Watch... and pray that ye may be accounted worthy... to stand before the Son of man. What is involved in this worthiness? It must include our being -
I. PREPARED TO GIVE ACCOUNT TO HIM. We know that we shall have to do that (Romans 10; 2 Corinthians 5:10); and we must expect, when we do stand before the Judge, to account to Jesus Christ for
(1) the relation which we have voluntarily sustained to himself - how we have received his invitation, and with what fullness we have accepted him as the Redeemer, the Friend, the Lord of our heart and life;
(2) the way in which we have served him since we called ourselves by his Name - i.e. how closely we have followed him, how obedient we have been to his commandments, how earnest and faithful we have Showed ourselves in his cause; in tact, hove true and loyal we have proved to be as his servants here.
II. CONFORMED TO HIS LIKENESS, Will not our Lord expect to find those who professed to be his disciples, who had access to so many and such great privileges, stand before him such as he lived and died to make them.t We know what that is. "He gave himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity;" he has "called us to holiness;" he came and wrought his work in order that he might make us to be in our spirit and character the children of God, bearing our heavenly Father's image. He will therefore look to those who stand before him as his redeemed ones for:
1. Purity of heart; the abhorrence of all that is evil, and love for that which is good and true and pure.
2. A loving spirit; a spirit of unselfishness, of devotedness, of generosity, of tender solicitude for the well-being of others.
3. Reverence and consecration of heart to God.
III. READY FOR THE HEAVENLY SPHERE, To "stand before" the king meant to be ready to fulfill his royal behest, prepared to do at once and to do effectively whatever he might require. To stand before our Divine Sovereign means to be ready to do his bidding, to execute his commandments as he shall employ us in his heavenly service. We naturally and rightly hope that he will entrust us with the most honorable errands, will appoint us to elevated posts, will charge us with noble occupations that will demand enlarged ability and that will contribute great things to his cause and kingdom. We may be sure that the devoted and faithful discharge of our duties here will prove the best preparation for celestial activity and usefulness, lie that is faithful in a few things now will be made ruler over many things hereafter. He who puts out his talents here will be found worthy to stand before the King, and to be employed by him in broad and blessed spheres of service there. If we would be "accounted worthy" to do this, we must "watch and pray."
1. We must spend much time with God - in the study of his will and in supplication for the quickening influences of his Spirit.
2. We must often examine our own hearts, observing our progress or retrogression, ready for the act of penitence, or of praise, or of reconsecration as we find ourselves declining. We must also observe the forces that are around us, and distinguish carefully between the hostile and the friendly, between those which make for folly and for sin and those which lead up to wisdom and to righteousness. - C.
The Mount of Olives.
It will not be difficult to conceive how our Lord passed this sleepless night on the Mount of Olives.
I. NIGHT FOREBODINGS OVER THE DOOM OF THE CITY WHICH HAD REJECTED HIM. Can we wonder that His thoughts that night were sad? Meet the facts fully and attentively, of —
1. Christ's grief over the apostate city.
2. Christ's grief over the doomed city. He knew the inseparable connection between sinning against Christ and impending doom.
II. NIGHT REFLECTIONS UPON HIS PROPHECIES WHICH FORESHADOWED THE END. Desecration of the Holy City; slaughter and dispersion of God's people; dire international struggles; decadence of faith, etc.
III. NIGHT ANTICIPATIONS OF THE CLOSING EVENTS OF HIS EARTHLY CAREER. He clearly read each incident of His nearing anguish, and He carefully confronted it all. Nothing could divert Him from His goal
