Watch For Signs
Christmas is the time of year when we tend to get together with people more often. I’ve been with my family in AZ this month and it was great! However, there is planning and preparing that goes along with holiday get-togethers. Shopping, cleaning, decorating, cooking, etc. We want everything just right. I think that’s what God is hoping to see in the Body of Christ: preparing for His arrival, our divine get-together.
Although it doesn’t take any shopping, cleaning, or decorating, it does require some planning. The first planning strategy that I found in scripture is from the mouth of Jesus found in Matthew 24. I don’t have the space to include the whole chapter here but I can give you a summary of four of His main points.
He encourages us be aware of current events around the world and consider them signs. That doesn’t sound very exciting but stay with me. Jesus answered His disciples in these verses regarding the question of His Return and the end of the world. His answer was to watch for signs. Check out these signs:
• wars, famines, earthquakes
• false prophets
• rampant sin
Now, I know what you’re thinking… there have always been wars, famines, and earthquakes. Yes, there has. However, Jesus gives us a qualifying statement with all of these signs; they will come like birth pains, increasing in frequency and intensity. In our lifetime we have seen some catastrophic world events: the Indonesian tsunami, the earthquake in Japan, the hurricanes in Haiti and the Philippines. Jesus said these birth pains around the world would be coming slowly at first, then increasing in strength and frequency. Documentation proves this fact.
As far as persecution is reported, Church researchers say there has been more persecution of believers worldwide in this century than in all the centuries before us… combined! That’s a sure sign that His return is near.
False prophets, another sign, are always making predictions. We watch dates come and go and events never occur. Signs.
Lastly, the issue of rampant sin. God is clear on what He determines as good and right. Our rationalizing will never change that. To complete the picture we also need to watch Israel. The prophets of old have given us clear messages from God: Israel will become a nation again, other nations will form a coalition against her, and God will come to her rescue. For the specific passages on Israel check the teaching The Return of Christ from my website www.thecourseoflife.com. Apparently God is serious regarding His chosen people and His chosen, gifted land.
So let’s encourage one another in this: Jesus Christ is returning to this Earth and He doesn’t want us surprised. He wants us prepared and ready.
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. (Matthew 24:42, 44 NLT)