SOMETHING NEW IS COMING TO MEN OF COURAGE!
For I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in:
36Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you hungry, and fed you? or thirsty, and gave you drink?
38When saw we you a stranger, and took you in? or naked, and clothed you?
39Or when saw we you sick, or in prison, and came unto you?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Since you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.
Pull about 6 miles today in Clinton. Started out like many other days, leaving everything behind except my ID, some cards, wrist bands with 2 chronicles 7 14 on them and my pad and pen. Oh yeah cell phone, Guess it would be easier to say no money no credit cards, like the bible says take not an extra cloak or sandels, well I carried about 3 miles and met up with Billie (The mom) Regina (who had on a lifeguard shirt like I had on) Westley and Lindsay. Talked and shared testimonies and then my favorite, The PRAYER TIME. You know whats really special about praying on the side of a major highway with a family of 4? Praying on the side of a major highway with a family of 4! As they were finishing up, along came Shelia. Shelia heard directly from God to stop. I know this because just 100 yards earlier I asked God to send some cold water. She said she passed me by but something spoke to her to go get water and come back and find me! We both knew who the Someone was! We talked about work, and life and church for a while and then guess what??? You guessed it PRAYER TIME! Told Shelia what I tell everyone I pray with. God told me if I would take on this Cross Journey and take time to pray for and with people, that He would move suddenly in this special season of the Cross Walk! So Shelia, only you and me, and God and Jesus know what we prayed for, oh yeah 238 billion Angels too! All singing Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty!!. Said bye to Shelia and heard God say time to turn around and head back, (3 mile tripX2) Got to the Ford dealer and had Ian and his daughter stop. He asked me if he could carry the Cross for a stretch. But since he had his little girl Haley with him we decided to just talk and share. He’s a single dad trying had to make ends meet. Works out of town alot and stays at home with his parents, and that helps out with Haley. Prayed hard for Ian, for everything to work according to God’s plan for him, then an old buddy from Faith Promise pulled out of the dealership so he stopped to share too. Told him Ian’s story and oh yeah Robert Bruce and I think alot alike, so he layed out a special prayer for Ian and Haley, and as we finished up my father in law pulled up. Said he had seen me carrying the cross and stopped to make sure everything was ok. Mo Whitson introduced himself to everyone and I let them all know it was he that built the cross I carry. Mo spent many years in a high level nuke job at one of the plants and is highly educated and so so so smart, however my wife says he may not believe the way we do about the bible being Gods spoken words and all, but we pray all the time that something will happen that leads me into the conversation to share my story with him and I do believe that God placed Mo and his wife Gwen in Clinton at the exact time I was walking by, as nothing happens without God ordering the footsteps. As Mo was getting ready to leave another car pulled up and a very enthusiastic man jumped out and shouted Whats the deal with that Cross and I’m a Christian and I think its Great that your doing this! Right in front of Mo. His name was Isaac from sevierville. He came over to the cross and asked me if he could pray a blessing over me, and you know I was all grins when he said that. He prayed, robert and I stood in agreement and everyone went their seperate ways! What a great day with the Cross, a great day with the Lord, what a great day period! God is Good! Come on people, lets hear some feedback!!!!!! Shabbabaa
Sorry I’ve not been able to post the Cross Adventures for a week or so…. Technical Difficullty….Got the opportunity to walk my Cross thru Sevierville Tn about 13 miles to Pigeon Forge and back last week, many splinters 2 blisters and a sore back later I found myself asking Is It Worth It? When I walked that first 6 mile stretch and only had a few horn toots and a couple of ladies there for A church of God convention stop, chat and pray, I’m asking God if this is what He would have me do? Got rained on and NO WATER for those 6 miles and again I’m wondering, Is this worth the effort? Then my 17 year old son Michael called me as I stopped and took a rest, layed back on a grassy bank, he said What cha doin? When I explained where I was and where I had been and where I was at and what all that had happened, or should I say hadn’t happened, Straight outta the mouths of babes… He said Dad, you have no idea how many people passed you by that had to see that Cross, How many kids saw you and had to ask their mom or dad, Hey why is that guy carrying a cross? How many people got a conversation going about the Cross, and anyway Dad, Its not about you now is it? Its about Him and His Cross isn’t it, now pick up your Cross and finish out what you started today. Major Gut Check people. Heard