It is winter. You might not think so from the way it looks outside, but it is true. Snow will be upon us at some point, I don’t know exactly when, but winter and snow go hand in hand in Iowa. It is the same with the return of the Lord.
I don’t know exactly when Jesus is going to return, but “soon” seems a better answer than not. I do know that the Day of our salvation is closer now than when we first believed. I also know that the Day is closer now than it was 2,000 years ago! I feel like God is giving us a living parable, calling attention to the peculiarities of nature.
It is winter, yet there is no snow. We are living in the last days, but the Lord hasn’t returned yet. I know that snow is coming because I know the season. I know the Lord is coming because of the season we are living in.
I realize that this might be taken as apocalyptic nonsense by some. Still others will cast disparaging remarks, quoting the ever famous verse from Matthew 24, “No one about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” It is symptomatic of our biblical illiteracy that we don’t also know the four verses that proceed this verse. They are:
“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. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation [the generation that sees “all these things” happening] will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
“Learn the lesson from the fig tree…” we may not know the day or the hour, but we are commanded by Jesus to know the season! Jesus echos this sentiment in Luke 12, Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?”
But Jesus gives us some insight when He says, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” When Noah began preaching to the people of the earth to repent or else God was going to flood the earth, no one believed him. Why? Because it had never rained before. The people had no grid for what rain would be like. Up to this point the earth was watered by streams. So the people ignored Noah. They continued to eat and drink and marry until it began to rain.
That is what Jesus meant when He said, “As it was in the days of Noah.” People will ignore our message that Jesus is coming back. They have no grid for it. They are judging by appearances and not by the season. So our business now is two-fold. First we pray, asking that the Lord will soften hearts and bring people to repentance. Second we preach, we must be faithful to declare the Gospel and the reality of our times in word and in work. This is the great calling of the Church and the special assignment for this generation.
What a privilege to live in such a time as this! Within the decade we expect the Great Commission to be fulfilled for the first time in history. Every nation will soon have a written translation and a spoken witness. This is one of the main signs that the end is near. So this is not a time to live in fear, but to live in faith. Jesus is really real, and the things He said are really going to happen. The extent to which we believe what He said is the extent to which we believe in Him. We all need to come to a place where we are willing to rearrange our lives according to the Truth of the Word of God Lord, help us to live by faith and not by sight!