The Signs of the Times (2): Redemption

editor - 17 June 2018

“…When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near…”
(Luke 21: 28 NIV)

When Jesus speaks about the ‘signs of the times’, He mentions a great number of things that will happen to this world. The majority of these are not pleasant. Reading about ‘these things’ can strike fear into your heart. But He immediately adds something to it: when ‘these things’ begin to happen, you must understand that your redemption is drawing near.

He says this to His friends, His disciples. They followed Him and left everything behind. So Peter asks Him one day: “…We have left everything to follow you!” Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the Gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life…” (Mark 10:28-30).

In short, following Jesus means making sacrifices, but it also means great joy and a wonderful future ahead. And when ‘these things’ begin to happen, you may observe them from a prophetic perspective! You may learn to look through them. Suddenly you will understand that everything apparently must happen, but in the end it will lead to the great redemption!

This doesn’t make the things that are happening all over the world any better, or less frightening. And when you’re in the middle of it, it’s even more than terrible. He speaks about persecutions, earthquakes, contagious diseases, martyrdom, lawlessness, hunger, trials and tribulations, and much more. Talking about persecution: We as Christians in the West aren’t really facing this very much yet. But it’s a completely different story in many other parts of the world. In Church History of the last 2000 years you read about many times and places of frightful persecutions of Christians and Jews. But you also read that the blood of the martyrs often was the seed of the church.

Giving it all up for Jesus’ sake and for the Gospel seems a very radical message. And it is. This was also true for Abraham, the patriarch of the Jewish people, and the father of all who believe, Romans 4:16, Galatians 3:6-9. He was asked by the Lord to bind his son Isaac and lay him on the altar. Genesis 22:3. “…Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you…”When Abraham was willing to do this, he received him back as from death, Hebrews 11:17-19. “…Do not lay a hand on the boy,” He said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son…” (:12).

Anyone who gives everything upfor Jesus’ sake and for the Gospel will receive it all back. But then with Him as number one in your heart. Yes, together with persecutions but also with everlasting life. And whatever still may happen in this world today and in the future: it ultimately will all lead to our redemption.

So let’s look at all these ‘signs of the times’ from the end to the beginning, Isaiah 46:10. From the final redemption to the situation of today and tomorrow. Rise above your situation and understand: God is in control!

The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible.The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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