On a recent visit to my parent’s home, I ran across some old friends who spoke to me of mutual acquaintances who had died since our former days years ago. It was a reminder of the inevitability of our appointment with death and then the judgment. So it is good we go into more depth of a verse we looked at several weeks ago.

Paul, in this verse, reminds Christians of their destiny to be presented to God: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Paul implies here the necessity of the Christian being awake and watchful over his life, expecting one day to be presented before God.

In another place, Christ warns of those who will be surprised at suddenly appearing before God: “Behold, I come as a thief in night. Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed (Revelation 16:15).” By thief, Christ means he comes suddenly and unexpectedly, with a purpose to surprise.

All that have spiritual life should be awake and watchful. Living in the light of the gospel, and under the sound of it, should awaken and keep us awake. If ever we would be awake, now is the time.  The difference between those who don’t know Christ and those who do is the first are sleepers and the second are awake.

This watchfulness also marks the difference between Christians. Some are more watchful than others. Joseph and David both loved the Lord. Even though Joseph was in his youth, and a stranger in a foreign land, he resisted temptation by being watchful. David, on the other hand, was a grown man who had experienced many mercies of the Lord, yet was overtaken by temptation because he was not watchful.

Being watchful comes by knowing that shortly we shall be going to the tribunal seat. Paul says we shall be presented before God. A man going for a critical interview has his mind focused on the subject of it. We need to shape our souls into an awe of being examined by God.

The Scriptures speak of watchfulness in a soul being unto action. We are told to be watchful unto prayer, or watchful unto thanksgiving; to go about clothed in Christ. This means going about in the Spirit of Christ, and keeping the soul in a holy frame. We do this by keeping the truth of God revealed to us in Christ close at all times.

Sin and shame go together. The Lord warns of “going about naked and be seen exposed.” Adam was not ashamed of his nakedness until he saw it. All those surprised in the judgment of God are unaware of their need to be clothed in Christ.

No man is born clothed, and it is the same in spiritual things. We have no garments of our own since the time Adam fell into sin. We have nothing but corruptness that spreads over the soul. So, the only clothing we have is no clothing at all when the all seeing eye of God looks upon us.

Since the fall of man, we must have all our garments of righteousness out of another wardrobe. It is everywhere warned of in Scripture that we have no garments of ourselves. Since we have no garments of ourselves, we must have garments that only Christ can provide. When we have them we must keep them clean and always draped from head to toe.

You remember the story of King Ahab, that he sought to protect his life by wearing armor all over his body and going about in disguise, though he was warned from God of death. Someone shot an arrow at random and it penetrated a small opening in the armor, killing him. We learn in Scripture there is no refuge from God but in Christ. You cannot protect yourself or hide yourself in anyway.

It doesn’t matter how strong a man’s profession of faith is, or how men may speak favorably of him, if he is not truly clothed in Christ and looking to be presented before God that way he is lost. “Him we proclaim,” the apostle declares. There is no other name under heaven whereby man can be saved.

Paul says “warning everyone,” because there will be many exposed and naked on that day. Therefore we are exhorted to be watchful, and measure or weigh continually the preciousness of the garments Christ provides for us.