Staying Awake to the Kingdom Ministry
MANKIND in general is sound asleep. Yes, strange as it may seem, this fastest-moving generation of all time slumbers as the most important event in the history of man draws on apace. And what is that? The complete end of this old wicked system of things at Armageddon. All those whom it finds slumbering will perish forever at that time.*
In striking contrast with the unbelieving slumbering world, we dedicated Christian witnesses of Jehovah have been alerted to the perilous days in which we are living. We have heeded the call to “awake from sleep.” But our having once been awakened is not enough; it is a matter of staying awake, and in particular staying awake to our Kingdom ministry. As Paul further counsels: “Stay awake, stand firm in the faith, carry on as men, grow mighty.” And again: “So, then, let us not sleep on as the rest do, but let us stay awake and keep our senses.”—Rom. 13:11; 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Thess. 5:6.
It takes real effort to stay awake in these times. The cares and pleasures of this world, as well as the example of those all around us, can easily put us to sleep. We must continually remind ourselves of the importance of our Christian ministry and of the urgency of the time in which we are living. It is a day of crisis, even as was the day Jesus was betrayed, at which time he counseled his apostles: “Keep looking, keep awake, . . . Keep on the watch.” By staying awake to the Kingdom ministry we shall save both ourselves and those who permit themselves to be aroused by our calls to awake.—Mark 13:33, 37; 1 Tim. 4:16.
To stay awake what must you do? First of all, continue to study God’s Word, for it gives us the right perspective and keeps reminding us to be alert, to stay awake and to keep watching. It also gives us many examples of those who stayed awake in a time of crisis and who therefore survived Jehovah’s destructive judgments, such as Noah, Lot and Jeremiah. Also, continue to associate with others who are awake, as they will incite you to stay awake and keep doing right works; they will encourage you, “and all the more so as you behold the day drawing near.” Prayer will also help us to stay awake, always looking to Jehovah and walking in his fear. And nothing is better calculated to keep us awake to the Kingdom ministry than engaging in it regularly and zealously.—Heb. 10:23-25.
Are you truly awake to the Kingdom ministry? Then show it by seizing every opportunity to engage in it. Take an inventory of your available time and set aside certain hours each day or each week for engaging in the Kingdom ministry from house to house, on the streets and in the homes of the people. Buy out the opportune time for yourself. Stay awake to the Kingdom ministry by being alert to make opportunities to witness at your home, at your place of secular employment, at school and to tradespeople, as well as to traveling companions. Loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself not only will drive out the fear of man that brings a snare and give you courage to speak up but also will make you eager to witness for Jehovah and to endeavor to help your fellow man.
So, while this old world slumbers on to its destruction, let us stay awake to the Kingdom ministry, to Jehovah’s honor and to the salvation of both ourselves and those who hear and heed.
For details see The Watchtower, March 1, 1957.