Signs

Good Morning Brothers…

Can you believe the size of that rack on the street sign? If that elk were real, I’m not sure he would have a lower jaw from the constant friction against the ground. Have you ever been driving by “Deer Crossing” or “Elk Crossing” signs with non-hunters and watch them look all around…searching for the animals? I always get a giggle out of this because it presupposes that the animals can also discern the signs. I’m not sure what all of the criteria is for placement of a “Crossing” sign along a roadway, but I’m confidant the animals ability to read and discern the signs is not one of them. It does communicate to us a message however, the message is “Be Alert.”

Our Lord and Savior is coming back one day. His return will be proceeded by signs and wonders. This passage is rather long, but there isn’t a good way to break it up without it losing the flow of events. This passage is from Matthew 24:3-31.

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

It seems that there has been wars and rumors of wars everyday that I have been alive. The news is full of corespondents reporting on this nation rising against that nation. The names of natural disasters has taken on an almost reverent status in our culture; Hurricane Katrina, the Year of the Tornado’s, Japan’s Tsunami, Hurricane Sandy, the Perfect Storm, etc. But all of these things are just the first tremors of our natural world readying itself for Christ’s return.

“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. The organizations that track statistics like this estimate that around 160,000 Christians are martyred each year because of their faith. In contrast, the number of foreign missionaries numbers around 320,000.

“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

This time of tribulation will be accompanied by great confusion, even among the faithful. Our lesson here is to hold fast to what we know to be true…that the Bible is the Living Word of God and it councils “Caution” for those of us alive during this time.

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Honestly brothers…this part makes me smile with anticipation. I can’t decide if my wish is to see this from earth or see it from heaven. I get this mental picture of the Son of Man and His holy angels gathering themselves in anticipation of the trumpet blast. Readying their invasion force from a haven of immortal eternity to pierce the veil of temporal mortality…the forces of the King gather!

As we observe the “Signs” around us, let us take a lesson from the “Deer Crossing” signs that dot our roadways…the message is: “Be Alert.”

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