Observant Christianity (1 Corinthians #56)

Two very important words that Paul tells the Corinthians to live by, watch ye.  Some people are better at paying attention to their surroundings than others.  Law enforcement is trained to observe and spot trouble.  Sometimes dealing with trouble all day really helps you see trouble far off.  Ask a fire marshal or fireman to describe any dangers they see in a building and I guarantee that they’ll see more problem areas than most of us see because they are familiar with fire, how it consumes, and the trouble people get into when they aren’t prepared.  Sherlock Holmes became popular in fiction literature for his powers of observation.

Implies there is danger

  • Intentional danger
    • Watchman had a responsibility to warn the people of impending danger.
  • Unintentional danger
    • Babysitter to watch the kids.  Make sure they don’t burn down the house.

Identify what I’m looking for

  • Looking for sin
    • Watch ye… What am I looking for?  If someone were to say to you before they left that they needed you to watch, you might ask the question, what am I looking for?  Paul says, watch ye.
    • Like security cameras looking for suspicious or criminal activity.
    • In your words – Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.  You see the guy in the hoodie come out of the corner store.  Investigators try to identify him.  Just like you keep tabs on what’s coming out of your mouth to identify who’s inside there.
    • In thoughts
    • In companions
    • In the heart
    • Way of escape in temptation.  Will with the temptation make a way of escape.  Driving down a road that leads to sin, which is where temptation and opportunity meet.  While you’re on the road of temptation there is an exit sign that says “Escape.”  God has promised an exit so you aren’t forced into sin, but if you pass the exit of “Escape,” you will end up in sin.  Watch and pray that ye fall not into temptation.
  • Looking after souls
    • Pastor’s role in the church is to look after the souls of his congregation (Hebrews 13:17).  My job is oversight.
    • Visitation dealing with individual complaints and listening to souls talk.
    • John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
  • Looking for the savior
    • Return of the Lord
    • The world has distractions all its own.  100% of what’s put out by the Associated Press is distraction or a setup for future legislation.  When they push gun laws, they run stories 24/7 on how horrible guns are.  Not because guns are horrible, but because the media is trying to control the politicians and push political agenda.
    • If that weren’t bad enough, Christians have taken up their own doom and gloom perspective to sell books generally to make a living by talking about the signs of the times.
    • Crown of righteousness.  For a long time I thought I loved Jesus Christ’s appearing.  But loving his appearing is not the same as wanting to get out of this world.  I didn’t love his appearing near as much as I loved my disappearing.  Paul says because of certain things, there is laid for him a crown of righteousness.  So what exactly does it mean to love Jesus Christ’s appearing?  And what does righteousness have to do with his appearing?
    • Cleans house
      • When company is coming over you get out the vacuum, swiffer, you set out the plates, etc.  In other words, you prepare by cleaning and sanctifying your place.
      • Not just “spring” cleaning – seasonal.  But out of season as well.
      • The cleaning agent is the word of God
      • Someone who truly loves the appearing of Jesus Christ is actively using the words of God to clean whatever he or she has influence on.  1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
    • Circumspectly observes
      • Watches for his coming like you would look through the windows to see if he’s here yet.
      • Someone who truly loves the appearing of Jesus Christ is constantly watching for areas that the Lord will be displeased with if he comes.
    • Concerns themselves with the task at hand
      • Endure afflictions
      • More concerned with the task at hand than their own feelings.
    • Corrals as many guests as he can
    • Completes what is set before him

Instruction in the way to look

  • You’ve all seen the movies where the security guard is eating donuts while the criminals on the security cameras are sneaking in.
  • Looking soberly
    • Don’t impair your own vision.  In field sobriety test officer says follow the light.  
    • 1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
  • Looking diligently
    • Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
    • You know what you do when you hunt?  You look diligently.  You know what you do when you deal with taxes at tax time?  You look diligently over the paperwork or hire someone who you think knows how to look diligently over it.
    • Subtlety (2 Corinthians 11:3, simplicity or information overload 2 Corinthians 1:12), camouflage is one way the devil works, he looks like his surroundings until it’s too late.
    • Creep into houses – 2 Timothy 3:1-7