that you should remember the sayings previously spoken by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles.
The “holy prophets” as far back as Enoch warned of a day of reckoning. At Jude 14, 15, we read: “Yes, the seventh one in line from Adam, Enoch, prophesied also regarding them, when he said: ‘Look! Jehovah came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all their ungodly deeds that they did in an ungodly way, and concerning all the shocking things that ungodly sinners spoke against him.’” Centuries later, Hebrew prophets such as Isaiah, Daniel, Joel, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were moved to utter similar prophecies.—Isaiah 66:15, 16; Daniel 7:9-22; Joel 3:9-17; Habakkuk 3:16-18; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Haggai 2:21, 22; Zechariah 14:6-9; Malachi 4:1-6.
38. Why should we strive to be in a state of preparedness?
38 The divine judgment foretold by all these prophets and others is bound to be fulfilled. This requires that we at all times strive to be in a state of preparedness and not jeopardize our clean standing before the Most High.
39. What is the message conveyed by the commandment of Jesus Christ?
39 The message of the prophets to us is the same as that conveyed by the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ, as repeated by the apostles, including Paul. We disciples of the Son of God should be active in his service, remain morally and spiritually clean, and be always ready to receive our Master when he comes to execute judgment against the ungodly. The Son of God stated:
“Pay attention to yourselves that your hearts never become weighed down with overeating and heavy drinking and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day be instantly upon you as a snare. For it will come in upon all those dwelling upon the face of all the earth. Keep awake, then, all the time making supplication that you may succeed in escaping all these things that are destined to occur, and in standing before the Son of man.”—Luke 21:34-36.
40. To avoid being plunged into spiritual sleep. what must we do?
40 Yes, we must guard against being plunged into spiritual sleep. This calls for avoiding unrestrained indulgence in food, drink and pleasures. Such excesses dull mental and spiritual perception and overload the heart with feelings of guilt. They crowd out good heart motivations. Similarly, undue concern about making a living can rob the heart of the calming assurance that Jehovah God will provide everything that we truly need. (Matthew 6:25-34) Whenever the main motivation of the heart ceases to be the desire to be found approved by the Lord Jesus Christ at his time for judgment, a person comes into a condition of grave spiritual danger. He may be caught in a disapproved state by the Master, Jesus Christ.
41. Why has faith in the certainty of Christ’s coming in glory always been an aid in a person’s remaining loyal to him?
41 Like Peter, the other faithful apostles taught their fellow believers to keep ever before them the certainty of Christ’s coming to execute judgment and to reward his loyal disciples. A prime objective of such teaching was to aid Christians to be found approved on the Son’s arrival “with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30) As Jesus had done, the apostles continued to emphasize the importance of proving faithful to the end. That end could come either at their death or at “the presence of the day of Jehovah.” (2 Peter 3:12) Since even the resurrection of Christ’s joint heirs is linked in the Scriptures with his return, the hopes of all true disciples are bound up with the arrival of the Son of God in the capacity of a glorious heavenly King. (Matthew 10:28; 24:13, 36-44; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10; 4:14-17) Thus, during the entire history of the Christian congregation, unshakable faith in the Master’s coming “with power and great glory” has been an aid in a person’s proving loyal to him.