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couch
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Joined: 2003/10/29
Posts: 62
College Station, TX

 Should we Look for Signs?

I just listened to an interesting debate about an interesting question stemming from the more eschatological passages of Matthew 24, Luke 21, 2 Thessalonians, and 2 Peter.

The question: Do you feel that the "signs of the times" Jesus, Paul, and Peter mentioned in these passages have already taken place, and therefore there is no sign that we need to watch for before the coming of our Lord?

Or do you feel that there are many signs that we need to be watchful for as a sign that "our redemption draweth nigh?"

The answer may seem obvious, but some would say that, for example, the passage where Paul says "the end shall not come lest their be a great fallling away" some would say was fulfilled in the Dark Ages.

It seems difficult to me to ignore all that has been going on in the earth in terms of weather, anti-semitism, rise of christ-less religion, persecution of the saints, etc.; but ive heard it argued that all of this has been for many centuries and that there is really no "sign" that we have need to watch for because the ones scripture mentions have already been fulfilled.

Anybody have any thoughts?


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Ryan Couch

 2005/2/1 11:08Profile
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 Re: Should we Look for Signs?

We will know the signs when we see them but the events are inevitable. The one thing we should do is be in line with God's will. If we focus on that, we will not be freaked out by all the events and God will guard our minds and hearts, that is where it's all at.


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Farai Bamu

 2005/2/2 22:11Profile
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 Re: Should we Look for Signs?

Quote:
It seems difficult to me to ignore all that has been going on in the earth in terms of weather, anti-semitism, rise of christ-less religion, persecution of the saints, etc.; but ive heard it argued that all of this has been for many centuries and that there is really no "sign" that we have need to watch for because the ones scripture mentions have already been fulfilled.



"Watch and pray"
The parable of the virgins...

2Ti 3:1 You must realize, however, that in the last days difficult times will come.
2Ti 3:2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 unfeeling, uncooperative, slanderous, degenerate, brutal, hateful of what is good,
2Ti 3:4 traitors, reckless, conceited, and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
2Ti 3:5 They will hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power. Stay away from such people.

Mat 24:42 "So keep on watching, because you don't know on what day your Lord is coming.
Mat 24:43 But be sure of this: if the owner of the house had known at what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be broken into.
Mat 24:44 So you, too, must be ready, because at an hour you are not expecting him the Son of Man will come."

Not much for the whole 'prediction' business and think it is difficult in the sense that in various times surely those alive during say the Black Plague or the atrocities of Hitlers era must have thought 'this is it'.

But there is also a sense that the speed and pace of life is coming to a head. "Knowledge will increase". The 'ideal' of a one world government coming together. Some of the more creepy aspects, like gene manipulation, watched a program on the history channel about technology and some of the idea's being tried out. What seemed so ridiculous a generation ago, the Jettson's and Dick Tracy like gadgets are now here and the new ones can be implemented in a much shorter time span.

Some of the ideas they are toying with? Manipulating and cross breeding genetic material between humans and animals. Implants of cell phones in teeth and all kinds of 'cyborg' type micro computer implants...can't recall all the stuff right now, but it is very creepy.

How long will all the natural resources last? Oil for one... Weather, as you mentioned. Here's another 'creepy' thought; bugs, rodents. Did you know that we are outnumbered just by the insect population alone by 16 million to 1? "Pest control" is not just a politically correct term but a fact now.

It seems the push is toward ever increasing individualism and more and more toward the statements in 2 Tim 3.

Just some random thoughts, I don't think they necessarily 'prove' anything other than given enough time man will most likely destroy everything around him including himself all the while thinking they are making progress, just seems to be the natural outcome of a degenerate nature.

"our redemption draweth nigh?"

I think so, just looking at everything from the Cross to where we are now, often wonder "How much longer can this all go on?"


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Mike Balog

 2005/2/3 8:04Profile
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 Re: Should we Look for Signs?

I believe the signs mentioned by Jesus were for that time and that if we need to see some signs for our time He will tell us. The "falling away" is thousands of years old by now and is firmly entrenched and is seen by most today as the truth. God is revealing the knowledge of the times to His sheep.


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Steve Lindsey

 2005/2/3 17:55Profile
Yodi
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Joined: 2004/4/23
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 Re: Should we Look for Signs?

Well, first thought that came to my mind was that the signs mentioned in the New Testament were put there so that we would recognize the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, when He comes back.

The church in the New Testament had to be warned so many times and in so many different ways that there would be false teachers, false prophets and anti-Christs.

So I don't think we should look for signs, or even the soon coming end to the world. We're supposed to keep our eyes on Christ. We're supposed to look unto the Author and Finisher of our faith; the Alpha and the Omega. And it's quite simple really, if we spend time with Him each day, then we'll recognize Him when He comes unexpectedly, like a theif in the night.


