can pray. About all the things happening in the world and and those things even that are part of the signs of the times, the fulfillment of those things. But make sure that you don't neglect praying for yourself. Goes back to the deceived mind. We can be so secure and settled. In our own condition. We forget the need that that we have. To be stirring ourselves up, pray that you might be strong enough to escape, Jesus says. The coming horrors. All of the things that will be unleashed upon this world during the Tribulation period. Pray that you are strong enough to escape. Strong allusion here to the rapture of the church being caught up to be with the Lord before the Tribulation unfolds. As I was preparing this week and looking at this portion at first, I thought, Lord, you directed me here so that I can talk a lot about the signs of the times. We're going to dig into the rapture of the. Church teach through that doctrine and. As I continued to meditate on it, the Lord said Nope. No matter where. You fall on the doctrine of the rapture, timing of the Rapture, all of that, these things that Jesus is saying are not limited to 1 interpretation of the Rapture, or the second coming or another. Ultimately, no matter what interpretation you take or position you take. On these things. These verses are still pertinent and applicable. You need to watch out. And pray that you would be strong enough to escape. These coming horrors. How do we be strong enough? Paul tells us in Ephesians Chapter 6. Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies. Of the devil. Putting on the full armor of God, the full relationship with God, the full entitlement that we have as children of God. Be strong in the Lord and one of those things that he calls us to put on is prayer. On the truth put on righteousness. And pray without ceasing. Pray that you would escape these coming horrors and stand before. The son of man. Escape is not talking about making it to a place of safety in the mountains. Having your arsenal at home so that you can escape all of the dangers that are coming. Escape is to stand before the son of man. To have that final victory. Of standing before the Lord. Having been awake. And diligent and prepared. For your meeting with him. And so this morning, Jesus says, watch out. What you need to watch out for is not the external things, not the worries and cares of this life, not the stresses of what you're going to eat or where you're going to live or what you're going to wear. What you need to watch out for. Primarily is internal. Watch out for a dulled heart. A heart that is weighed down. Insincere, distracted pursuing things to hide from the pain. Hide from the reality to. Leave things unresolved and undealt with. Watch out for adult heart. A broken heart. A messed up heart. That you avoid. Allowing the Lord. To bring healing in. It's not an easy process and the heart is a. It's a challenging thing to work on. But the Lord is capable, and he can heal any heart. He can resolve any brokenness, and he can. Satisfy any ache and any lack that is felt there. But we need to be genuine. And bring our. Hearts before the Lord, watch out for adult heart. Don't distract yourself with. Excessiveness and addictions and drunkenness and. Don't allow the worries of this life to captivate your mind and heart to such a degree that. That you're distracted. Yes, I could feel the pain and deal with what's happening within, but I, you know, I also gotta go to work to make money. So I'm just gonna go and I'm gonna go. Go, go, go, go. And I'm. Gonna up my schedule so. That I don't have time to address these things in my heart and watch out for adult heart. Don't let yourself go down that path. Make sure that you have time. With the Lord, will you invite him to search your heart? To work in your heart to bring about the healing, the restoration. The wholeness and the health that he wants to provide watch out for a deceived mind. Where you're tricked, convinced like a trap. It's not going to happen today. It can't happen. I can focus on all these other things because there's no dangers of me meeting Jesus today. The reality is you need to be prepared for that at any moment because. It could happen any moment you going to him or him coming to you. Watch out for a deceived mind and finally watch out. For a drowsy spirit. A spiritual life that has grown cold gone dark. Because you have not maintained your relationship and fellowship with the Lord. Jesus says this is what you need to watch out for. This is what you need to be on the alert about. You're all up in arms and you know alarm bells ringing for all these other things externally. And some of those things, it's worth being concerned about. It's worth observing those things, watching the signs and seeing what's happening. But primarily what you need to be concerned about. How are you doing? What's the state of your heart? Is your mind being renewed and transformed? By the work of God. Is your spirit. On fire. Awake and alive. Quickened by the spirit. To be in constant fellowship and communion. With the Lord. God, I pray for each one of us that. You would help us? To know the state of our heart. Lord, you want us to watch out? You want us to be on the. You want us to pay attention to these things. And Lord the. The warning is not. For nothing. The warning is there because you know. That we need it. And Lord, even early. In the church's history, there in the church. Of Rome, Lord they they needed to wake up. God, I pray that you. Would help us to hear your call clearly. And I pray, Lord, that you would develop. In us. A relationship with you? That is healthy. That is full. That is vibrant. Lord, that we would walk with you. Expecting your return, excited to be with you. For all the things Lord that you have for us. And so Lord. Lead us. By your spirit. I pray that you. Would remove the blinders of deception. That we put upon ourselves that the enemy seeks to place there again, that we would not see the reality Lord. Help us to see clearly. Where we stand with you, I pray this in Jesus name.