The Power of Signs concerning the end of this age.
“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:25-27)
The typical believer today lives out the truth of the following statement:
not knowing “the day or the hour” (Mtt 24:36) has become interpreted to mean not knowing ANYTHING!
But I believe the many signs that Jesus told us about that were to come BEFORE His return will help us be watching and waiting! There is an old proverb that tells it well: “To be forewarned is to be forearmed”.
Actually, knowing the details of prophetic signs and not just giving “lip service” to them will keep the church from being led astray by false teachers and false prophets, who, we have been told in Scripture, will come in the “last days”.
“The signs of the times…”
Probably not too many phrases exasperate the body of Christ more in this day and age than this one! Regrettably, these signs, which were meant BY THE LORD JESUS to be for our protection and preparation, have become “thrown to the curb” because of faulty teaching on the one hand and over-zealous prophets on the other.
These are two sad and unfortunate truths. Let’s examine the each of these two extremes that keep us from watching for the signs.
#1 Faulty teaching.
During the 1800’s, as revival of prophetic truth was being dug up by the children of the men of the Great Reformation, there came to the body of Christ a faulty teaching that taught that we would be raptured off the earth before the great tribulation (Mtt 24:21) which will fall upon the whole world in the final hours of this present age.
This belief has become known as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position. The “Pre-trib” doctrine says that we don’t need signs because Jesus might come any day, even today. They would even go so far as to affirm that they are not “waiting for signs” but “waiting for Jesus”. Sounds nice…. Sadly it is not the biblical position. This doctrine has led to the widespread belief in Imminence, meaning that the rapture can occur at any moment.
Yet this is not what the Scriptures teach. One can see this quite easily by studying the parables of Mtt 13.
“The parable of the tares (Matthew 13:24-30) shows the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest, this therefore refutes that there will be any pre-tribulation rapture of the church seven years before the end.” (www.logosapostolic.org)
#2. Over-zealous prophets.
During this same time period (1800s) the church suffered though many inaccurate and emotional false predictions. One of the most famous of these prophets is William Miller, whose followers became know as Millerites who eventually birthed the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“William Miller is perhaps the most famous false prophet in history. In the 1840s he began to preach about the world’s end, saying Jesus Christ would return for the long-awaited Second Coming and that Earth would be engulfed in fire sometime between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. Moved by those messages, as many as 100,000 “Millerites” sold their belongings between 1840 and 1844 and took to the mountains to wait for the end.” (Kayla Webley)
Here is a SHORT list of some other famous end time zealots. (From Wikipedia)
(Sorry if I left out your favorite…)
Needless to say this pitiful history of false prophecies has left the church of Christ skeptical, exhausted and weary of even trying to keep up with the actual REAL signs!
The Word of God is our answer, our hope and anchor!
Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things [signs] happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:29-31)
Dear fellow believers, we are told by Jesus that we will see the signs and know for ourselves that His return is near.
Instead of burying our heads in the sand we are told to lift up are heads!
But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Lk 21:28)
Instead of feeding our appetites and “living life large” we are told to be on our guard.
Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap. (Lk 21:34-35)
Yours for the coming King,