IV. NIGHT PREPARATION FOR THE SURRENDER TO HIS NEARING DEATH.
1. Why this readiness to meet death? He would save others; not Himself.
2. For whom this readiness to die? For false friends and hating foes.
The life of the Lord Jesus on earth was a true human life; and it is only as we fully recognize this fact that we can find in it an example for our guidance. Here is a brief but instructive record of one important portion of His ministry on earth — itself a type of His whole course. The day was given to work — the evening to quiet rest, meditation, and prayer. Both were necessary to the fulfilment of His mission, and both arc essential to the completeness of our Christian character. Here are two elements of Christian excellence, apparently apposite, yet both must be blended in one who would attain to the fulness of the stature of a perfect man in Christ Jesus. Many have tried, are trying, to separate them. There have been ages, there are still individuals and parties in whom there is an excess of the devotional — an excess, because it is to the exclusion of the active part. Man can never pray too often or too earnestly; but if his whole ideas of religious duty be confined to the reading of so-called spiritual books, the attendance on the public worship of God, or the performance of certain acts of private devotion — if the whole time that is not spent thus is regarded as something removed from the sphere of religion — if the ordinary work of the world be looked on as something that is fitted to lower the tone of the soul, and to interfere with spiritual earnestness — if even active service for Christ be depreciated, then the true character of a Christian life is altogether forgotten. There is the opposite danger, and it is perhaps that into which we are most prone to fall. Ours is the age of activity — from every side come to the Christian calls for earnest labour, for the overthrow of error, for the enlightening of ignorance, for the diffusion of the Gospel, for the relief of suffering and poverty, for the advancement of the numberless institutions which seek the advancement of Christ's kingdom. Demands of this character are incessant; and if obedience to them be the whole of our religion — if such engagements prevent heart-searching, God-seeking, quiet, meditation, and earnest prayer — ii they draw us away from that self-communion which is the true prelude to communion with God — if all is bustle, excitement, outward struggle, there is sure to be weakness.
I. It will not need much argument to prove that ACTIVE LABOURS FOR CHRIST ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF CHRISTIAN DUTY. The life of Christ is the model for all true human lives. In the perfection of His self-sacrifice, in His readiness for all kinds of service, in His eagerness to search out opportunities for blessing man, in His indifference to every motive or feeling that would have held Him back in His ministry of love — in the resolve so early announced, that He must be about His Father's business, our great Master inspires and guides us. His own teachings indicate clearly that His followers are not to be recluses dwelling apart from their kind, but men taking their place in the world's associations and movements, that they may affect them for good. They are the salt of the earth, and that salt must be applied to the mass which it is to season and preserve, else where were its value? Surely it argues no want of charity to say that all these pleas argue an absence of true love to Christ. Men complain of want of opportunities, want of adaptation, want of intellect, when their one grand deficiency is want of heart. Love will quicken languid feelings, multiply the few talents, ennoble that which else were mean, breathe courage into trembling hearts, and make the foolish wise to win souls. Difficulties that to sluggards seem insuperable, will but stimulate its ardour and reveal its strength.
II. THE CHRISTIAN MAN MUST HAVE HIS TIMES FOR RETIREMENT AND PRAYER. This is the other lesson taught by the brief record of the last week of our Lord's ministry on earth. Now as the crisis draws near and the cross is in immediate prospect, still more does His spirit crave that retirement in which, with strong crying and tears, He can make His supplication to His heavenly Father. To us the spectacle is alike sublime and mysterious, yet full of instruction. The glories which belong to the God cannot make us forget that He has become in all respects like to us, and that as our elder brother He teaches us our need, and shows us where we must seek for strength and succour. For we, too, need our times of rest for meditation, self-examination, and prayer. Soul and body in this follow the same law. Science tells us, and experience confirms the truth, that food is not more needful for the body than rest. Want of sleep will exhaust and kill as well as want of food. So with the soul. Asleep in the full sense it ought never to be, but rest, cessation of conflict, labour, and trial, it does need. Constant excitement, unrelaxing toil, unceasing struggle, would have the same effect on it as on the body. We feel, in our bodily life, need for even more than the night of sleep. Who can tell the blessing to the world, even as a mere physical good, of the Christian Sabbath? Our Good Shepherd knows our need, and therefore He has still waters to which He leads His flock — "waters of testings," where our spirits, exhausted by work or warfare, may find the refreshment they require. He calls us, therefore, to rest and prayer, that we may find the " renewing of the Holy Ghost." Thus the earnest worker is prepared to be the most importunate pleader with God, and the fervent prayer, in its turn, fills the soul with the inspiration of a burning zeal and the confidence of an assured faith.
TopicsAbode, Abroad, Day-time, During, Evening, Forth, Habit, Hill, Lodged, Lodging, Mount, Mountain, Named, Nights, Olives, Olivet, Oliveyard, Rest, Spend, Teach, Teaching, Temple
Outline1. Jesus commends the poor widow.5. He foretells the destruction of the temple, and of the city Jerusalem;25. the signs also which shall be before the last day.34. He exhorts them to be watchful.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesLuke 21:37
8235 doctrine, nature of
LibraryJune 3 Morning
Watch, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.--MATT. 25:13. 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. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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. …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
Sunday after Ascension Day
Text: First Peter 4, 7-11. 7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer: 8 above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves: for love covereth a multitude of sins: 9 using hospitality one to another without murmuring: 10 according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; 11 if any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God; if any man ministereth, ministering …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
When Shall These Things Be?
