When school was in session, I served as the crossing guard for a nearby elementary school. It was hard to miss me because I wore a neon yellow-green reflective vest with lovely matching hat and gloves. The key accessory to my uniform was a giant, red, octagonal sign that read S-T-O-P!!
It never ceased to amaze me how drivers reacted to me and my sign when I stepped out, bravely, to the middle of the crosswalk. Some alert drivers, with their eyes on the road, were aware of the sign from a long way off. They slowed and stopped at a safe distance from the crosswalk.
Other drivers, who were talking on their cell phones, checking their makeup, eating, or were otherwise distracted, would slam on the breaks and come to an abrubt stop - sometimes within a couple feet of me.
And then, there were those who were just completely oblivious, lost in their own thoughts, or were ticked off that they were late for work and this sign was going to make them even later, chose to blow right through the cross walk because they didn't even see the giant "STOP" sign that was right in front of them.
Right now, in this generation, we are witnesses to many major signs announcing the coming of the Day of the Lord, and our reactions are mixed. We aren't, however, the first ones in history to miss some pretty obvious signs.
Jesus' ministry was building steam and His following was growing. Many had seen signs and miracles - casting out demons, healing the sick and the blind, making the lame walk, and turning water into wine, yet the Pharisees and the Sadducees (both united in their hatred for Jesus) came to Jesus and demanded that He "show them a sign from heaven" to prove that He was, indeed, the Messiah.
I find it ironic that Jesus had just finished feeding thousands from a little boy's lunch and had raised someone from the dead, and these guys needed a "sign"...really? In Mark's account of this, he records that "Jesus sighed." I envision Jesus smacking His palm to his forehead while muttering, "Oy Vey!!"
At the same time, I wonder if I would have missed the signs and would have been shouting, "Crucify Him!" on that horrific day??
Yet, here we are witnessing sign after sign and we don't want to admit that the Day of the Lord, perhaps, is not as far off as we think. No, we are not to be sitting around debating the exact day or hour because no one will know this - not even Christ Himself; only the Father knows. (Matthew 24:36)
We are, however, to be watching, be prepared, and be the Bride at the ready for her Bridegroom to return. We are promised a blessing for reading Revelation and the prophetic books of the Bible (which comprise 30% of all scripture).
So what are some of the signs that scripture tells us will happen as the Day of the Lord approaches:
1. Shrinking of America: Students of Biblical prophecy have been perplexed that the United States is not recorded in the events of the last days. America seems to be missing from the end times scenario. We see the rise of the Antichrist with ten nations configured under him. We also see another mega-power referred to as "the kings of the east." (Revelation 16:12)
If you follow the news, at all, you can't miss how strong China has emerged in recent days, both as an economic powerhouse and as a military superpower. They are pouring billions into armaments and military. Some experts say that within just a few years, China could overtake the US as the world's top economy.
Also, be on the lookout for world news as it relates to Israel. Israel is God's chosen nation and the Jews are His people. God will defend them zealously against any foe that dares to come against them. Jerusalem will be "ground zero" for the final battle.
2. Push for New World Currency: We are already seeing cash disappear as a form of currency. There is definitely a push for a new world currency. In our nation, there is a lot of talk about mandatory, hi-tech, national ID cards. Might they be a precursor to the "mark of the Beast," without which no one will be able to buy or sell? (Revelation 13: 16-17)
Know this: I don't claim to be a Biblical scholar, nor do I ever pretend to begin to know the mind of God. I do read and study His Word, and I feel led to share what I'm learning so that we can look forward with hope and anticipation. I invite your insights as well. In my next post, I'll continue with more signs of the times - including the "billboard" of signs. I'll explore what might be next and what we can choose to do with that information.
Meanwhile, know this, God does not give us prophecy in scripture to scare the bejeebers out of us- just the opposite. He offers us prophecy so that we can be reassured that He is in control, is omniscient, and none of this is taking Him by surprise. It is there to comfort believers. He reassures us that Christ, the Bridegroom will come for his Bride (the body of believers/the church) and will spare her (us) the hell on earth that will be the Tribulation.
If you/we believe, we can be looking forward expectantly and with rejoicing to Christ's coming again during the Rapture. We will, finally, get to hug the neck of the Son of God. Can you even fathom that? He will wipe away our every tear and we will be gathered together, with Him, at the wedding supper of the Lamb. That, is something to truly be excited about!
If you would like to become a believer and have the comfort and reassurance that Christ is coming just for you, might you want to pray to receive Christ as your personal Savior? I promise it will be the best decision you will ever make! Pray with me...
Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins and rebellion against Your authority. I receive You into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I also receive Your blood on the cross as the payment for all of my sins and believe I'm totally forgiven by You. Thank You for the free gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and give me the power to change and follow You all the days of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
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Congratulations to Jeanne T., the winner of the Moment to Breathe devotional!!
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