Recognize the Season
When I bring up the topic of the return of Christ being soon, I am almost always corrected by a certain tone, and a roll of the eyes. I’m instantly put in the category of the late, but recent, nut jobs like Harold Camping. Next comes the biblical quote, Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Jesus himself didn’t know. True. But I can almost guarantee you that He knows now!!! He’s likely excited, as any bridegroom would be, when He is preparing to meet His precious bride. After all, He radically loves and adores His church. To Him, she is as breathtaking and mesmerizing as a colorful sunset in all its glory! He could be eagerly selecting His tux as we speak.
So, is it really true that we’re not supposed to know when Jesus will return? Matthew 24:33, says “even so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize (ginoskete in Greek) that He is near, right at the door.” It isn’t a suggestion. “Recognize” here is in the imperative mode.
Of course we do not know the day or hour, but aren’t we supposed to know the season? I think so. Jesus blasted the Pharisees for not interpreting the signs of the times in Matthew 16:2-3. But He answered and said to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the morning, there will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening. Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?’” So they missed the signs of His first coming. Will we, the church, miss the signs of His second coming? We are not to be caught off guard as one is by a thief in the night. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4
Misconterpretation (is that a word? lol)
Those living in Jesus’ day had the misconception that he would come in their lifetime. Jesus told his disciples that He would come quickly, or suddenly. (The Greek word is tax’y) It does not mean soon, or necessarily in a very short time, but the absence of unnecessary delay. He was saying “My coming is sure, never late.” I would suggest that the idea that He would come in their lifetime, is a misinterpretation.
And then there’s this: Gary Oates, in his book Visions & Dreams writes: “Revelation 22:20 is the next to the last verse in the Bible and contains a sovereign promise from the Lord Jesus. “Yes, I am coming quickly.” That statement was made over 2000 years ago, which doesn’t sound like a very prompt return to me. However, 2 Peter 3:8 tells us “…with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” In that sense of divine timing, the Lord Jesus made that statement only two days ago!” #evensocomeLordJesus
God Seems to be Backing Off
Anne Graham Lotz says that we kicked God out of our schools, political arena, economic landscape, and society in general. And like a gentleman, He has backed off from us. We no longer experience the level of protection we had from Him in the past. Enter 9-11. Enter global warming, natural disasters, spiritual decline, depravity, and cold hearts.
Signs of the times
Currently, the most obvious signs on a daily basis are global evidences of CLIMATE CHANGE. I’ve been having conversations with people who think that the weather patterns and cycles are pretty much the same as they have always been. They parrot that we are just more aware today because of the vast media coverage. Some believe environmental changes are because of fracking, the polar vortex, El Nino, and global warming. Or maybe, just maybe, the current weather patterns are a warning….a harbinger of things to come.
Some say that climate change isn’t new. It’s just normal cycles to renew the earth. But the last time cycles of this magnitude occurred was 11,500 years ago marked by the demise of the Ice Age.
Climate change/global warming is not man-made as those in the movement spin it. It’s a bit arrogant to think we can be the boss of that! That is WAY above our pay grade. Ultimately God controls the weather. He is in back of it and is trying to get our attention. Climate change is a reality but only part of it is #ourbad.
When reporting the weather, we daily hear on the news “of historic, epic, apocalyptic, and biblical proportions.” Almost daily we break some kind of record.
Record breaking cost of $65 billion for Hurricane Sandy.
Record breaking snow in New York City for two months in 2015.
2014 was the hottest year on record, and the coldest winter on record.
Droughts, floods, fires – all increasing dramatically.
Record breaking fire in Yosemite in 2015. There were 70 wildfires at the same time from California to Montana in 2016. It was like the west was on fire!
Besides climate change, over the last 20 years natural disasters have increased to 4 times what they normally were in the early 1900s.
Thirty five tornadoes touched down in 2016 in Indiana and Ohio. In 2010, we had 566 tornadoes. In 2011 we had 1151.
Since 1970 there have been over 70,000 earthquakes worldwide at a magnitude of 5.0 or higher. That’s an average of 4.5 major earthquakes a day. An earthquake in Napa Valley cost $2 billion.
In May, 2014 there were 32 quakes in one day! (two were over 6.2)
In 2015, there were the devastating Napal earthquakes
Until 2009 there were 3 quakes per year in Oklahoma. In 2014 there were 54.
We had 55 major volcanic eruptions in 1990…82 in 2010.
In April of 2016, there was a flight warning in effect due to an enormous volcanic eruption over the Alaskan Elution Islands. The plume of ash, within a day, rose to as high as 37,000 feet. It stretched at least 400 miles. It was the highest alert EVER for planes in that region.
It’s clear that major weather events such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, snow, hailstorms, volcanic eruptions, extreme hot and cold temperatures, are increasing in frequency and intensity like birth pains.
SPIRITUAL DECLINE is evidenced by: Abortion. There were 926,200 in 2014, according to the CDC. Pornography. A conservative estimate by Forbes is $2.6 to $3.9 billion yearly. In one year, it earns much more than Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon combined!
After all this, Jesus speaks of an intensifying phase.
So it’s not the End yet….