“Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.”
Matthew 16:1-4 NKJV
There are times when I wonder if we are that much different than the Sadducees and the Pharisees, seeking to test the Lord and looking for a sign. Those of us who have been saved, converted and born again, have the advantage of God in us, the Holy Spirit, confirming the presence and power of the Father.
Even so, it seems as if we have, along the way, lost the faith in the One who saved us. We quickly find ourselves seeking after signs and wonders, miracles and quick fixes. We want things instantaneously done, so that we know that God is truly who He says He is. When there seems to be a delay, we quickly go out and find another way, one grounded in the traditions of men. Worse yet, we begin to challenge the identity and sovereignty of Jesus.
After all that He had done in their presence, these stiff necked leaders challenged Jesus. They continuously tested Him, even though the signs were as plain as the signs in the sky. In their wickedness, the Sadducees and Pharisees, were heart blind to the true workings of God.
Christians today have become overwhelmed by the constant stream of alleged Christian media, that is more influenced by the world, than the Spirit. We have become so overwhelmed by the din, that we no longer hear the whisper of God.
Few have become confused, discombobulated, as we look for guidance in all the wrong places. As with the Sadducees and the Pharisees, the signs are everywhere and we are without excuse.
The Lord has provided us with Spirit filled authorities to guide us, and has provided the greatest authority of all: His Word.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,”
Ephesians 4:11-14 NKJV
For the Sadducees and the Pharisees the time was running out, as Jesus would soon transition from seeking the reclaim the children of Israel, and would focus on preparing His disciples for the cross. They were nearing the sign of Jonah, who emerged from the belly of big fish to proclaim the Gospel to the gentile Ninevites, foreshadowing Jesus being raised from the dead, and the Gospel going to the whole world.
We too are in a moment when the time is running out. There will come a day when there will be no more spreading of the Gospel, for what is now seen by faith, will be seen by sight.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Titus 2:11-14 NKJV
The signs are everywhere.
Many of us are awaiting the rapture, that moment when the Lord comes and takes those who have looked forward to His appearing. This will not be the taking of Church, but the taking of those who laid everything on Jesus, who have made Him their sole focus. God knows who they are.
It is a time to turn our hearts to the Lord, and focus all our attention on the work the Lord has called us to do. We are passed the time when we can think to ourselves, that there is plenty of time. There is not. Each of us has a point of rapture, and it does not matter if it is corporate or individually when we die. There comes a moment when we will see the Lord Jesus face to face.
Let us heed the signs, and be vigilant.
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