Jesus rebuked some of the people of his day for their inability to interpret the signs of the times. “You can discern this-worldly events, such as the warnings in the sky that a storm is on the way, but you are so dense regarding the signs of God’s times, he told them. Jesus then relates events that would continue through all of time, such as wars and rumors of wars, Jerusalem surrounded by armies, many professing Christians departing from the faith, etc. The one primary sign announcing the end is the spread of the Gospel throughout the world (Matthew 24:14). The last 2 or 3 years, and especially the last two months, have seen a significant escalation in these events. Israel is surrounded by armies, this time with capabilities of wiping out the entire nation, if not held back by Israel’s military. Russia is once again taking the spotlight of international concern, but with very little restraint. The international community seems paralyzed with inaction. Martyrdom is increasing, as many Christians are paying with their lives for refusing to renounce Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Meanwhile, the Gospel is penetrating into more and more kingdoms of the world. There are relatively few places where it has not reached. On a pastoral note, are you ready for Jesus return? Do you have a regular prayer time when you talk with him — both talking and listening? Often our prayers involve our doing all the talking. No relationship can continue that way. Try that with your wife, or husband! Do worship and witness have top billing on your agenda? When did you last invite a neighbor to church with you? According to most recent surveys, 80 to 90% of people asked by a neighbor to go to church with them, would go. In light of God’s word — and all that is transpiring in the world today — we have some work to do! Jesus said, “The fields are white already to harvest…get to work while it is day! The night is coming, when no one can work!” The night — not for the believer but for the unsaved — may be here sooner than we had expected. Be ready!
REV. DR. RICHARD L. SHAW, PASTOR