Looking Beyond the Signs for our Blessed Hope

Welcome back, study friends, to the third installment of our series regarding signs of the time. Those signs are all around us and we have looked at six specific signs in the past two days. You’ll find them here:

We have firmly anchored ourselves in the promise Jesus gave His disciples (and us) in Luke 21:28: Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. One thing for certain, we have never been closer to our rapture to join Jesus in the air!

But, as long as we are on this planet, signs of the time will swirl around us, so we are wise to acknowledge the signs and keep looking up. Indeed, our redemption draws near!

There are dozens of signs, but we’ve limited it to only nine in this series. So, let’s dig into the final three.

A World in Rebellion to God

We’ve already mentioned 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (yesterday), but I encourage you to read it once more and consider the rebellion predicted when Paul wrote the words of that letter to Timothy. He was addressing rebellion that ensues when men worship things rather than God! But the apostle turned right around in the next chapter to provide young Timothy valuable instruction regarding rebellion that emanates even from within the church.

 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

~2 Timothy 4:1-5

All are prone to rebellion when they seek to have their ears tickled. We, too, must be watchful, endure afflictions, and fulfill all God calls us to.

A View of What is Next on the World Scene

Now, friends, we’ll switch gears to consider what happens in Christian lives that call Jesus Lord, and who follow Paul’s exhortation in Titus 2:11-13:

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

~Titus 2:11-13

True believers will deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and will live soberly, righteously and godly lives as we await our Blessed Hope! Yes, there will be a distinct difference between those who deny Christ and those who call Him Lord. Have you noticed a chasm beginning to form? Beware! As we have already discussed, deception is abundant, and the only way to avoid being sucked in by it is to commit ourselves to the truth of His Word.

The world scene today is filled with events pushing us toward a date with destiny…either in the rapture with Jesus our Savior, or left behind to face the tribulation! Jesus is coming soon and making the right decision about Him has never been more important!

Preparation of the Church for His Coming

That is a very hopeful sign to those of us who long for His appearing! God is definitely preparing His bride, the church! Consider His Word:

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

~Jude 1:20-21

As you consider the soon return of Jesus, I want to share a Scripture montage with you. There is a word repeated often…can you identify it?

:1 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. :2 Therefore watch and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears - blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. :3 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. :4 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. :5 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming - in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. :6 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work. :7 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. :8 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep. :9 For now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. :10 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. :11 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. :12 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. :13 Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, :14 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. :15 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 16 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 17 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. :18 What I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Indeed, be watchful, dear friends, because our redemption is near!

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