Living on the Edge of Time
By Rev. Ken Ervin
Jesus said, "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Jesus is speaking of the events that will take place at the end of the age. These events would be revealed to those watching the signs of the coming of Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The word sign occurs 119 times in the Bible.Genesis 1:14--Revelation 15:1, from the first to the last book. Signs were placed in heaven at creation, and will be manifested in Heaven at God's final judgement.
Signs are for seeing: People are called upon to see, to look at and to behold. The Bible speaks of signs appearing.(Matthew 24:30) The Bible speaks of signs being shown. (Matthew 13:22) The Bible speaks of signs being accomplished before people. (John 20:30) The Bible speaks of signs in the midst of people. (Acts 2:22) The Bible speaks of signs among the people. (II Corinthians 12:12) By their very nature signs are to be public.
Signs are also miraculous. Sometimes the Hebrew or Greek words usually rendered as sign, are literally translated miracle. Such is the case in,Exodus 7:9; Numbers 14:22; Deuteronomy 11:3; John 2:11 & 23; and John 12:37. Often the words signs, miracles, and wonders occur in tandem, such as in Exodus 7:3; Deuteronomy 4:34; 6:22; 34:11; Acts 2:22; 8:13.
God has placed signs, as it were at crucial forks in the road of redemptive history. They were to confirm, identify, or mark out someone or something as genuine, authenticated by a miracle or wonder.
InLuke 21:29-31, Jesus tells this parable, "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near." The things that Jesus said to watch for that would happen are signs. We as believers are to be watchful, we are to read the signs of the time, it is our responsibility. It is God's way of warning us and preparing us for the things that are coming upon the earth.
Jesus inLuke 21:34-36, gives to us a warning, "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." To the many who are caught up with the cares of this life, let me deeply encourage you to look and read the signs of the times.
The believer is to know the signs that point to the end of the age. The day of the Lord's return is not to surprise the one who is praying and watching. The believer is to take very seriously the words of Jesus and be alert.
The writer of the Book ofHebrews in 10:25, tells us to not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more so as you see the day approaching. If I understand what is being said here, we are to be aware of the day approaching, we are to read the signs.
The apostle Paul speaks to the believers inI Thessalonians 5:4 and says, "But you brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are sons of the light, and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." The apostle Paul then goes on to say to the believers, let us not be like others, who are asleep (unaware) but let us be alert and self-controlled. Let us put on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. I believe being alert and awake has all to do with readings the signs of the times.
Peter tells us inII Peter 3:3-7, "First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation. But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of the water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgement and the destruction of ungodly men". Peter goes on to say we should live holy and godly lives as we look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
We live in the days of rapid change. We live in the days where people are very busy with the cares of this life, even to the point they no longer take seriously the word of the Lord. I encourage you as a believer, go to your Bible, readMatthew 24:1-25; Luke 21; Mark 13; Luke 17:20-37; Acts 3:17-21; I Thessalonians 4:-5:11; II Thessalonians 2; I Timothy 4:1-4; II Timothy 3:1-5; II Peter 3:1-13; and the such like. Read the signs of the times, and lift up you head for your redemption draws near.