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Yolanda Fields

 2005/2/3 18:30Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
I believe the signs mentioned by Jesus were for that time and that if we need to see some signs for our time He will tell us. The "falling away" is thousands of years old by now and is firmly entrenched and is seen by most today as the truth. God is revealing the knowledge of the times to His sheep.



This may be so but those are pretty much the same signs we see today concerning apostasy and the evil in the world. Christ is not bound by time so what He said applies as much today as it did then, there was apostasy back then and stealing and adulteries etc etc and so it is today also. He revealed that to His dicsiples then as HE is doing for us now.


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Farai Bamu

 2005/2/8 15:53Profile
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 Re:

Yodi

Quote:
So I don't think we should look for signs, or even the soon coming end to the world. We're supposed to keep our eyes on Christ. We're supposed to look unto the Author and Finisher of our faith; the Alpha and the Omega. And it's quite simple really, if we spend time with Him each day, then we'll recognize Him when He comes unexpectedly, like a theif in the night.



smack dab on the money...we should be about our father's business and as long as we are, there is nothing to fear. AMEN


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Farai Bamu

 2005/2/8 15:54Profile
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 Re:

Although this might seem a little left field in this discussion, I'd like to submit an excerpt from Art Katz' "Apostolic Foundations":

Quote:
For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. (Heb 10:37)
...
Jesus’ coming will usher in the Day of eternity and the reward. It was written two thousand years ago, but the Lord has not come, and yet how could (the author of Hebrews) say, "in a little while"? Was (the author) guilty of exaggeration? For (the author) it was little, in the same way that his afflictions were both momentary and light. It was little because he already anticipated eternity at the door. It was not an issue of chronology, but an issue of God’s character. He who promised will come. It is an issue of the God who promises.

Here comes the punch-line,
Now (emphasis mine) the just shall live by faith. (v 38 kjv)

Having just spoken about what comes after-the inheritance, eternity and the reward-(the author) brings the subject to the immediate, "Now the just shall live by faith." In other words, "Now the just shall live by this eschatological faith." Will the Lord find this kind of faith upon the earth when He returns? It is the faith of His coming, the faith of His appearing, the faith of His Kingdom, and the faith of the fulfillment of all these promises-and He asks us to live by it now.


I meantion this because Jesus made many a seemily contradictory statement, regarding values and obligation in His Kingdom. One minute he was saying "get a good return on investments" the next "don't store up on earth". He rebuked the one who stored his money in the ground, rather than investing for "ursury (ie. bank interest)", while directing someone else to "sell all you have and give to the poor (which would be an investment without a return)". If all we were to do, was hear the words of the statments, without considering the heart of God in the present circumstance, we would begin to build dogmatic statments on half truths, creating another Catholic/Prodestant, Calvin/Arminus, Fundametal/Liberal, etc... divide in the Body of Christ.

The same is true for eschatological statements, in Scripture. For example, consider the words of Jesus in Mark 8:12:
Quote:
..."Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto thi s generation." (KJV)


When reading this, one could easily assume that we are to look for signs, considering that we won't be given one. However, closer examination would lead us to see that Jesus was refering to a specific people, with a specific condition, doing a specific action. The people were the Pharisees, their condition was one of unbelief (ie, they didn't belive that Jesus was the Messiah), and the their action was to ask for a sign, to prove to them that Jesus was who He claimed to be.

From this simple analysis, we find that Jesus is sayin "I will not give a sign to you if you ask for it, out of your stubborn unbelief. After all, I'm God, so I don't need to prove Myself to anyone. You should be more concerned with proving yourself to me." To further solidify my statement, we read further His statement to the disciples on this matter in v15:
Quote:

..." Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees"


..to which the disciples thought that I was because they didn't bring any of the leftover bread from the miracle feeding of the 4000+ people earlier that day(vv1-10). Jesus rebuke to the disciples for this opinion, referred to the same event as a sign that they should have understood(vv17-21).

Another account of Jesus challenging the seemingly contant insistance upon giving a sign is found in Matt 16:3-4:
Quote:

"...O ye hipocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign,; and there shall be no sign given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas."...


The fact that He asks them why they couldn't disern the signs of the times, implies that there were signs that they weren't recognising (ie, the miracles, doctrine, repentance, etc..). It is undoubtable that we are seeing, signs of His appearing, but the signs that we are seeing, are those to which Jesus said "the end has not come yet".

In summary, I believe that it is a wicked and adulterous generation the seeks (ie, requests) and sign, but a true believer will look for signs and recognise them.


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Aaron Ireland

 2005/2/8 22:01Profile





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