There seems to be a lot of activity going on around the world that could be described by some  people as “signs of the times.”  I mean, as a Christian if we avoid considering the possibility of this being the case, we would be like the myth that an ostrich  buries its head in the sand to avoid danger.  By the way, they don’t bury their head.  Instead a frightened ostrich will flop to the ground and remain still with its head and neck flat on the ground in front of it.  In other words the ostrich will become very passive, hoping that if they do not recognize danger as danger, then avoiding looking at it will cause it to simply go away.  I think some Christians bury their heads from the facts that something is happening. They try to avoid thinking about it and not go there with that discussion  They will dismiss the facts by some philosophical, holier than thou statement that we aren’t meant to know those things.  The fact is they don’t want to be cast in with some crazy people who do seem unstable, even though there are many things that seem obvious in the scriptures and the world today.


Like the ostrich, they just get passive, and hope the facts that are being seen will just pass by and history repeats itself.  “After all,” they say, “think of all of the kooks who have embarrassed themselves with their predictions of the end or Christ’s return.  No I don’t want to be associated with those people.”  Well they would be right with that fact and concern.  However, those people got it wrong from the beginning.  They should never try to predict a time or day or place of Christ’s return.  Scripture explicitly discourages this.  But Jesus did say something we should heed.  Read it:


As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  (Matthew 24:3-14 ESV)


Now “ostrich man” will say, “See.  Even Jesus said that we should not be alarmed by what we see.”  They will point to the false prophets and false messiahs and rumors of wars as their evidence.  That would be right to a degree, for we have seen those things. But remember the Evil Man is a master of deceit and misdirection.  He is a schemer extraordinaire.  Maybe its needs to be considered that those false voices may be sent  sent by the him to condition the world and God’s family to see anything that looks like a sign of the times to be only kooks saying those things again?  Would that not be a masterful plan to cause Christians and the other people of the world to look away and avoid thinking that time is running out?  After all, who want to run the risk of pointing this out and being identified with the kooks?  But what is being overlooked is obvious.  What we are seeing are the “birth pains” that Jesus spoke of.  There is more to come, but I believe that the process has begun.


I  refuse to be an ostrich and avoid looking at the evidence that time is running out.  I cannot avoid it, for I believe it is a reminder to God’s family that this world we live in is not our home.  Our home is yet to come.  As God’s family we are sojourners walking through a refugee camp leading other refugees toward our heavenly home.  That is our mission while time remains.  We are like the ten young women Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:1-13.  There were five who were watching, waiting, and prepared for the bridegroom.  There were five who were asleep and unprepared for him to show up.  As a result the five unprepared missed out.  Jesus used this illustration in reference to His return to claim His Bride, the Church.  After He told the parable He looked at His disciples, and all who heard Him that day and said:


“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  (Matthew 25:13 ESV)


WATCH.”  I don’t believe we are to panic because of the times we are in.  On the contrary I think we are living, and will live in an amazing time in Church history.  Already we can see with the hurricanes and earthquakes, and the many other challenges going on around the world how God’s family is rising up to serve the people in these situations.  I believe we have been raised up for what is going on and what will occur.  We need to live in this world until Christ comes to claim us and take us home.  We need to serve His cause in reaching the lost and hurting people in this world.  It will be in the crisis that God’s man or woman stands up, and are an example of hope to hopeless people.  We don’t go to the woods and wait for Christ’s return.  That is another from of avoidance.  That is an ostrich by another name, but still the same.  No, it is in the crisis that we stand for our King and the redemption He offers for those who will believe, and that is why we need to be ready for it.


We cannot serve our King’s cause and forget that He is returning … and maybe one day soon.  There is a sense of urgency, and we need to join it.  That is what the signs remind us to do.  That is why Jesus said look and see them and realize what they mean.  They are not to scare us.  They are not to cause us to run and hide.  But, they are certainly not to be ignored.  They are to cause us to do what we are called to do.  We are to prepare for Jesus’ return by faithfully serving His purposes while we are still here.  So look up and look around.  Don’t bury your head.  He really is close now, as never before.  This is the in time to be encouraged.  It is not a time to fear.