We should watch carefully things that are happening in the world, so that Jesus' return does not take us by surprise. Could you give a Bible reference for it?
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(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
Jesus upbraided the Jews because they could not discern the signs of the times from the prophecy given to them in the scriptures. The seventy week prophecy in Daniel even gave them a time period.
Matthew 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
We are not given a time period but we are given certain prophecies which relate to the last days.
On the one hand we have prophecy concerning the nation of Israel, now back in their land so that Ezekiel 38 can be fulfilled.
Ezekiel 38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. 9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.
On the other hand we have the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation concerning the nations that were part of the fourth beast (the Roman Empire). These are the nations currently involved in the EU and being manoeuvred into position to fulfil Revelation 16 and 17.
Revelation 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings:
That we are to give heed to the prophecies is advocated by Peter:
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
And by Jesus Christ:
Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Luke 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
The ‘watching’ is not of course restricted to watching the signs of our times. It is evident that the most important part of ‘watching’ is to be working the works of faith that God requires of us.
Matthew 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
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