'And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may he fulfilled. 23. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture
The Nearness of the Kingdom
THE NEARNESS OF THE KINGDOM St Luke xxi. 31.--"Know that the Kingdom of God is near." Our Lord saith that the Kingdom of God is near us. Yea, the Kingdom of God is within us as St Paul saith "our salvation is nearer than when we believed." Now we should know in what manner the Kingdom of God is near us. Therefore let us pay diligent attention to the meaning of the words. If I were a king, and did not know it, I should not really be a king. But, if I were fully convinced that I was a king, and all …
Johannes Eckhart—Meister Eckhart's Sermons
St. Luke xxi. 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. This might be a text for a history of the Christian Church, from its foundation to this hour, or to the latest hour of the world's existence. We might observe how it Lad fulfilled its Lord's command; with what steadiness it had gone forward on its course, with the constant hope of meeting Him once again in glory. We might see how it had escaped …
Thomas Arnold—The Christian Life
Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent
(From the Gospel for the day) How that God is very near to us, and how we must seek and find the Kingdom of God within us, without respect to time and place.  Luke xxi. 31.--"Know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." OUR Lord says here that the kingdom of God is nigh to us. Yea, the kingdom of God is in us; and St. Paul says, that now is our salvation nearer to us than we believe. Now ye ought to know, first, how the kingdom of God is nigh at hand; secondly, when the kingdom of God is …
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler
Evil Habits and Injurious Indulgences.
The Word of the Lord may not denominate in plain terms every particular sin and evil practise man may engage in; however there are general terms and principles of righteousness that prohibit and condemn every possible sinful act man may perform. The words card-parties, picnics, fairs, shows and theaters are not found in the writings of the apostles; however indulgence in these is "revelry," "living in pleasure," "rioting" and worldliness, of which the Scriptures say the participants do not love God …
Charles Ebert Orr—The Gospel Day
Remaining Books of the Old Testament.
1. The divine authority of the Pentateuch having been established, it is not necessary to dwell at length on the historical books which follow. The events which they record are a natural and necessary sequel to the establishment of the theocracy, as given in the five books of Moses. The Pentateuch is occupied mainly with the founding of the theocracy; the following historical books describe the settlement of the Israelitish nation under this theocracy in the promised land, and its practical operation …
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible
"In your patience possess ye your souls."--Luke 21:19 "Stille, mein Wille! dein Jesu hilft siegen." Unbekanntes. [Catherina Schlegel] transl., Jane Borthwick, 1855 Be still, my soul!--the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief and pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide-- In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul!--thy best, thy Heavenly Friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Be still, my soul!--thy God doth undertake To guide the future, …
Jane Borthwick—Hymns from the Land of Luther
Epistle Lxiii. To Dominicus, Bishop of Carthage.
To Dominicus, Bishop of Carthage. Gregory to Dominicus, &c. We have already learnt what great pestilence has invaded the African parts; and, inasmuch as neither is Italy free from such affliction, doubled are the groans of our sorrows. But amid these evils and other innumerable calamities our heart, dearest brother, would fail from desperate distress, had not the Lord's voice fortified our weakness beforehand. For long ago to the faithful the trumpet of the Gospel lesson sounded, warning them that …
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great
Of Meditating on the Future Life.
1. The design of God in afflicting his people. 1. To accustom us to despise the present life. Our infatuated love of it. Afflictions employed as the cure. 2. To lead us to aspire to heaven. 2. Excessive love of the present life prevents us from duly aspiring to the other. Hence the disadvantages of prosperity. Blindness of the human judgment. Our philosophizing on the vanity of life only of momentary influence. The necessity of the cross. 3. The present life an evidence of the divine favour to his …
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion
The Lessons from Olivet
Our last chapter was on the Transfiguration. The next will be on The Last Supper. Between these two events in our Saviour's life, how many interesting incidents took place! How many important sayings that fell from his gracious lips during this period are written for our instruction by the four evangelists! There is, for instance, the beautiful lesson about what it is on which the value of our gifts depend. He taught this lesson when he saw the rich casting their gifts into the treasury. Among them …
Richard Newton—The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young
At Night, Jesus Abode on the Mount of Olives
And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.--St. Luke xxi: 37. * * * * * NOTE BY THE ARTIST As we ascend towards sunset the slopes of Olivet, and pause to gaze on the scenes beneath, the panorama of the city presented to view is in its leading features essentially similar to that upon which the eyes of Jesus rested, when "at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called …
Richard Newton—The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young
The Present Distress of Nations.