the Lord speak out again about a boat full of fisherman fishing all nite and catching nothing, and Jesus saying, Now try the other side of the boat!! And I listened, and carried up about a half mile and crossed the street (boat) and headed back to where I started. Still no water and no contacts but about 4 miles on I came to a point on the roadway where I could see my shadow on the rocks below, that small body overshadowed by that huge cross, thats where I go my second wind, and thats when the Spirit blew in! A couple from Louisville Ky Douglas and Wendy, down for the day celebrating Evan’s birthday (Son). First thing I saw was their daughter Faith, holding a huge stuffed black bear, they all were just smiling and happy, I could tell they had the Spirit glow all over them. We chatted for a while and enjoyed the fellowship, talked about church and the Lord and just had a great time, Wendy handed me a wad of bills and said she wanted to support the cross, and wow what great timing, cause when I leave out daily, I take my id, some cards, a pad and pen, and the Cross. No cash, no credit cards, trusting God to supply everything. As they pulled off, I went in to a gas station for a water, and when I came out I saw an suv full for people waiting, I knew another divine appointment was here. The lady driving motioned for me to come over and she asked me if I was the guy who carried the Cross all over the world, Author Blessett! No not me, wow 30 years of cross time, I was feeling his pain! The Espinoza’s had great stories to share, about families and friends, about church and how God provided a miracle healing twice for her so… 13 miles and was it worth it? Think Jesus would have traded the beating for a dozen splinters and a blister or two? Think He was thirsty enought to drink sour wine? DO YOU THINK FOR A MINUTE HE ASKED HIMSELF IS MIKE ALIFF WORTH IT? IS ALL MANKIND WORTH IT? GUT CHECK PEOPLE! What have you given up for Him? For His Kingdom? Have you died to the flesh today? Have you forsaken everything for Him today? Have you taken 20 minutes out of your Life to tell someone what a wonderful gift God Gave Us today? Why not? Is what He did on that Cross not worth it? Gut Check People!! PS spent 4 more days carrying in Harriman, but its been a little rough! Pray the Light disperse the darkness, that revival break out, and oh yeah pastors if by chance your reading this remember who raised you up to the place you are today, He raises up Kings and Kingdoms, and He also takes them away, NOW WAKE UP, PRAY UP AND START PREACHING WITH THE ANNOINTING OF THE HOLY GHOST. Taking the Cross to Clinton Tn. Pray for God to use me to draw someone back to Him, Not by His Power nor by His Might, but by His SPIRIT! Amen Amen and Amen
Logged about 9 Miles thru Lenoir City today. It started out like it usually does, me driving down the road and waiting to hear God say Stop and carry. Its actually become quite interesting how clear His voice is when I stop talking and try listening for a change. He says drive I drive He says stop I stop He says rest I rest He says stay right here I’m sending someone to see you, I stay right there and waa laa here they come. Very Powerful! First encounter was at the Ford dealer, a saleman came out and said hello, chatted for a while and then offered up that cold bottle of water. Oh yeah, 94 degrees 140 lbs of Cross and miles of blacktop can sap the strength right out of you. A minute later another salesman came to the road and shared his testimony which I love to hear, and told me that the first salesman had came back inside and said “There’s a guy out front carrying a cross, you guys should go speak to him, he said that guy had just started a nw relationship with a woman who was leading him to start attending church and he was really showing outward signs that “Something was changing in him, he then prayed over me and that was special to me. Next Linda pulled over off the hiway and offered me a pizza she had just bought and was on her way to her dad’s house, Kenneth was his name, 91. When I asked if there was anything she would like me to pray about she welled up in her eyes and said her dad was lost and it was hard to talk to him about the Lord because He just doesn’t want to hear it. So we shared some scriptures that give promise to the lost to find salvation and we asked God to pour out His spirit on Kenneth gently to bring him to his knees. Believing for that Linda!!! She pulled off and Belinda pulled over almost immediately. Drawn to a guy carrying the Cross, just saying she thought it was great to see, but when that question of what could we pray for God to move on, it became apparent why she had stopped. Belinda’s daughter had just lost both her young children to the courts because she is dealing with some addictions and the courts were swayed by a homosexual couple with $$$ instead of blood relatives. She we hit our knees praying for Michelle her daughter to reach out again for help, and for protection of the babies Jada and Jasmine. The Spirit was all over the highway and in her car and we both felt a gentle wind blow a cooling breeze over us. She pulled off and I continued to the crossover of I-75 where I hear God say time to rest. Its funny when I hear that I’m