Humanity longs for stability. It builds things with the anticipation that things will last. Man thinks he will live, forever, and he is sure of the permanence of the earth. In the final estimation, however, everything is temporary, and nothing lasts forever…except God and His Word.
God has spoken, but man has not believed God. Therefore, man places his trust, for meaning, significance, in space and time. The destroyer of man’s trust is death. One enters the world with nothing; he lives for a time, and then he leaves the world with nothing.
During his brief stay upon the earth, man must consider his own existence. He studies and learns from diverse disciplines. Everything is attempting to justify itself. While the clock is ticking, man makes value choices. He also watches his neighbor, and he learns of consequences.
Discerning what is important is elusive. Man thinks more highly of himself than he ought to, and this can cloud his assessments. The grief of being lost in the world leads to depression, and the need to cope, with a plight, most men deny is their true existence.
In the midst of a litany of philosophies, man is confronted by a unique worldview, known as, “Christianity.” Christianity has a rather simple message: first, God made man; second, man sinned against God; third, God’s judgment and wrath was against man; fourth, God was merciful and sent His Son to be man’s Savior; fifth, some received the Son, while others rejected Him; sixth, following His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement, the Son reigned over all; seventh, God calls all men everywhere to repent and trust His Son; eighth, the Son of God is coming again to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end; ninth, the universe will soon suffer destruction at the hands of its Maker; finally, a new heavens and a new earth will be created by God, for the people of His choosing, while the rest will spend an eternity in their eternal home, a place of fire and hellish torment.
This message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is good news, for those given grace to believe it. It is a worthless, silly story for those who do not believe it. Those who believe it are made glad when they hear this story again and again.
As a Christian, today, finds herself in time, her hope for life, beyond the vanity of this fleeting world, is the return of Jesus Christ. Those who trusted Jesus Christ, while He was here in person, made an inquiry of the signs and the time of His coming to earth again.
In His Olivet Discourse (Mt 24–25), just days before His departure for glorious heaven, Jesus gave His disciples a number of signs that would precede His second advent. There would be man-made and natural disasters; an impostor would come; there would be persecutions and apostasies; but the Gospel would be preached to all nations, and all of God’s elect will hear, believe, and be gathered into Christ’s church.
The pressing question, regarding the return of Christ, in judgment of the earth, is “when?” Jesus gave His disciples a simple illustration. He referenced a fig tree. His disciples knew of the fig tree; its difference from other trees; how its fruit comes in the spring, and then, as summer approaches, its leaves sprout to shade the fruit from the summer sun. When the leaves appear on the fig tree, summer has arrived. Jesus illustrated in this way to show how obvious it will be when His return is imminent.
Ironically, the simplicity of this illustration has been muddled by false teachers, who notoriously, and erroneously, pick the date of Christ’s return. The date always passes, requiring a new date to be set and missed, again. Deceived people cannot get enough of this repeated drama.
Every generation must keep its eye on the proverbial fig tree, looking for the signs of His coming, which are given as a gift of God to remind us that His Word is true. Christians read their Bibles. They watch and pray for the fulfillment of their blessed hope, His glorious appearing.
Christian, wait patiently and watch earnestly, for your salvation draws near, but when He comes, it will be utterly obvious to everyone. Therefore, do not be deceived by end times charlatans, ready to sell you a book or ten, but read the signs of the times. It’s an easy read.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 5, 2021