"Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation [lack of restraint] and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:34-36, New American Standard Bible).
"Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is. It is like a man, away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert" (Mark 13:33-35, NASB).
"Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, at cockcrowing, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'" (Mark 13:35-37, NASB).
"Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:6-11).
"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" (Revelation 3:3).
God's Word gives us plenty of direction so we can be spiritually prepared for these events: "Let us not sleep . . . Watch and be sober . . . [Put on] the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation . . . Be on guard . . . Keep on the alert . . . [Pray] in order that you may have strength to escape all these things . . . Hold fast and repent . . ."
The apostle Paul vividly describes mankind's attitude, approach and outlook in the end time: "But be certain of this, that in the last days . . . men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, uplifted in pride, given to bitter words, going against the authority of their fathers, never giving praise, having no religion, without natural love, bitter haters, saying evil of others, violent and uncontrolled, hating all good, false to their friends, acting without thought, lifted up in mind, loving pleasure more than God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4, Bible in Basic English).
At the end of this age, men and women will be utterly selfish and self-absorbed. They will be blind to the increasing danger signs all around—and taken by surprise. If we do not follow God's instructions to be sober-minded, watchful and alert, we run the risk of falling asleep and being spiritually unprepared—and we will suffer the consequences of our neglect!
(This is adapted from our free online Bible Study Course.)
[Read the article: God's Purpose for Prophecy]