28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” Mark 13:28
Today is the first day of summer and it is a glorious day! There are small fluffy white clouds floating in a clear blue sky, the sun is shining brightly, the temperature and humidity levels are warm but comfortable, and a red-tailed hawk is making lazy circles in the sky as it floats on the air currents. You could hardly ask for a nicer day in the month of June in Kentucky!
What makes today’s weather even more glorious is the fact that our recent weather has been….well, not so glorious. Like many areas of the eastern United States, we’ve had an abundance of rain, sometimes with thunder and lightning providing the accompaniment. We have more of that kind of weather forecast for this weekend and into the early part of next week, so we have to enjoy today’s weather while we can and soak up that beautiful sunshine.
I don’t know of any fig trees that grow near where I live, although there may be some. If there is one, I’ll bet its twigs are tender and its leaves are out, because summer time is upon us. Surely that is one of the signs of summer, trees in leaf and bearing fruit. All of us can easily recognize it.
However, can you recognize the signs of the end times as easily as you can recognize the changes of season? That’s really what Jesus was talking to His disciples about in this passage from Mark. In verses 5-27, Jesus answers their question about what sign will be given that the end is near. He talks about there being, “wars or rumors of wars,” earthquakes and famines. He speaks of the need for the gospel to be preached to every nation. He tells of situations where it is brother against brother, children against parents. He speaks of believers being flogged in the synagogues. Even more frightening is His description of the sun and moon being darkened, stars falling from the sky and the heavens being shaken. He finishes by saying that at that time, we will see the Son of Man riding on the clouds and gathering His followers from all corners of the earth and the heavens. WOW. That’s some kind of sign! Would you recognize those signs for what they are?
Brothers and sisters, if you are in Christ, there is no reason to fear the end times any more than you fear a beautiful summer’s day. Yes, the days will be evil and full of hardship, but our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to gather to Himself all who belong to Him. That will be glorious!!
What does it mean to be “in Christ”? It means that you understand that the ONLY way to Heaven is through a relationship with Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay the price for your sins. It means you have surrendered your life to His lordship and to His leadership. It means that you have repented (turned away from) your sinful ways and asked for His forgiveness and His help to live as He would have you live. It means that you have received the truth that you are now His adopted son or daughter and that you are dearly loved by Him. Have you done that? Are you ready to do that? Please, don’t wait too long to make that decision for Him!!!! You can make it today by praying this prayer:
Dear Jesus, I am a sinful person who has gone my own way through life up to this point. I am sorry. Today I surrender everything to You. I want to turn away from my sinful ways and live the way that You would have me live but I need your help to do it. Please come into my heart. Please forgive me for all my sins – past, present and future. Please teach me Your ways and lead my life from this day forward. I give all that I am to You, the One Who died for me. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
Amen!! If you’ve just prayed that prayer, or one like it, and you meant it with every ounce of your being, then know that the Holy Spirit now lives in your heart. You are sealed in Christ forever, and nothing can ever change that. Congratulations!!! If you still have questions, please feel free to contact me; I’d be glad to talk with you. You are loved!