I’m not going to ask the question, “Have you heard this before?” because I know most parents or anyone who has went anywhere with children in the back seat, has heard this question. The ever familiar, “Are we there yet?” can apply to us as Christians as we see world events in our current time and know Jesus can’t be too much farther away. His return cannot be that far away as we travel through this timeline of life in which we live. Yes, I know Christians and pastors and evangelists have been saying this for many, many years but I think we are closer now than ever and that is not only because we have just traveled farther down the road of time. Jesus gave us signs to read as the time of His return draws closer. Just like road signs along the highway, as we travel through this time, we need to know what those signs are telling us. As you drive along the freeway, you need to know which exit you are going to use or you will not be able to get home. The same applies to the freeway of life; if we are not watching the signs, we are going to get lost and miss that all important exit. The first exit, of course, leads to the road to salvation; this is where we meet Jesus and ask Him to be our Lord and savior. But today, in our society, there are too many people who don’t want to take this exit and want to keep traveling the freeway which leads to destruction. There have been some signs along the way but they ignore them and keep right on moving. The society in which we live is traveling at breakneck speed and seems to have no intention of slowing down for any of the warning signs. Stop and look around; see the world and the events within it. Then, look at the Bible passages which speak to the time of the end. We are so close, we need to start braking, slow down and read the warning signs. Those who don’t know Jesus as their savior need to really slow down and look for the exit which leads to salvation. Jesus told us about the wide and narrow gates,
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matt. 7:13-14 NKJV www.bible gateway.com
Like the narrow and wide gates, so are the highways of life; too many people refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and savior and prefer to stay on the wide freeway of life which actually leads to death. When people receive Jesus as their Lord and savior, they choose to take the exit which leads to the narrow road to life, eternal life.
Don’t Ignore Jesus’ Soon Return
We all know, as Christians, there are too many friends and family members who refuse to here anything about Jesus. Our hearts ache for them and we pray constantly for them, hoping they will repent and turn to the Lord. They are missing the exit every time it is pointed out to them by Christians. If they don’t exit before Jesus’ return, it will be very difficult for them to repent and be saved in the ever wicked society of the Antichrist. But, what about those Christians who have chosen to travel at the same speed which the world is moving? Well, they are saved and that won’t change, but are they missing the warning signs which point to the soon return of Jesus? The society in which we live is so involved with elements of this worldly life that it is extremely difficult to see anything let alone any warning signs. People have careers and jobs which keep them very busy and occupied. In most cases, both spouses work to earn enough to support a family or their preferred lifestyle. It all happens in a very subtle way; they start out keeping up with their Bible reading and church attendance and maybe some family devotional time and then they move into the fast lane and before they know it (or maybe they don’t), they find themselves busy with not only their jobs and family but with all the extracurricular activities of raising a family. It is one thing to be in attendance for those school functions, which the children are involved with, but there are also sporting events and social outings which take us out of fellowship or hinder our church attendance. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying; I am not saying we shouldn’t encourage our children to participate in sports or activities which can build character and also educate such as the arts, i.e. music and drama. What I am saying is we have to realize when some of these activities began to interrupt our time of service to the Lord and our fellowship with other Christians. It is easy to get into the fast lane and start missing the exit signs which tell us to get off the freeway and slow down our lives in order to do those things which draws us closer to the Lord and grow us spiritually. I can remember when my son was playing Little League Baseball; he was at the Major level and I was coaching at the Minor level and there were those evenings when he would be playing on one field and I would be coaching on the field next to it. This occurred one particular evening and when our baseball games ended, I had to travel to yet another field and play softball. Needless to say, we were very busy that summer but we never allowed it to interfere with our church attendance and fellowship. I suppose the Lord had blessed our schedules.
