Be Sober, Be Vigilant
As the sons of God there is much we need to be aware of in these last days. In a time when we have more information available to us and can access that information almost at the speed of light there is also less truth and far less wisdom and understanding to be found in the avalanche of so-called information. There is more and more ignorance and foolishness being disseminated through the myriad of media avenues to people and even among those who claim faith in Jesus Christ, than ever before.
Paul’s letter to Titus, from around AD 64, addressed the issue then and it is even more true today.
“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Titus 1:15-16
We also have this prophetic word from the Apostle Paul with a warning in his letter to Timothy who was pastoring the church at Ephesus also in AD 64.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Most importantly we have this warning directly from Jesus Himself.
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Matthew 24:4-13
So, we should not be surprised when we hear of those, who claim to belong to Christ, speaking, preaching and doing things completely contrary to His Word and character even denying His deity and the exclusivity of His proclamation that He is the only way to the Father.
Because we are so surrounded now by false teaching, lies, deceptions, indoctrinations in ungodliness and a celebration and embrace of sin we must be all the more alert to the truth of Christ.
The Apostle Peter warned us this way.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” 1 Peter 5:8-11
When we face opposition in the world or even in our own minds we can and we must first take captive our thoughts to the obedience of Christ. Then we must maintain a sober and vigilant attitude to be aware of God in us and His Word in us and through us by the things we say and do.
The call to be sober is for us a call not to be intoxicated by the cultural shift in our world or the charismatic persuasion of the people who say they “just want to be free to live their lives” without any challenge from us because we choose to live differently from them.
We must not be seduced or intoxicated by what a may appear to be the “reasonableness” of their arguments. Was it not the reasonableness and intoxication of Satan’s argument with Eve that led her, with Adam, to disobey God? Is it not the same argument we hear today from those who have chosen to love themselves more than they love God? And is this not the basis of all sin and death?
Our vigilance is in keeping the truth of God’s Word always before us. Keeping His Word as first and final authority over our lives without regard for our feelings, and over our relationships with loved ones and friends. Oftentimes, the most intense pressure against our faith happens with those we love and with the expedience and desire for social acceptance. But, shall we deny Jesus for the sake of the love of this world or our spouses, or our mothers, our fathers, or our children? Who above Jesus deserves our undeniable allegiance and obedience?
The reality of this current world is this. The devil is roaming about as a roaring lion looking for those who are weak in their faith and their commitment to Christ so that he can devour them. When we choose the darkness of the world, the culture, the legal allowances of the government, over Christ we make ourselves easy prey for the enemy to devour us.
Our only defense spiritually and physically is to stay alert to what is happening and steel our determination not to succumb to the temptation to place ourselves or the interests of those we love above our submission and obedience to the Word of God.
We are not food for the fake lion’s table.