As Christians we know that the signs of Christ's coming indicate that He is at the door. As the time approaches for the fulfilling of this blessed hope of meeting Christ it is also true that the enemy is looking for ways to separate us from God and so prevent us from getting ready. Thus, the Lore! warns us and counsels us so that we may be ready for His coming (Luke 21:34-36).
Luke 21:34 says to the Christian to "be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life."
Christ's first warning is to take heed to ourselves. The greatest danger is not outside of us, but insidedue to our human and sinful nature.
Satan has access to us through the defects of our character and personal weaknesses. He employs the taste, passions, our thoughts and feelings as a means to control our mind and finally to cause our fall.Therefore, our Lord warns us of three great dangers that we as Christians must confront:
7. The danger of gluttony
May your heart never be overcharged with the results of revelry, and drunkenness. The Greek term "drunkenness" means someone who's going through a hangover, dull, hesitant. The Greek writers use this medical term to refer to nausea or discomfort produced by the constant use of wine.
This mental dullness is not the result of only drinking alcoholic beverages. It can also be caused by other factors such as nutrition. Thus, Satan is able to have access to our mind and so we lose our spiritual perception making it easier to fall.
2. The danger of drunkenness
From the Greek word metheto become drunk. To what is Jesus referring when He talks about drunkenness? As we analyze the biblical term note that it doesn't necessarily refer to alcoholism, but to something worse. Let's find the answer in Isa. 29:9.
Verse 9: "Be drunk, but not from wine" in other words, a person can be drunk but not necessarily with wine.
Verse 13: "These people come near me with their mouth . . . but their hearts are far from Me",
referring to the believers who live a double life; they know and believe the truth but do not practice it.
In the Gospel of Luke we notice that Christ used the same figurative expression to refer to this pitiful spiritual condition. Luke 12:45-48 emphasizes that "to drink" or "become drunk" is the attitude manifested by that servant who knowing his master's will, was not prepared nor proceeded according to his will.
Spiritual drunkenness is today the sad condition in which many who profess to be Christians live.
3. The danger of the cares of this life
The Greek word merimnas means "anxiety", "preoccupation." Perhaps this is the danger that affects human beings. Christ is not saying that we will never have any worries, since in our life there are moments when we cannot be but worried, but it is one thing to worry for a few moments and another to live a life constantly worried.
In the same way that God speaks to us through His Word to show us the way in which we should go, it is also indispensable that we daily elevate our lives in prayer.
It is important that we analyze our prayer life and with God's help make the necessary changes in order to enjoy His blessings and be daily prepared for His coming.
"No man is safe for a day or an hour without prayer. Especially should we entreat the Lord for wisdom to understand His Word. Here are revealed the wiles of the tempter and the means by which he may be successfully resisted. Satan is an expert in quoting Scripture, placing his own interpretation upon passages, by which he hopes to cause us to stumble. We should study the Bible with humility of heart, never losing sight of our dependence upon God. While we must constantly guard against the devices of Satan, we should pray in faith continually: 'Lead us not into temptation.'" — The Great Controversy, p. 530.
Due to His imminent return, our Lord Jesus Christ warns us against the three more subtle dangers that, as Christians, we are facing and can make us lose eternal life.
1) Allowing in our life habits that will benumb our mind, and cause us to lose our spiritual perception.
2) The temptation to live a "double life." Or to know the truth but not to live according to God's will.
3) To speak about God and go to church every week, but live separated from Him.
Therefore, Christ's counsel is to be ready at all times and help others get ready. Pray always, in order to be in constant communion with our God. And thus be prepared to meet Him at His Second Coming.
Walter Romero is a pastor in Argentina.
Translated by Antonio A. Rios.