When we find ourselves in the fast lane of life, as a Christian, it is very easy to loose sight of what the Lord may be doing around us as well as in the world overall. Jesus, in scripture, gave us some things to look for which would indicate His return would be soon.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Matt. 24:36-39 NKJV
We can look around today and see what Jesus said in this passage concerning the way people conducted themselves in the days of Noah. While traveling the freeway in the fast lane, non-Christian people today are concerned about one thing in life, themselves. They are the most important thing in their lives; selfishness at the highest level. It is party time and if you don’t want to participate, you are weird and very strange. That is OK with me, I have been there and all it ever got me were problems on top of problems. People who I actually thought of as friends, where the first to abandon me. Jesus has never abandoned me; when I fall down, Jesus doesn’t turn His back on me, He doesn’t mock and make fun of me, He is there to pick me up and help me on my way again. Today’s secular society is a dog eat dog world ready to always party and go about there own business while ignoring everyone else and Jesus isn’t even on their radar. They are too busy with their lives to see any signs leading to Jesus. This will result in many people not being ready when Jesus returns, just as those in the time before the flood. They didn’t want to listen to Noah when he tried to tell them about God and warn them of the coming flood; they were too busy with their lives and that is the case today just as Jesus foretold. There are other signs which Jesus spoke of,
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. Matt. 24:4-7 NKJV
Don’t be deceived! Think about all the religions in the world today; there are religious cults everywhere. The Jehovah’s Witness, the Mormons, Islam, Hinduism, New Age believers and so many others. Jesus said don’t be deceived by them; David Koresh was the head of the Branch Davidian for a period of time in the early eighties and claimed to be Jesus and fulfilled the words of Jesus in this passage. I live in south central Pennsylvania and we had an earthquake last year which shook the building I was in quite a bit. I have experienced earthquakes while living in Southern California, but south central Pennsylvania?! There have been earthquakes in many other unusual places and there have simply been a lot of earthquakes in recent years.
Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars; the number of wars taking place in the world currently is mind boggling. These statistics are staggering:
AFRICA: 24 Countries and 107 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved
ASIA: 15 Countries and 86 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved
EUROPE: 8 Countries and 57 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved
MIDDLE EAST: 8 Countries and 91 between militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved
Israel: Fights between regular army and a list of 6 armed wings, 20 armed groups, 1 faction, 1 movement, 1 armed faction (included 6 political parties
AMERICAS: 5 Countries and 24 between drug cartels, militias-guerrillas, separatist groups and anarchic groups involved
TOTAL: Number of Countries involved in wars, 60
Number Militias-guerrillas and separatist groups involved, 364
I think these stats speak for themselves; Jesus spoke to this in the passage above and there should be no doubt in anybody’s mind just how close we really are to His return. Just the most recent events concerning the American embassy in Libya, should be getting the attention of Christians in this country. Are we there yet? We are really getting close and, as Christians, we should be telling as many unsaved people as we can how close we really are and how important it is to come to Jesus now.
Jesus’ Soon Return, Be Ready
Christians today must be ready for the return of Jesus; they must get out of the fast lane of the freeway and take the exit to the slower avenue of Christian living. Just as Jesus told in the parable of the ten virgins (Mt. 25:1-13), be ready and watch, for we do not know the day or the hour in which He might return. All prophecy has been fulfilled; the return of Israel as a nation was the final prophecy to be fulfilled before the return of Jesus and that was over 60 years ago. I have heard all the criticism and mockery concerning the return of the Lord. People would tell me they have heard that for years and it hasn’t happened yet! The only way to respond to this is to let them know they should respond quickly while they still have time. Peter addressed this in 2 Peter,
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Pet. 3:9-10 NKJV
When we are mocked for telling people the Lord is coming soon, we need to remind them of this scripture. Are we there yet? No, not quite, but we should be able to see the exit sign from here. Be ready, be watching, be alert, for we don’t know when He is coming but He has given us enough signs to look for as we travel this Christian life. All through His teachings in the gospel, Jesus gave us signs to look for and today, in our world, there are many to be seen. Christians, more than ever, should be in the word of God, studying, searching and knowing. Don’t get caught without oil in your lamp, come to Jesus and be prepared.