always close to a shell station. I wanted to cross the highway to a shady guardrail but once again the Voice said No, someone is coming. I walked over to a picnic table a layed the Cross against it and I saw a woman and a girl sitting with the windows down and just waiting, kinda like me, so I walked over and introduced myself and asked what was happening in their lives. Well, Kim was from Chattanooga and was picking up a daughter who was in foster care here in Loudon County and she was coming with her for a week of spring break. Kim said she had been dealing with some things lately but has felt God calling her back unto Himself. She said she didn’t even have gas money to get up here but she was offered a $100 signiture loan out of the blue just today so she felt God had provided a way and she said she prayed her care would make it back. We prayed for restoration in relationships and for Holy Ghost power to say no to the emeny thats trying to destroy her family. She has a good job and things are on the up swing and she promised to stay grounded in the word, to pray hard daily, hourly and we prayed for the other daughter Courtney to grow up to love the Lord with all her heart. I really felt this was who God said he was sending, but when I reached over to pick up the cross, the Voice said Not Yet, someone’s coming. Just then I called a few people I keep posted on where I am and whats happening so far plus my wife likes to hear the victories too, and I saw the car, a big lincoln, ramp on the back, handicapp tag on the rear view and a lady driving thats put her seat back like she was going to cop a few ZZZZZ’s. While I was talking to Mark who’s in Salem Ohio, I noticed she was looking at me and or the cross and I just knew, She was the one sent. I got off the phone and walked over to her window and said hello. Asked if she was traveling a resting and she said just resting. She had just got off work at a nursing home and was really tired. But was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Roxanne said she had been battling some sickness that she had over came (Cancer) but the Doctors were stumped as to why she was tired all the time. Well I guess if you’ve followed this novel this far you know what came next. Oh yeah, time to make a little noise in the heavenly realm and Shout a little, oh yes I had forgot I had some annointing oil from Israel in my pocket and no better time to use it. Resurrection Power of Cinnaman, myur, lily of the valley, frankenscence (Wife hates when I misspell) oh well -5. Alabaster Box oil. The Holy Spirit fell once again and we both shed a few tears of joy. Finally God said I could cross get it cross the street. Headed back I see a young lady getting out of her car at Bojangles and headed thru the grass, coming my way.Angie was her name about 26. You could see the Spirit radiating off her face, She asked if she could record my story about why I carry my cross. It was a very annointed conversation, we shared testimonies and thoughts about the days we are in, the church, and life in general, when Darlene walked up, just wanted to tell me how great it was to see someone doing what I was doing and she shared a little about herself. Well guess what, its question time, what do we need God to move on, Angie said her mom, I never got exactly what specifically she needed but Our intercessor knows and takes it to the Father , but Darlene said her grandson Keelan 15 was struggling. Without a father figure in the home he made connections with peers who only want to see him rebell. We all three held hands on the side of the highway in rush hour traffic and lifted up Jesus boldly for all the world to see and I felf the wind of God blow again. We parted ways and I made the last 2 or so miles without any contact. When I got back to where I parded my truck, I was about 50 feet from it and I heard that voice again, WAIT HERE someones coming! Sure enough a lovely lady in a camry pulled over and asked if she cold buy me a coke or something, and I told her my journey was almost over but asked that all important question about what we need God to move on. She shared a wonderful testimony about her coming to Christ at 14 and her Husband coming at 64 All the sons and daughters and grandchildren had Jesus in their hearts except on, 12 yr old shelby. Well me and Edith shouted a little rejoiced a little bound a little loosed a little and then shouted a little more. Felt the wind of the Spirit blow again and maybe a little groung shake, anyway I know God heard us and moved His footstool again. Wow what another day in the Kingdom. Walking, sweating, acheing, praying, rejoicing! All of it. And is 9 miles of cross bearing worth it? You tell me. Do you hear thousands of naked angel babies blowing kaazoos and throwing confetti because the lost were coming home, sickness was being healed families were being restored, hope and the cross passed thousands of people, and I got a good sunburn… Was it worth it? You bet cha. Jesus gave His life for each one of those who came boldly to a stranger carrying a cross. Matthew 25 says I was hungry, thirsty, sick, in prison, and still you came and offered something up. What you’ve done friends is what we do to the least of these, because who knows, maybe itsthe same as doing it unto Him, the one who really carryed that Cross. Yeshua Jesus Messiah. Thanks to everyone kind enought to offer provision for the Cross. Love you guys! Keep praying for revival!!1 Mike
