SIGNS OF THE TIMES

By: Gary L. Rodgers

What are the signs of the times? Are we on the time-table for the end time events?

We are living in some very troubled times. There are wars and rumors of wars[1], terrorist threats and attacks, people justifying the murder of innocent victims in the name of their religious beliefs. People losing their jobs in an unstable economy, exhausted Unemployment benefits, high credit card debt, mortgage foreclosures, bankruptcies, robberies, Scam artists, Ponzi schemes, whole families being murdered by a parent family member because of today’s pressures, people daring enough to steal anything in broad daylight, even sneaking through your home while you’re there. No wonder why people are under such pressure and living in fear and anxiety today. Why is all of this happening? Will it ever end? Is there no relief to all of this madness? Government spending running out of control, corrupt political figures, and economic meltdowns; where is all of this taking us? This is not happening just in the United States it’s happening all over the world. Leaders making all sorts of campaign promises that never come to fruition. The world is looking for someone who can settle the economic crisis, put people back to work, bring peace to our world and give us hope for tomorrow. Is there no one that can resolve all of our problems? Just one man is all it would take, one man who can settle our fears and give us hope. If one man would step forward with the power and ability to do all of this, the whole world would fall down and worship him.

THE STAGE IS BEING SET FOR A WORLD LEADER

Yes there is one that will have the power and ability to bring peace to the world and settle the economic stress that everyone is under. And before he comes on the scene there will be many that will present themselves as Christ hoping to gather a following to take over the world through false hopes and lies.

A prophet will come that will point to someone who will shortly come on the scene who will be a strong leader.  This prophet that I mentioned is a false prophet whom I believe will attempt a mock recreation of the message and work of John the Baptist in order to introduce the Antichrist as Jesus Christ. Remember that there are a lot of things that this false prophet must do to prepare the way for the Antichrist. He must explain away the Rapture of the Church. I believe that he may possibly incorporate into his lies the UFO sightings as a way to show that the Rapture was nothing more than an alien world taking out those that they have planted here on earth to cause the breakdown of the stability and harmony between people’s and nations, and to incite wars for mans total annihilation. I also feel that he will find ways to take the Bible to make it appear that it speaks of himself and the coming false Messiah, the Antichrist. Will he be convincing? In Matthew 24:24 we are told: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” The Bible tells us that in the last day’s people will have itching ears and will listen to fables and turn away from sound doctrine.[2] The world is ready to accept a false prophet and a false Christ. Yes he will bring peace to the world, but it will only last for 3 ½ years. He will set himself up in the Temple of God in Jerusalem and proclaim himself to be God. This leader will be a man who will overthrow the powers of world figures and religious leaders to make himself appear to be the Messiah who was sent here by God to save the world from destruction. He will cause an idol in his likeness to have life and to speak and it will do great wonders in full view of the world. People will bow down and worship him, saying that there is none like him, and he will demand that you worship him and he will destroy anyone that doesn’t. [3]

DECEMBER 21, 2012

Not long ago we were hearing rumors of a catastrophic event that would supposedly occur on December 21, 2012 during the Winter Solstice when the sun aligned with the center of our solar system. That date marked the end of the Mayan Calendar which was designed to bring us through the twelve signs of the Zodiac over a 26,000 year period. The Mayans believed that this date would bring about a regeneration of the earth, a new world age, a new creation. Over the past few years we have been seeing atmospheric changes, strong earth quakes, tsunamis, famines, incurable diseases and an increase in cancers. [4] We are seeing many frightening things happening in our world today. We cry for peace when there is no peace, we cry for safety when there is no safety.[5] We shudder in fear as we see these days approaching and faint at the very thought of things that we will be faced with. People are desperate for a leader that they can follow and look up to.

HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE THESE HORRORS?

What will people do in desperation? Even good people will do some bad things during desperate times. What hope can we offer them? There is only one hope and that hope is Jesus Christ and Him only. Christ does not force you to accept him any more than we force people that we know to accept us. It has to be a voluntary acceptance of their own free volition or else it means nothing. Those of us that have trusted Christ as our Lord and Savior have been made aware of the signs of the times[6]. We have hope and are comforted in Christ.[7] Satan has blinded more people than cataracts has ever done. He has people believing that there are a number of certain sins that can never be forgiven and that they have no hope nor any chance for Heaven. It’s true that no sin will enter into Heaven, and it’s also true that all sin can be forgiven except one. And that is the unpardonable sin of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.[8] The miracles Jesus performed through the power of the Holy Spirit gave evidence that validated his words and his ministry.[9]

When the Pharisees said that Jesus performed his miracles through Beelzebub they committed a serious offense of Blasphemy against the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus confronted them with their Blasphemy when he said in Matthew 12:27 “And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast [them] out? Therefore they shall be your judges.

ARE WE SOON HEADED FOR TOTAL ANNIHILATION?

