But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5, NKJV)
What is the work of a preacher? Is he a socialite who plans and provides the social events for the church? No, that is not the Bible description of his work. Is he the liaison between the church and the community, always expected to be seen at community events to represent the congregation? No, such a work is foreign to the pages of inspiration. Is he the pastor of the congregation? Not unless he joins equally qualified men as elders of the flock, since these are the shepherds of the flock (1 Tim. 3:1-7; 1 Pet. 5:2). His work is to preach the word (2 Tim. 4:2). He is a messenger of the gospel, the “sound doctrine” of Christ (2 Tim. 4:3). He does his work with a godly manner (reprove, rebuke and exhort with longsuffering and teaching) and with godly urgency (“in season and out of season”). He is a watchman (“be watchful”), and he is a servant (“ministry”). He must bear up under pressures that minimize and reject the gospel he preaches. Is this the work your preacher is doing? If so, encourage him, and help him fulfill his ministry.
42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:42–44, NKJV)
People who predict when Jesus will return are destined to fail. Repeatedly we are told Jesus will return unexpectedly and without warning (“as a thief in the night”, 1 Thess. 5:2). No one on this earth knows when Jesus will return: “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them” (1 Thess. 5:3). Therefore, always be prepared for His return. This begins by becoming a Christian and continues by being a faithful disciple of Jesus. The “wise and faithful servant” does his Master’s will and will be ready when Christ returns (Matt. 24:45-47). The foolish servant makes light of God’s long suffering by being unfaithful to the Lord (Matt. 24:48-51). Which servant will you be today?
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9, NKJV)
Peter has just assured us that the Lord constantly cares for us as we cast our cares upon Him (1 Pet. 5:7). While doing so we must be sober-minded and watchful. The devil is stalking us. Every temptation to sin must be met with the stiff and steady resistance of faith. The devil continues to look for the weak lamb and the straying sheep. We must constantly be on guard lest he slip up on us and overtake us. It helps us to know that our brethren in other places face the same kinds of threats we face. Resistance is not futile; Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 Jno. 5:4).