The day started out a little rough, when I finished loading up the Cross (10′ By 6′ of 4×4) I got in the truck and found a dead battery. Needless to say, the enemy has been nipping at our heels ever since the Vision was given of carrying the Cross! Attacks on health, attacks on finances, but most of all attacks on our minds, his favorite place to wage warfare, however I stand in faith and proclaim The Battle Belongs To The Lord bow down at the Cross or flee. Anyway, arrived in Harriman Tenn around 2. Parked at the St. Mary’s Baptist Church (a whole nother story there) and started to unload the Cross. BAM all the sudden out of clear blue skies rolls in a dark cloud, kind of a reminder as to why Harriman was first destination of the Cross, (I saw a dark cloud covering Harriman) horrible thunder and lightning for about an hour, all I could do was read the Word, read a prayer book by John Hagee, and speak to the cloud that I wasn’t leaving until my business was thru. I did ask God if that was where He wanted the journey to begin, and if so could He give me a sign, asked for a rainbow. Felt the need to drive toward the sun on the other side of town and stopped at McDonalds at I-75. Had a fish sandwich and a tea, sat down and waited. Saw the rain letting up a little and went out to the truck to see if I could see my sign. While I was out there I put on my JESUS hat a guy gave me at the flea market earlier last week and went back in to get my tea. When the clouds parted and the sun came out I saw the beginnings of a rainbow so I went back out to the truck for my camera, when I got there a guy had followed me out and said I couldn’t help but notice your Hat, JESUS I took it off and looked at it again, and now in a different light, JESUS written in all different colors, like the rainbow. Double confirmation, Anyway the guy tod me he was meeting his pastor there and asked if I wanted to meet him, so in trying to keep this from being a novel, I met the pastor, we have had similar visions and we prayed for CJ son of the first guy. Definately a divine appointment! Back to the St Mary’s church, bright sun hot muggy and the Cross. Hauled it about 3 miles or so west and had a few horn beeps and hand waves and a few people struggled to make sure they didn’t look my way and make eye contact but thats ok, for a moment they gazed upon the Cross. Got to a big bridge on the other side of town and felt the Lord say that a break and rest. Seemed like as soon as I sat down a cool breeze blew over me and I heard His voice say be still, I’m sending someone, Wait here. Called my wife Susan, who is concerned about a few things that need to be addressed in our finances and as she voiced her concerns, I saw a car pull over about 100 yards east and a young girl get out and head my way. I could see she was carrying a bottle of water. She walked up and I could see her lips quivering, and she said her and her Mimi (grandmaw) saw me hot and sweaty and thought I could use some water. We talked a while and I asked her about her relationship with God and about her church home, and after some great fellowship I asked her if we could pray, we did and it was awesome, she said she had decided to get closer to the Lord, read her Word, and find a church that would welcome her just as she is! After a brief encounter with the local police, I was cleared to Carry On no pun intended! Headed back the way I came and prayed for the appointment God planned out and for my wife to have peace in what I’m doing. Almost back, I came across 2 men working at a detail shop that had spoke on my first lap thru town, and passed them by about 5 steps when I heard the Voice say go back and say Peace, and see if you are received. When we shared stories about the day and interacted thru the common bond of guys and their hats ( his said Jesus is my boss or something) we talked business a minute and just when I thought it was time to go, an SUV pulled up front and the guy with the hat went over to great them and see if they wanted a detail, he then turned and said they’re here to see you!!! These 2 ladies were holding 2 ice cold waters and said they had seen me and thought I could use a drink, just then another lady pulled up with 2 more waters saying the same thing. We fellowshipped a while and I asked if there was anything specific we need to pray about, and yes there was, she had a friend in Califoria that doesn’t know the Lord, and I could see the tears filling her eyes as she shared the story, so we just all pressed in to His presence and started praying. Thought some tears and petitions, I could feel the Holy Spirit all around us, knowing He hears us when we pray. Blessed to be a blessing is all I can say. In closing, I can only say what a joy it was to be in the streets, carrying a Cross, My Cross and following after my King. I’m sure people don’t always understand it, even question it, and I know the devil hates it. The one thing that lets him know he is defeated is that Cross. That one week from Passover, the Perfect Lamb was slain, and Blood was spilt, for you and for me. That in everything we stand for and on, that Cross, that Blood and that Savior King Yeshua Jesus Messiah. That after all He did for me, after all the suffering and then redeeming and reconciling He did for me, and that in the end said it is Finished, called me out of the world and the flesh and said who shall I send and who will go for me, and all I had to do to bring Glory to His Name was lug a 10 foot Cross thru Yourtown USA All I can say is Here am I Lord SEND ME! PS Pray for my wife and for provision for the ministry, taking no thought for tomorrow, just seek seek seeking! Humbled once again Mike text 865-255-5135
