As we study the Bible, every now and then the Holy Spirit opens something up and a verse or a word seems to jump out as never before. So many times it can be a passage that we have read many, many times, but we see it afresh with new eyes. This happened to me with this section of scripture as I was putting together this post. There is a great message of hope in this section of scripture that Christians can take comfort from.
Signs in the Heavens
This section of scripture tells us that the world will be in great turmoil and distress just prior to the return of the Lord.
Jesus tells us that there will be signs in sun and moon and stars. In other places some of these things are mentioned for it says “…the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day.” (Acts 2:20)
Also it says in Revelation 9:12, “…a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light was darkened; a third of the day was kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.” If we consider how this may happen it means in essence that the earth will change its rotation so that the length of a day will become 16 hours, not 24 hours.
What kind of cataclysmic event could cause such a thing? Asteroid collision perhaps? There are probably many possibilities but the Lord is warning us in advance that this will occur and that He is in control.
Distress and Perplexity on Earth
Then we find the signs on the earth. Earlier in this chapter we saw Jesus warn about wars and rumours of wars and about earthquakes and famines and so on. These are all signs of the approaching end time.
We see here also that He warns about, “…upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Verses 25-26)
The distress of mankind will be so great that men will faint with fear. They will see the roaring of the sea and waves and be perplexed. They will wonder what is happening and will have no answers or means to overcome these immense signs. Is it any wonder the world will fall into fear and terror!
And then the greatest terror of all will come upon mankind. They will all see the coming of the Lord Jesus. All those who oppose Him and who stand against him and who chose not to believe in the Lord will stand in fear at the sight of the Lord’s return for they will know it is too late to change. Their end is at hand for the Lord will come this time, not as a lowly carpenter to serve and teach, but as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to rule this earth with a rod of iron.
But what about those who are in Christ? Jesus gives them an important message in the face of all of this fear, terror, distress and perplexity that will come upon the world. To the Christians he says, “Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Verse 28)
He does not tell his people to be afraid or to hang their heads with the rest of the world. He says, “Look up and raise your heads.” This is a time for understanding for his people, for when they see these things happening they are to take comfort and be strengthened knowing the the Lord prophesied these things would preced His return. We should take heart when these things occur for the time will be very short and our redemption at the coming of the Lord will be soon.
So today when things are going haywire in the world around you, consider the words of the Lord. Look up and raise your heads. For when we look up, we are looking to Jesus and the Lord God.
Zig Ziglar said it best in my mind when he quoted Helen Keller. He said, “If the outlook is not good, try the uplook. It’s always good.” So too for us when we lift our heads and try the up-look we are seeking God and the things of God. And in God we will find answers, comfort and consolation when the rest of the world is going crazy.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Marcos Santos)