Are we on the time-table for the end times? By what we are given in scripture and in view of all of the world events and problems that we as a people are facing, and the groaning and travailing of the earth I believe that we are on schedule, and December 21st came and went and it proved that it was not the date that would bring about catastrophic events to end life as we know it.  I believe that there is a possibility that we could see more frequent changes in the weather and more earthquakes and tsunamis. Some of those changes that we see could become very serious. But scripture teaches us that there will be a seven-year Tribulation period and a Thousand Year reign of Christ in the city of Jerusalem here on earth before this earth passes away and a New Heaven and a New Earth is created. I have no reason to question that. God saw Noah, Job, and Moses through the storms that they were faced with. He was with Jonah in the belly of the whale. He was with three Hebrew young men in a fiery furnace. He was with Daniel in the Lion’s Den. And he will see His children, you and me through our storms as well. He said that he will never leave us nor forsake us and we should never fear what man can do to us.[10] We are told in scripture that there are many things that will come to pass but the end is not yet.

A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE SAVED

Dear brother or sister in the Lord. I know that you may be struggling through some hardships and it’s easy for me and others to tell you not to fret when we are not going through what you are faced with. But we all are confronted with varying degrees of hardships throughout our life; and none of them are ever easy for any of us. I can only hope that when I go through those tough times that I will be like Paul and Silas;[11] filled with the Holy Spirit in such a way as to be able to sing praises to our God. I hope that I will stay focused on Christ and come through those times as a shining example like they were. It’s at these times that we need to unite together in prayer seeking God’s help. Some of these hardships can only be handled through prayer and fasting.[12]

Lord; as your children we come to you in prayer seeking your help. Please direct us in the way that we should go so that you can steer us through our fears in these trying times. May we all keep our eyes focused on the north sides[13] of the heavens watching for the return of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We thank you for the victory that we have in the name of Jesus. Amen!

THE INVITATION

Are you held captive in great fear and stress because of the signs of the times? Are you feeling alone with no hope in sight of ever getting through it all? Then I invite you to come to the one that can help you through every trouble and trial that you will face in your life. He is a friend that will stick by your side closer than any brother. He stands ready to write your name down in the book of life as one of His own. Only you can do this for yourself, no one can do it for you. Simply bow your head with a repentant heart and follow along with this prayer.

Dear Lord I kneel before you as a lost sinner seeking your forgiveness for every sin that I have ever committed. I believe and trust in you and ask that you would wash away all of my sins with the blood that you shed for me on the cross at Calvary. I know that you died to pay the penalty for my sins and that you were buried in a tomb and three days later you arose from the grave as proof that you are indeed the sacrificial Lamb of God.[14] Please send the Holy Spirit into my heart so that I can live a victorious life in this world of hopelessness. Help me to live for you as a shining example to others. Amen!

CLOSING

We will all face the pressures of these days. We can either lie there and take it or fight back through prayer and fasting. The victory is ours, so let’s take a stand together and claim it.

I recently heard a preacher bring a message regarding being under pressure and how we should react to it. I particularly liked his saying. He said that “We should be like the little tea-pot who whistles its best tune when it is up to its neck in hot water!” Amen! And Amen!

May the Lord grant you a peaceful day!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision.  Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!


[1] Matthew 24:6, Mark 13:7,  Luke 21:9 (It would be good to read the entire chapter of Matthew 24)

[2] 2 Timothy 4:3-5

[3] Revelation 13:15

[4] Matthew 24: 6-8

[5] 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

[6] Matthew 24:25

[7] 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11.

[8] Matthew 12:22-31 – Blasphemy is the abusive contemptuous slander and irreverent evil speaking of or action against the Deity or anything that is held sacred. In Theology it is the crime of crediting to oneself equality to the rights and attributes of God. That is why the Scribes and Pharisees hated Christ and wanted him condemned to death because he made himself equal to God. Their laws demanded death as noted in the verse below. But bear in mind that they never proved that he committed any sin. They said that he committed blasphemy because they knew that it would take the faith of the people in him as the Messiah to prove his innocence. And many did believe; even many of the Chief Rulers believed but would not confess him for fear of being put out of the Synagogue and losing the praise of men. John 12:42-43

In a recent discussion that I had with my Pastor on the unpardonable sin he enlightened me to some things that I never thought on before. First of all the unpardonable sin was a sin accusation directed to and in the very presence of Christ himself. The only references that either speak of or allude to the unpardonable sin are found in the gospels of Matthew 12:22-31, Mark 3:22-30 and Luke 11:14-15.  If this sin could be committed at any time other than in the absolute presence of the person of Christ himself, then why doesn’t any of the Pauline letters give a warning to believers about this? Wouldn’t Paul have warned the brethren about committing this horrible sin if it were possible for them to do it?

[9] John 11:45-53 – We find that many of the Jews believed in Christ when they saw the miracles that he did, and there were some that returned to the Pharisees to report what they had seen and heard. The Pharisees were fearful that if they left Christ alone to his ministry and to perform his miracles that many would believe in him and that the Romans would take away their priestly estate or position and destroy the nation of Israel. So the High Priest Caiaphas prophesied that one man should die for the people and spare the nation, and to gather together the scattered seed of Israel. (See Isaiah 49:5 and 6)

[10] Hebrews 13:5 and 6

[11] Acts 16:23-25

[12] Matthew 17:20 and 21, Mark 9:29

[13] Psalm 48:1 and 2

[14] John 1:29 and 36