Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – April 10, 2016
Theme: Living with Eternity in View
Topic: Keeping Watch
Main Texts: Matthew 24: 1 – 44
Key Verse: Matthew 24:42 –“”Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (NIV)
While we know that eternity with God is the destiny of everyone who comes to Jesus, there is an important milestone that everyone crosses on that journey to eternity – it is the point at which our life on earth ends and the real eternal life begins. The point at which that milestone occurs varies for everyone, but for most people, it is generally less than 120 years after our entry into this world. Also, we generally do not have an idea of the date of that milestone. Jesus says he may in fact come again before some people experience that milestone. But, he says since no one knows with certainty when the milestone for him or her would happen, all believers in him should keep watch.
1. A watchman keeps watch against specific incursions into the premise under his care. List some of the things the Christian must keep watch for while waiting for the transition to eternity, and why he needs to keep watch. Scriptures make clear that there is a kingdom of God, and a kingdom of Satan, and that these are at war. The more people live for Christ and make the transition to the glorious eternity, the more depleted is the kingdom of Satan, and the larger God’s kingdom. However, someday, all would hear the declaration: “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah …” (Rev 12:10 NIV). In effect, we know the final outcome of the war! However, before this, in Mat 24:12-24 Jesus paints a picture of great turmoil and distress even while the Gospel is being preached around the world.
2. What observations today could make the Christian doubt the predicted outcome of the war between the kingdoms of Satan and of God, and how does the Christian manifest this doubt? (See Mat 24:6-12). A time-tested strategy in warfare is to infiltrate the army of the enemy. Besides planting doubts in the minds of man as regards the predicted outcome of the war between the kingdoms of Satan and of God, Satan also seeks to infiltrate God’s army. Moles planted by Satan among God’s army do extremely well at emulating God’s army, and could easily win the confidence of the genuine army. So, Jesus warns: “Watch out that no one deceives you.” (Mat 24:4 NIV); “… many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” (Mat 24:11 NIV). See also verses 24 and 26. These are clear warnings against this infiltration by the armies of the devil.
3. List some specific observations in your environment that you consider indicative of the infiltration of God’s army by moles planted by Satan, and how the Christian may handle such infiltration. The Christian is under constant pressure to take his or her eyes off eternity and give greater attention to immediate demands. These pressures are not only due to Satan, but also due to the natural instincts. However, it is important we keep our eyes on eternity and ensure that our attention to the seeming expediency of the moment does not jeopardise our eternal interests.
4. Give practical examples of situations a Christian could find himself in where eternal interests could easily be undermined for the sake of immediate earthly gratification.
Father, grant me the grace to give priority to eternal values in the choices I make and in the way I live, in Jesus’ name. Amen.