“If anyone wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”
Several weeks ago I heard God calling. He had a mission greater than the Men of Courage meetings that have been taking place in 2 locations in Tennessee and 1 in Ohio. I visioned Men, All carrying a Cross, a Cross of many different sizes, some large some small, all walking thru small town USA. A huge visual to America that our hope lies in the Cross! In the next few days to within a week, I will be setting out in my son’s 1988 lond bed chevy truck, with 2 ten foot 4×4 Crosses, why 2? Not sure. Maybe for back up, maybe God stirs someelse to come along side, who knows, but coming to a city or town near you, A man and His Cross, equipped with a 10×10 tent, a table, some signs, a bullhorn (Lol) some bibles, a journal, a camara, and no money! I quit my job in order to be fully sold out to what the Lord has called me to do, and am fully trusting Him to provide all that I and my family back in Tennessee need. Yes we have a house payment, a car payment, 4 kids (3 in college) all the bills that come along side all families and oh yeah 8 dogs!!! Abraham stepped out in faith to pack it up and Go, getting to a point in the road and just simlpy saying Which way would you have me go Lord? This is one of those times. I heard Him say If not now, when? If not you, who? What else could I say? Here I am Lord, send me! The Lord will set forth the footsteps to follow, He will divinely set the appointments, and will fill my mouth with His words, The Holy Spirit goes before me, and Peace follows! I’m looking for the Glory Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night, wow the more I write the more excited I get. Just Pray without ceasing in the Spirit that His will be done and that people come to draw into a closer Covenant relationship, and for those who know Him not get ready for a Love encounter unlike anything they have ever experienced! Your seed of financial support is always appreciated! Cell phone will be on at all times, so text or call to see where He leads. PS Will try to upload some stuff to youtube as soon as I figure out how! Be Blessed and may Jehovah God be Glorified in all that we do, and the name of Yeshua Jesus Messiah be lifted High! Amen
Bare with me people, for our Lord is sending out a Word! “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord! The time has come so as many as read and follow this site (5 or so) GET READY! I can promise you it will be RADICAL!
God had given Moses and Israel ironclad promises of deliverance, so Moses went
to the people with the good news. He performed signs for them and Scripture
says they believed: “Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the
elders of the children of Israel. And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord
had spoken to Moses. Then he did signs in the sight of the people. So the
people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of
Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads
and worshiped” (Exodus 4:29-31).
It was a time of hope and rejoicing. Everyone cried, “Hallelujah! We are
finally free! God has heard our cry and our bondage is over. Praise to Him!”
Yet, what happened next? Things only got worse. Israel’s bondage became
absolutely unbearable. They were given no straw for making bricks and they
endured heavy beatings from their taskmasters. Pharaoh raged at Israel’s
leaders, “Get out of my sight. Back to work!”
Moses could not believe this terrible turn of events. He cried out, “God, why
are You treating Your people this way? You haven’t delivered us at all; in
fact, things are worse than ever. You haven’t kept Your Word and nothing You
promised is happening.”
You must understand, the devil knew Israel’s deliverance was right at the
door, so do you think he was going to sit by and not make one last attempt to
wear out God’s people? The worsening of Israel’s condition wasn’t God’s
doing. Rather, it was Satan rushing about madly—hurrying his work before the
hour of deliverance came. Likewise, whenever the devil sees you driven to your
knees, he knows your deliverance is at hand and he is not going to sit by in
those final moments before victory comes! Instead, he will intensify your
temptations. He will enflame people against you and send lying spirits to
falsely accuse you. He will lie to you that God has taken His Holy Spirit from
you, that you are paying for past sins. He will try to flood you with all kinds
of guilt and condemnation.
If you are praying, but things are only getting worse, start rejoicing because
your deliverance is at hand!
