Signs of the times
Our time is marked by great scientific and technological developments on one hand, but also by population explosion, by hunger in various countries, by water-and air-pollution and global warming. The weather is often so different from what we expect it to be. Scientists work hard to find out what life on this planet will be like in the future. However, the Bible declares the signs of the times as part of God’s revelation to mankind, and we do well to pay attention to them.
What are these signs and why should we watch them?
Jesus Christ spoke about the future in Matthew 24, giving us several particular signs
whereby we should watch the times. A lot of people do not think or know about them, but they remind us that the second coming of Jesus Christ is very close. Every true Christian should be found watching and waiting for the great day of His coming. Are you watchful and learning from the signs which tell us that the time is near?
Many will come in my name, claiming, „I am the Christ“ (v5)
Back in 1982 many newspapers across the world made headlines about a certain Lord Matreya who was at the centre of a group called ‘The Masters of Wisdom’. He claimed to be the Christ of the Christians, the Jews’ Messiah, the Buddhists’ fifth Buddha, the Moslems’ Imam Mahdi and the Hindus’ Krishna all in one. It was reported that $500,000 were spent to make his name known. When Christ comes there will be no need to spend money to make Him known, for every eye shall see Him, coming with the clouds (see Revelation 1:7).
Nations will fight each other, kingdoms will attack one another (v7a)
Since 1945 there have been more than 145 different wars. We still remember the chaos in ex-Yugoslavia, the occupation of Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and others. We often read of national and tribal conflicts in our nearer or further surroundings. Nations are spending great sums of money on arms.
There will be earthquakes and famines … (v7b)
In the course of the last 25 years there have been more and more earthquakes. We have heard of severe earthquakes, for instance in Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and other countries. Erupting volcanoes brought chaos to people in the Philippines and Japan, not to mention all the countries around the Indian Ocean that were affected by the disastrous tsunami at the end of 2004. Floods affected the USA, Europe and many countries all over the globe. Droughts were recorded in Australia, Brazil and several African countries during the last few years and brought famine to millions of people.
Such will be the spread of evil, so that many people’s love will grow cold … (v12)
We do not even have to read the world news, just look around in your own town or village or pick up a local newspaper. The spread of alcoholism and drugs, the wave of stealing, breaking into homes and shops, rape, quarrels, domestic violence, etc. show us that evil is spreading just as the Bible prophesied.
„Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him“ (Matthew 24:42-44).
May the Lord help us to recognise all these obvious signs of the times. May we be people who live holy and godly lives as we look forward to the day when the Lord Jesus will return with great power and glory to take his people home.
My friend Tim had dinner with me. During the meal Tim explained to me how he had come to know Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour. He told me it had happened while he was attending Kainantu High School. Tim had heard the Word of God preached to him. He realized his own sinfulness and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. From that very moment Tim was filled with real joy from the Lord, and he knew that his sins had been forgiven.
Tim then told me that right now Christ was present and waiting for me to open up my heart to Him. Tim also said that if I would only admit my sinfulness to Christ and repent of my sins, Christ was willing to come into my life.
The merciful Lord moved my heart through the Holy Spirit to do what my friend Tim had asked me to do. For the very first time I realized what a hopeless person I was and that I needed a Saviour in order to escape from the coming wrath of the holy God.
The Lord had mercy on me that very night. He forgave my sins and brought me out of darkness into His wonderful light. „Bless the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name“ (Ps. 103:1). Now I have new life in Jesus Christ and a living hope for the future.
If you, dear reader, are not yet saved or if you are uncertain about your salvation, now is the time to repent. Remember, „Unless a person is born of water and the Spirit (born again), he cannot enter the kingdom of God“ (John 3:5). Come now and be joined to the family of Christ.
I thank God for what He has done for me through Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that many more people will come to the saving knowledge of Christ and experience the real joy of being regenerate (born again). Christ still offers new life to every person who comes to Him in repentance today.
by Peter Morauta, Papua New Guinea (names changed)