Signs of the Times

Bible Reading: Luke 12:54-56

Luke 12:54-56, “He also said to the crowds, ‘’When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens.  And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens.  You hypocrites!  You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

The people of Jesus’ day could discern and predict, by changes in the sky, or the wind, what the weather would be.  Over time, they had learned how to forecast what was to come.  We, in our day, are even better skilled at such things.  We have radar and satellite capabilities which allow us to accurately predict the weather–even days and weeks ahead of time.

But while they showed some interpretative capability in the physical realm, Jesus chided them for their woeful deficiency as to the spiritual.  They could not “interpret the present time” (Luke 12:56).  Their inability was not because of lack of information.  Jesus, the Divine Son of God, was present amongst them.  Their promised Messiah was right before them, yet most refused to receive Him (John 1:11).  John the Baptist had proclaimed Him.  Jesus’ countless miracles testified to the truth about Him (John 20:30-31).  He spoke as no man had ever spoken and did things no man had ever done before.  Yet Israel was oblivious to the obvious regarding the truth. Jesus spoke words of pending judgment, but as in the days of Noah (and as they will be in the day of His second coming), they were oblivious, “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (Matthew 24:38).

We live in an oblivious age.  There is much concern in our day regarding “climate change,” yet woeful ignorance regarding the drastic changes in the spiritual “climate.”  Jesus warned of the things which would proceed His second coming: false Christ’s will “lead many astray.”  He said there would be ”wars and rumors of wars…famines and earthquakes” (Matthew 24:4-9).  He called such things “the beginning of the birth pains.”  “The whole creation has been groaning together (under sin) in the pains of childbirth until now,” but most have no eyes to see or ears to hear (Romans 8:22).

We have likewise been warned of specific concerns which would characterize the last days.  “There will also be false teachers,” Peter warned (2 Peter 2:1).  We should not then be ignorant to the prevalence of false teaching and the urgent need for us to exercise discernment (1 Thessalonians 5:21).  Paul wrote of the need to “realize… that in the last days difficult times will come” (2 Timothy 3:1).  We should not then be surprised then by the present moral free-fall that is taking place in our society (Romans 1:18-32; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).  We were warned “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires (2 Timothy 4:3).  We should not be surprised by the reality that much of the modern church has little appetite for the truth.  We were warned ahead of time a church in this age that would be Laodicean in nature (i.e., self-confident, and self-assured; Revelation 3:17).  So, we should not be surprised to learn its ministries are too often of a Christ-less, cross-less, gospel-diminishing variety.  We were warned ahead of time of the “mockers’ who would come in the last days, who would dismiss the reality of God’s pending judgment (2 Peter 3:3f).  It should not therefore surprise us that in our day few take such matters seriously. Many in today’s church refuse to acknowledge the existence of sin and hell.  Any spiritually minded person can’t help but realize drastic changes are taking place both in society and in the church.

The sons of Issachar were commended because they were “men who understood the times, with the knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).  They had the wisdom to perceive what God was doing in making David King.  They stood by David and garnered support for him.  Our day has a desperate need of men and women who understand the times.  The church needs them, and families do too.   They pay attention to the Word as they live in anticipation of Jesus’ imminent return (2 Peter 3:11-13).  They are not oblivious to the signs of the times.

“The clouds of pending judgment are on the horizon. Nothing less than genuine faith in the Risen Lord can save a soul.  Those who understand the times, fix their eyes upon Jesus, urging others to do the same.” 

Jerry Conklin


Jesus may come today,
Glad day! Glad day!
And I would see my Friend;
Dangers and troubles would end
If Jesus should come today.

Glad day! Glad day!
Is it the crowning day?
I’ll live for today, nor anxious be,
Jesus my Lord I soon shall see;
Glad day! Glad day!
Is it the crowning day?

I may go home today,
Glad day! Glad day!
Seemeth I hear their song;
Hail to the radiant throng!
If I should go home today. (Refrain)

Why should I anxious be?
Glad day! Glad day!
Lights appear on the shore,
Storms will affright nevermore,
For He is “at hand” today. (Refrain)

Faithful I’ll be today,
Glad day! Glad day!
And I will freely tell
Why I should love Him so well,
For He is my all today. (Refrain)

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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