So here I sit on Sunday, September 24th, 2017….the day after the so-called “great sign in the heavens” which stirred up so much interest and controversy with some saying “the world is going to end,” others said “Jesus is coming back to rapture His church,” and yet others were predicting nuclear war or a collision with the mysterious Planet X. None of them happened on the 23rd….but I believe one day this world will end (at least as we know it) and Jesus will come back for His redeemed ones. However Jesus said, “No man knows the day or hour…only the Father knows.” So predicting those types of things, on this day or that day, is just generally a bad idea. But people still do it, don’t ask me why.
But that does not mean we should scoff or laugh off the possibility that God may be sending us warnings through various signs and wonders (and tragedies..for that matter). Both the Old and New Testaments are full of examples of God warning His people (and His enemies, too) through various signs and wonders. In fact, in the very first chapter of the Bible, Moses recorded words that God promised to do just that.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. [Genesis 1:14-15 ESV]
But let me make one thing clear. A sign does not, necessarily, bring catastrophic events with them….by themself. No…a sign is just a sign….a warning that bad things might happen IF the sign is ignored. A stop sign is a warning, but it does not cause bad things to happen. However, if you ignore it’s warning and don’t stop…you have no one else to blame for what happens next. You were warned, right?
Also, sometimes the Lord will send a message to those who oppose Him in response to the humble prayers of believers that God may show His power and who He is. Such an event took place when Joshua called on God to show His power:
At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel. [Joshua 10:12-14 ESV]
Joshua prayed and God answered. The Israelites were reluctant to heed God’s call to go out and defeat the enemies He said He would give into their hands. Maybe they thought it was just Joshua flexing muscles, that it was not really God who had called them into battle. So Joshua asked God to give a sign of endorsement to the plan….and He did. Pretty cool!!
You know, people of faith all over America have been praying for years (as this great nation has gradually slipped, over the last 100 years or so, into moral decay) that God would show Himself to help bring the people to repentance that He might respond and heal our land (God knows we need healing..physically, emotionally and spiritually..do we not?). You might ask, “Did Jesus talk about signs in the heavens coming at a time when a nation falls into moral decay?” Ummm….yes. Yes, I believe He did…numerous times actually:
And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed. [Matthew 16:1-4 ESV]
That’s one. Here He is saying, basically, “If you can look at the sky and forecast the weather, should you not, also, be able to interpret the signs of the time?” Look around folks. Does it look like peace, safety and security lies ahead? If we, as a nation, were passing laws and doing what pleases the Lord, do you think sudden destruction (from natural disasters and physical enemies who threaten us) would seem to be closing in on us from all sides? I do not. Jesus did not seem to mince any words, in Matthew 24:
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” [Matthew 24:29-30 ESV]
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” [Matthew 24:36-39 ESV]
In this chapter, the disciples asked Jesus what signs they should be looking for, that would let them know his return would be coming soon. He responded by talking about signs in the heavens and pointing to Noah and how all the people scoffed at his warnings… thinking their “good times” and selfish ways would be able to go on indefinitely. How did that work out for them? Not so well…only Noah and his family were saved. OUCH!!
Jesus also talked about the sign of Jonah….maybe we should refresh our memories. He is the guy who supposedly got swallowed by a whale, and survived in it’s belly for three days then was vomited out, right? Yeah, but there is a little more to this story, and you may find it interesting, especially considering what happened here in the US about a month ago.
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God….The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth…(and he said)…”Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. [Jonah 3:1-6, 8-10 ESV]
Now we know Jonah was reluctant to go and preach to Nineveh (which, interesting, was what we now call Mosul…in Iraq), so God sent the hungry whale to coax him a bit. So, yes, Jonah went and preached and Nineveh repented and God relented. But did you know that God also caused a solar eclipse to appear over them….right around the same time? Check out what Tom Hobson discovered and wrote about on August 7th, two weeks before our recent solar eclipse. So it seems God sent a sign in the heavens to put his endorsement on the preaching of Jonah, just as he did with Joshua. Are we beginning to see a trend, here?
“As we await the eclipse of 2017 AD, this post examines the possibility that the dramatic repentance of Nineveh in Jonah 3:1-10 may have been galvanized by a total solar eclipse there that dates to June 15, 763 BCE, during the probable lifetime of Jonah. All sorts of details kick in to make this possibility highly plausible.” (Tom Hobson Aug. 7, 2017)
God sends his messengers like Noah, Joshua, Jonah, Jesus and these days, His people…the church….to not only preach the Good News of Jesus Christ…but to pray for revival in the land, as well. And as He said He would do, He sends “accompanying signs in the heavens” to show His involvement and endorsement of the message of repentance.
Did we not, in 2014-15, have four blood moons within 18 months (all of which fell precisely on Jewish feast days……coincidence? I think not)?
Did we not have a solar eclipse in August, that appeared in the sky mostly over the mainland of the United States, all the way from one coast to the other? Hello?
And now we have this sign of the stars forming the woman in Revelation 12, with the crown of twelve stars around her head who appears to be with child and ready to give birth.
So how long has it been since the first blood moon in 2014 until now? Ummm….three and a half years. How long did Daniel say the first half of the tribulation period would last before the AntiChrist would be revealed and the really bad stuff would start? Oh, wait, three and half years? Hmmm..interesting.
So, am I saying definitively, we are halfway through the tribulation period and the AntiChrist is about to be revealed? I am not….but you would have to be blind (spiritually, at least) to not see the “end time signs” happening all around us.
So if we say….”Well, it is Sunday, September 24th and nothing happened…party on Wayne…party on Garth!!!”…would that be wise? I do not think so.
Remember…if a stop sign is ignored…that is when you get in trouble.
I believe God sends His messengers to bring us His message of redemption and hope, not because He wants to destroy us….no…He wants to redeem us.
And He sends signs to show He is involved and endorsing the message.
Ignoring the message and the accompanying signs?
Probably not a good idea.
Go ahead. Blow right through those stop signs….if you feel lucky…that is.