But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:34-36
To me, this is one of the most important End-Times verses in the Bible! There's so much truth in these few verses if we take the time to break them apart and analyze them.
In context: Jesus has just finished telling his Disciples about the Signs of the Times and the End of the Age. (This Olivet Discourse is paralleled in Matthew 24). After listing all the signs to look out for, Jesus then tells His Disciples that the generation which sees the Fig Tree blossom is the final generation.
Now, let's dig deeper into these few verses.
"But Take Heed". What does heed mean? It's not a word we see very often these days, so I looked it up. Here's the definition: "Pay careful attention to" Okay, so this seems pretty important then. The Greek word means "Beware"
Take Heed to yourselves. Pay attention to ourselves? Yes. We see in the next verses what we are to beware of.
Carousing - Greek Word kraipalē which means a headache caused by drinking too much
Drunkenness - The meaning is obvious
You may say, well, I don't drink alcohol so I'm off the hook, right? But do you have anxieties? Do you have things that distract you from Jesus? It could be anything that you put ahead of him, money, success, fame, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, children, goals, beauty, etc... all of these things are not bad in themselves, but they are distracting if we allow them to be.
Jesus is warning us to not allow the cares and pleasures and worries of life to consume our minds and get us distracted from His soon return! He's also warning us not to indulge in the sinful pleasures of this world in whatever form they take.
And that Day come upon you unexpectedly. What Day? And why is it capitalized? Because it's a certain day, the Day of the Lord, which is a phrase that pertains to both the Lord's coming and the Span of the final 7 years of the Tribulation.
Okay, So Jesus is warning us to stay out of sinful behavior and to not get too distracted by the things of the world because if we do so, He will come unexpectedly. In other words, we'll be so distracted by life that we won't know when He's coming.
But why would that matter? So what if we are too distracted with life and cares and pleasures? If we are saved and believe in Jesus, we're good to go, right? We'll go in the rapture, right?
Yet, these verses seem to contradict that thought, don't they? Why would Jesus give such a strong warning that we are to live a certain way and stay away from sinful indulgences and even away from distractions if it had no bearing on our getting raptured? Let's continue.
For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Snare = Greek word pagis - a trap, sudden, unexpected, deadly peril
On the whole earth? So this Day of the Lord is going to come and trap the entire earth with unexpected deadly peril.
Watch - Greek word agrypneō, which means. Stay awake! Be Attentive, Be ready!
So, I guess we are supposed to be watching the signs for His return
And pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things
To be counted worthy - Greek word kataxioō which means worthy, or to deem entirely deserving
To Escape - Greek word ekpheugō which means to Flee, to seek safety in flight!
(Seek safety in flight? That sounds like the rapture to me!)
Okay, let me get this straight. It sounds like this means that we are to pray that we will be deserving or worthy to be raptured when Jesus comes. Which seems to imply that if we aren't found worthy, we won't be taken.
Some people might say, "I am worthy because I believe in Jesus. I'm a Christian!" But then I would ask why does Jesus exhort us to PRAY that we may be found worthy? Hmm.
Let's put this together.
- Jesus is returning to gather His saints in what we call the rapture.
- It is obviously a pre-tribulation rapture since He clearly states that we can "escape all these things" which He just described.
- Jesus warns us to stay away from sinful indulgences and to not be distracted by the pleasures, worries and cares of this world.
- Jesus warns us that if we aren't careful He will return when we don't expect Him and we won't be ready
- If we aren't ready when He comes, we will get trapped in the deadly peril that will come upon the entire earth at that time.
- However, if we watch and pray and follow Him and not the world, then we will be able to escape the entire tribulation coming upon the earth.
This is straight from the lips of Jesus. Got a problem with it, take it up with Him!
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!