By Leonard Lauriault
School started this week for most of our children. Please watch out for them as they’re going to and from school.
As much as we teach our children to cross at street corners and to look both ways before walking across the street, they’re not always attuned to their surroundings and we’d all be heartbroken if any of them were hurt at any time.
Although each individual is personally accountable for their own faith and actions, Christians are to watch out to protect each other’s faith, and we should be heartbroken when one loses their faith and, thus, their eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 2:1-4; Hebrews 2:1-3; 3:12-16; 6:4-6). Actually, looking out for the interests of others in regard to salvation IS part of looking out for our own interests (Acts 20: 26-27). If we’re setting the Christian example (or misleading by example), we’re preaching, whether or not we know it (Matthew 5:14-16).
Since we may never know who might be watching and what effect we might have on their perception of God, we must be very careful to watch OUR life (our actions) and doctrine closely (1 Timothy 4:12-13, 15-16; 2 Timothy 2:15). The doctrine we must make OURS – the only doctrine that assures our place in heaven if followed – is the doctrine of Jesus Christ as revealed to his Apostles in the New Testament (Acts 2:42; John 14:26; 16:13-15; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Galatians 1:6-9). Much has been added to or taken away from what’s taught in God’s word, which only leads people down the broad road away from salvation (Jude 3-4; 1 Timothy 4:1-4; Revelation 22:18-19; Matthew 7:13-27).
All false doctrine is a trick of Satan. Consequently, we must watch out for him and resist him (1 Peter 5:8-9). Satan masquerades as a messenger of light (truth) using false teachers to deceive his victims (1 Corinthians 11:13-15). We can be aware of Satan’s schemes, though, and use the truth to resist him making him flee (2 Corinthians 2:11; John 17:17; Matthew 4:1-11; James 4:7-8). We still can’t give up after any victory over Satan, though, and Jesus warned his disciples (and us) to watch and pray that we’d not fall into temptation because Satan will be back at an opportune time, like he did when he tempted Jesus to forego the cross to give us the opportunity for eternal life (Luke 4:13; Matthew 26:36-44).
Finally, we need to look out for Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:36, 42-51). We don’t know when that will happen, but we do know that only those who are watching and looking forward to his appearing will reap eternal life (2 Timothy 4:6-8). We don’t watch for him by looking skyward; our watchfulness simply involves doing his will here on earth.
There is much for us to watch out for in this life. While most of the things mentioned in this article pertain to our eternal life, let’s also remember to watch out for earthly matters, like children as they go to and from school.
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org