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them with fear, and for looking after those things which are coming to pass on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Luke 21:25, 26). As we have already remarked more than once, prophecy invariably has a double fulfillment at least, and so we believe it is with the one just quoted. Directly, it has reference …
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return
That the Ruler Relax not his Care for the Things that are Within in his Occupation among the Things that are Without, nor Neglect to Provide
The ruler should not relax his care for the things that are within in his occupation among the things that are without, nor neglect to provide for the things that are without in his solicitude for the things that are within; lest either, given up to the things that are without, he fall away from his inmost concerns, or, occupied only with the things that are within bestow not on his neighbours outside himself what he owes them. For it is often the case that some, as if forgetting that they have …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
July 18 Evening
She hath done what she could.--MARK 14:8. This poor widow hath cast in more than they all.--Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.--If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.--If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
Two Forms of one Saying
'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.' --Matt. xxiv. 13, R.V. 'In your patience possess ye your souls.'--Luke xxi. 19. These two sayings, different as they sound in our Version, are probably divergent representations of one original. The reasons for so supposing are manifold and obvious on a little consideration. In the first place, the two sayings occur in the Evangelists' reports of the same prophecy and at the same point therein. In the second place, the verbal resemblance is …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Great Assize
[i.e., The Last Judgment -- GL]  "We shall all stand before the judgement-seat of Christ." Rom. 14:10. 1. How many circumstances concur to raise the awfulness of the present solemnity! -- The general concourse of people of every age, sex, rank, and condition of life, willingly or unwillingly gathered together, not only from the neighboring, but from distant, parts; criminals, speedily to be brought forth and having no way to escape; officers, waiting in their various posts, to execute the orders …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
Observing the Offerings and Widow's Mites.
(in the Temple. Tuesday, April 4, a.d. 30.) ^B Mark XII. 41-44; ^C Luke XXI. 1-4. ^b 41 And he sat down over against the treasury [It is said that in the court of the women there were cloisters or porticos, and under the shelter of these were placed thirteen chests with trumpet-shaped mouths into which offerings might be dropped. The money cast in was for the benefit of the Temple. An inscription on each chest showed to which one of the thirteen special items of cost or expenditure the contents would …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
The Epistle to the Colossians.
The Churches in Phrygia. The cities of Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis are mentioned together as seats of Christian churches in the closing chapter of Colossians, and the Epistle may be considered as being addressed to all, for the apostle directs that it be read also in the churches of the Laodiceans (Col. 4:13-16). They were situated within a few miles of each other in the valley of the Lycus (a tributary of the Maeander) in Phrygia on the borders of Lydia, and belonged, under the Roman rule, …
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I
The Four Gospels.
General Character and Aim of the Gospels. Christianity is a cheerful religion and brings joy and peace from heaven to earth. The New Testament opens with the gospel, that is with the authentic record of the history of all histories, the glad tidings of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The four canonical Gospels are only variations of the same theme, a fourfold representation of one and the same gospel, animated by the same spirit.  They are not full …
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I
I. (Unless patience sit by his side, cap. i. p. 707.) Let me quote words which, many years ago, struck me forcibly, and which I trust, have been blest to my soul; for which reason, I must be allowed, here, to thank their author, the learned and fearless Dean Burgon, of Chichester. In his invaluable Commentary on the Gospel, which while it abounds in the fruits of a varied erudition, aims only to be practically useful, this pious scholar remarks: "To Faith must be added Patience, the patient waiting …
Look we Then, Beloved, what Hardships in Labors and Sorrows Men Endure...
3. Look we then, beloved, what hardships in labors and sorrows men endure, for things which they viciously love, and by how much they think to be made by them more happy, by so much more unhappily covet. How much for false riches, how much for vain honors, how much for affections of games and shows, is of exceeding peril and trouble most patiently borne! We see men hankering after money, glory, lasciviousness, how, that they may arrive at their desires, and having gotten not lose them, they endure …
St. Augustine—On Patience
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