Undeniable Spiritual Signs
Give It to Me Straight
By David Bowen
According to the dictionary, a sign is “an event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else.” With that as a description, the world we live in today is full of spiritual signs, events whose presence indicates the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To say that we live in exciting times may not adequately describe the days in which we live. When it comes to the spiritual signs on display all around us, some signs are positive while others are negative. So, to cite the age-old question: “Which do you want first—the good news or the bad news?” I think most people would pick to receive the bad news first thinking, “Let’s get the troublesome news out of the way so that we can enjoy the good news.”
Give It to Me Straight
As we inch closer and closer to the amazing return of our Lord and Savior, the bad news is that false messengers will try to deceive heaven-bound saints (Matthew 24:5). These false messengers’ lies, deceitful tactics, and words will increase, becoming harsher and yet more convincing. The fruit of these false prophets spreading their false gospel will be increasing heresy within the Church. People who you might never imagine leaving the Church or falling prey to spiritual deceit will, in fact, do both. Eventually this wicked trend will further erode the size of the Church and lead to rising persecution of true followers of Christ.
In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees asked Him for a sign (Matthew 16:1-4). His response was a resounding, “NO!” Why would Jesus deny such a request? He denied their request because He knew a miraculous sign would have no effect on their hard hearts because they were more concerned with keeping the Law than their spiritual condition. I often grieve as I look around at our university campuses, our civil government offices, our entertainment venues, and our public spaces, and I see and hear people living life with no concern about their spiritual condition. Sure, we are to rejoice in each day the Lord gives us; but to live the day-to-day with no concern for eternity, with no recognition of the condition of one’s soul, is irresponsible.
I have learned to find solace in knowing these signs must take place. As the Apostle Paul was passing down the spiritual baton of leadership to his spiritual son Timothy, he described in great detail how people would choose to behave and live in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
He later explained, “the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3). I have not figured out which is more disappointing, those who want to have their ears tickled or those preachers and teachers who are willing to accommodate such desires.
Praise God for The Good News
OK, enough of the bad news. Let’s rejoice in the good news. As Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives and presented them with signs of the end times, He spoke of birth pains (Matthew 24:4-14). Any woman who has ever given birth can testify that as the moment of birth draws closer, birth pains become more intense and more rapid, culminating in the baby’s arrival. Jesus explained that in the end times all humanity will experience birth pains leading up to His arrival. There will be wars, famines and earthquakes, however, the last birth pain (Matthew 24:14) will be the Gospel being preached to the entire world! What is exciting about Jesus revealing these truths is the fact that we now have the technological ability to present the Gospel to the entire world! (Mark 13:10).
Going hand-in-hand with the Gospel being preached around the globe will be an increased yearning for discernment of end times prophecy (Daniel 12:4). Followers of Christ will understand the end times as the Holy Spirit penetrates their hearts (Joel 2:28-29).
We can expect demonic forces to respond, increasing their attack on the foundation of our society by undermining Biblical marriages, attempting to divide Christian families, and surrounding our children with lies, confusion, and anti-Biblical mumbo-jumbo (1 Timothy 4:1). Despite these demonic efforts, the Spirit of the Lord will prevail. He will faithfully draw many hearts to Himself, saving countless souls for eternity (Hebrews 7:25).
Signs Are Multiplying
Every day, just about everywhere we go we are presented with signs – traffic signs, retail signs, warning signs, directional signs, and political signs. Some of these signs are on billboards tempting us to buy the latest gadget, and some are lit up with bright colors allowing us to see them from hundreds of yards away. We simply cannot escape the avalanche of advertisements. In these end times I pray that we are also aware of the spiritual signs that are all around us.
Those who have rejected Jesus as their personal Savior may be blinded to such signage, but those who love the Lord can rejoice in the multiple ways God is speaking to His children. The Holy Scriptures warn us and allow us to recognize all of the signs God’s Word foretold—including the multiplying spiritual signs. Let us rejoice and be glad in the days in which we live for the Lord is speaking to His children—encouraging us to look up as our redemption draws near! (Luke 21:28). Maranatha, Lord Jesus!