(11) ” Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD,
” That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the LORD.
(12) They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD,
But shall not find it.
Unfortunately, during these terrible times when God’s Word is most needed to help the people come to repentance, it will be almost impossible to find. When the people finally realize that God wants them to repent, it will be too late. The seeds of their destruction have been sown, and the crop is already ripe. The only truth available to them in the tumult of God’s judgment is what they can remember. It is for this reason that God warns us in these times to “[redeem] the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
If our hope in the Kingdom of God, the resurrection of the dead, and sharing life with God eternally are not sufficient to motivate us to repent, perhaps fear of a terrible calamity, the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, or being spewed from God’s mouth as a Laodicean will move us to use the present to secure the future. God prophesies to motivate us to cling to Him and His Word right now, and He is willing to scare us nearly to death in order to save us.
During this famine, “They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it” (Amos 8:12). Amos probably refers to the Dead and Mediterranean Seas, east to west, and adds “north to east,” describing a triangle with the south direction left out. Why would he do this?
On a map of Palestine, the Dead Sea lies to the east, the Mediterranean to the west and the nation of Israel to the north. What lies to the south? Jerusalem, where the truth was! In Amos’ day, the truth was taught in God’s Temple in Jerusalem.
Israelites wanted to be known as seekers of the truth, but in reality they did not want it. Their pride would not allow them to pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the truth, for that meant they would need to humble themselves before the Word of God.
Wander can be rendered “stagger” like a drunk or “tremble” like lips quivering in agitation because one is so angry or fearful he is unable to speak. It shows the people in a state of panic and intense agitation. They are desperately searching for what they had regarded so lightly: God, the Bible, His truth. But they cannot find them anywhere!
Thus they will seek any kind of religion, and many will fall prey to false ones. This scenario is already happening in modern Israel. New Age, mystical, and Eastern religions are growing steadily, and many “Christians” feel free to borrow “truth” from other religions. Additionally, recent years have seen the rise of ecumenical movements within a broad spectrum of religious bodies.
(1) “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,”These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. (2) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. (3) Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
(15) “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. (16) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (17) Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
After calling them essentially the “church of the mostly dead,” He instructs them to “be watchful.” He complements this with, “strengthen the things which remain,” which qualifies the meaning of “watch.” There is still a glimmer of life within this church, but the letter gives the impression that they have relaxed in their spiritual responsibilities so much that they are nearly comatose. They have not been vigilant in their core responsibilities or on guard against deception, apathy, or neglect. They have not had sleepless nights over their standing with God.
Interestingly, in the Bible’s first mention of the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12), it says that it “shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up—and it shall be brought low.” The primary target is the proud—the self-assured. The ironic thing is that this state of spiritual near-death could easily come about even while they are avidly watching world events. They could be quite adept at following the news reports and may know better than anyone what is really going on in the world and how it fits with prophecy.
But that does not fulfill Christ’s and the apostle’s commands to watch! It is not that it is wrong to keep tabs on world news, but watching world news is chiefly about observing. True watching emphasizes diligence; it is being alert to spiritual dangers more than physical ones. It is about faithfully carrying out our God-given responsibilities, like a servant in the Master’s house. None of that results from simply being a news- or prophecy-addict.
In verse 3, He tells them to call to mind the previous lessons and instructions they have heard. He tells them to repent and to guard and maintain their position so they backslide no further. As before, His description gives little indication of spiritual vibrancy or zeal. There probably is a great deal of activity, since He says that they have a name—or reputation—for being alive. Yet, in the areas that truly matter—like growth, faith, seeking God, and overcoming—not much is happening.
He also warns them that, if they will not watch themselves and their covenant responsibilities to their Master, He will come upon them like a thief. He implies that they will not be counted worthy to escape. They may not be appointed to wrath as the world is, but they certainly are not immune to it. In fact, they stand a good chance of experiencing some of it, having not been vigilant and alert in watching over the things that God has given them.
Plainly, Christ will return when we do not expect Him. We may be able to observe some general indicators when key prophecies are fulfilled, but the overall timing will be a mystery. His coming will be like a thief in the night, purposefully hidden from all. Rather than trying to discern the timing, we are instructed to “watch”—not world events, but to watch over all that God has given to us, so that when that Day arrives, we are ready. He knows that if we are faithful in little—in the mundane, the monotonous, the unexciting—we will also be faithful in the truly great things that lie ahead.