Thursday, March 15, 2012

Signs And Wonders

Jesus warned us that we better be ready for his return.

Luke 21:7-12, 27-28 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?”

8 He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.”

10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. 12 But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution."

27 "Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Who can explain the desire to know what will happen tomorrow? Maybe it is our desire to be in control that drives some people to go to great lengths to find out what the future holds. The disciples were fascinated with the future, you couldn't hardly blame them, after-all they were promised a better day, they were promised restoration and healing, they were expecting the Messiah. They believed that Jesus is the Messiah but they were confused about the timing, they thought that his reign was about to start.

There is a better day coming for God's children but it isn't going to begin very soon, the disciples were expecting the Messiah and the awesome changes that he would bring, they hoped that now is the time for it all to begin. Instead of giving them a timetable, which would cause many to become slack or discouraged, he gives them the warning signs and gives us a caution about the events that will take place.
Some of the signs of the times:
False Christs, Matthew 24:5, Luke 21:8
Wars, Matthew 24:6, Luke 21:9-10
Famines, Matthew 24:7, Luke 21:11
Earthquakes and fearful sights, Matthew 24:7, Luke 21:11
Persecution, Matthew 24:9,  Luke 21:12-19
Betrayal, Matthew 24:10, Luke 21:16
  False Prophets, Matthew 24:11
  Lawlessness, Matthew 24:12
  Loveless, Matthew 24:12
  Gospel preached to every nation, Matthew 24:14
  Armies surrounding Jerusalem, Luke 21:20-22
  Miraculous signs in nature, Luke 21:25
If you think that this world is a crazy place now, you haven't seen anything, the antichrist will make the worse of our savage governments look tame, the most brutal men in history will he seen as nothing compared to him. There have been a lot of people that have claimed to be Jesus and this will increase in the end times as will false prophets, people will look for answers and out of desperation they will believe the deceivers.

Even today we look for signs and wonders, people try and interpret every disaster that makes the evening news as a sign that his return is imminent, it is difficult to not think about it. After all this world is not our home, for those of us that have become followers of Christ, we are anxious to get to a better place that he has prepared for us.

Hebrews 11:16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

God has performed "signs and wonders" ever since creation. We are still exploring new things that he created in our world and in the galaxies that surround us. He made the sun stand still, a donkey talk, fortress walls fall down at Jericho with nothing but worship as a weapon. Is God guilty of hiding out and not proving himself to us? (Psalm 77:10-20, 78:1-4, Job 38:1-41)

Jesus performed "signs and wonders" cast out demons, healed, raised the dead, he even rose from the dead himself, but did everyone believe in Him? Actually they asked him for more signs! (Matthew 12:38, 16:1, 24:3)

The apostles did many "signs and wonders" to prove that they had received power from God through their faith in Jesus. (Acts 2:43, 5:12, Romans 15:18-19, 2 Corinthians 12:12) Still not enough signs and wonders for some people.

Hebrews 11:6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Instead of looking for "signs and wonders" we need to be found faithful, God is most pleased with those that believe without a sign, that's the true test of faith. He wants us to be ready at all times (Matthew 24:44) doing what is important, serving him, seeking to be righteous and serving others so that they will see God's love through us. (Matthew 5:13-16, Titus 2:12-14)

Thank you Lord for proving your existence, your love and most of all your forgiveness. 
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