END TIMES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER #5
by Ron Rhodes
The Signs of the Times
A "sign of the times" is an event of prophetic significance that points to the end times. We might say that the signs of the times in the pages of prophetic Scripture constitute Gods "intel in advance" regarding what the world will look like as we enter the end times.
We are specifically instructed that certain signs will take place as the tribulation period unfolds. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples asked Jesus, "What will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" In verses 4 and following, Jesus mentions a number of signs of the times that will predominate during the tribulation period (just prior to the second coming).
(BUT WHY BE SO CONCERNED IF THE SAINTS WILL DISAPPEAR IN A SECRET RAPTURE BEFORE ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE ON EARTH. AND WE WOULD OBSERVE THE PREDOMINATE WHATEVERS GOING ON THE EARTH WHILE WE ARE SAFE IN HEAVEN. SO DOES IT REALLY MATTER ABOUT KNOWING ANYTHING IF AT ANY SECOND CHRIST COMES FOR THE SAINTS, INVISIBLY, SECRETLY, TO HAVE THEM DISAPPEAR FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN. WITH THE SECRET RAPTURE TEACHING, KNOWING ANY SIGNS MAKES NO DIFFERENCE - Keith Hunt)
Jesus urged His followers to be thoughtful observers of the times. He gave the Sadducees and Pharisees, who rejected Him as the divine Messiah, this challenge: "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" (Matthew 16:1-3).
(BUT ACCORDING TO THE SECRET RAPTURE TEACHING, THAT COULD TAKE PLACE ANY SECOND, KNOWING SIGNS MAKES NO DIFFERENCE - Keith Hunt)
These Jewish leaders were supposedly expert interpreters of the Old Testament Scriptures. In such messianic passages as Isaiah 11 and 35, we are told that when the Messiah came, the lame would walk, the deaf would hear, and the blind would see. When Jesus came on the scene, this is precisely what happened. These Jewish leaders should have been able to read the signs of the times and recognize that Jesus indeed was the promised Messiah. But they could not.
The lesson we learn from this is that you and I are called by Jesus to be thoughtful observers of the times. We are to be aware of what biblical prophecy teaches and then to keep a close eye on unfolding events in the world so that we become aware of any possible correlation between world events and biblical prophecy.
(WHY SHOULD WE BE BOTHERED TO KNOW ANY PROPHETIC EVENTS, FOR IF CHRIST CAN COME ANY SECOND IN A SECRET RAPTURE TO TAKE THE SAINTS TO HEAVEN, WE NEED NOT BE BOTHERED ABOUT HAVING TO LOOK FOR ANY SIGNS. DO YOU BEGIN TO SEE HOW SILLY AND STUPID, AND HOW CONTRADICTORY THE FUNDAMENTAL PROTESTANT PROPHETS ARE? Keith Hunt)
We are never to set dates (Matthew 24:36)—we do not know the specific day or hour of Jesus's coming (Acts 1:7)-—-but we can know the general season of the Lord's return by virtue of the signs of the times. Jesus urged His disciples, "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door" (Matthew 24:32-33 NASB).
(AGAIN WHY, IF THE SECRET RAPTURE IS TRUE, SHOULD WE BE LOOKING AT ANY SIGNS. WE JUST NEED TO MAKE SURE WE ARE GOOD CHRISTIANS, SO WHEN JESUS COMES AT ANY SECOND, WE CAN GO TO HEAVEN WITH HIM - Keith Hunt)
Jesus indicates in this passage that God has revealed certain things through prophecy (particularly related to the future tribulation period) that ought to cause people who know the Bible to understand that a fulfillment of prophecy is taking place—or perhaps, in our present day, the stage is being set for a prophecy to eventually be fulfilled. Jesus is thus informing His followers to be accurate observers of the times so that when biblical prophecies are fulfilled, or the stage is being set, they will realize what is happening (see also Luke 21:25-28).
(BUT WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT LOOKING AT ANY SIGNS, FOR THE SECRET RAPTURE CAN BE ANY SECOND, SO THEY TEACH -
Let us now briefly survey the signs of the times that Jesus described. I have categorized them as earth and sky signs, moral signs, religious signs, and technological signs.
Earth and Sky Signs........
OH DO YOU SEE THE FOLLY OF IT ALL, FOR THE SECRET RAPTURE MAKES IT ALL A THROW AWAY BALL. NEED NOT WORRY WHAT IS HAPPENING AT ALL, FOR IF JESUS COMES SECRETLY ANY SECOND LOOKING AT SIGNS IS REDUNDANT YOU SEE, FOR WE SHALL FLY OFF TO HEAVEN AND WITH JESUS WE WILL BE. THEN WE SHALL ALL LOOK DOWN AND SEE, EVERYTHING UNFOLD THEN LIKE BUDS ON A TREEE. SO SIGNS ARE NOT NEEDED NO SUR-EE, IF THE SECRET RAPTURE ANY SECOND IS TO BE.
To be continued