Is it about the SIGN or the ACTION TAKEN?

Imagine you are driving down the road. Another car is coming from the road to your left while kids are chasing a dog and getting dangerously close to the road on your right. There are four cars behind you and you see a young man helping an elderly lady cross the road in front of you.

You see the sign above.

What do you do?

Do you check to see if the paint is the correct shade of red? Do you ponder the use of an octagon instead of something simpler, like a circle? Do you check the angle of the sign post to see if it is straight or slightly askew?

Do you call your friends and tell them what the red octagon means? Do you pull out your phone and start researching stop signs?

Of course not. You stop.

If you waste time focusing on the sign, you miss the point of having the sign there to begin with.

You might even miss those in danger around you.

What if the kids keep running as the dog crosses into the street? Or the elderly lady stumbles and falls before she reaches the end of the crosswalk? What if the car to your left misses the sign and keeps going through the intersection?

The sign is there as a warning. Stop. Look. Notice your surroundings.

Is this what you do?

Even spiritually?

Lately I’ve seen a lot of people fascinated with the signs of the end times. Some biblical prophecies have indeed come to pass. Other interpretations are completely out of left field. Either way, though, it shouldn’t matter.

The SIGNS were never meant to be our focus.

The ACTIONS were. Stop. Look. Notice your surroundings. There are people everywhere in danger of an eternity without Christ. It’s our job to show them the way.

The more time we spend looking for signs and talking about signs and, even worse, ARGUING about the signs, the less time we have to lead others to Christ.

Forget the signs. Take action!

Theoretically I’m Ready, Realistically I’m Not So Sure…

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I can remember a lively discussion in our Sunday evening Bible Study just four years ago. The subject was a pre-, post-, or mid-tribulation rapture and I was in the minority when I said I’d relish going through the tribulation and being a beacon of light for lost souls.

I didn’t understand why everyone looked at me like a I had just sprouted three heads nor did I understand why they didn’t feel the same way.

Blame it on my naivety.

I guess I thought I’d skip through beds of roses as I shared the gospel with those who’d missed it, those standing in the midst of the thorns that wouldn’t touch me.

I envisioned myself in some sort of spiritual bubble, like the one the boy in the plastic bubble had to protect himself from the rest of the world.

If I’ve learned anything in the last three months, it’s that no-one will be protected.

The end times are rapidly approaching and the realization that this is more than just a doomsday prophet holding a subway sign proclaiming THE END IS NEAR is enough to make me perpetually nauseous.

What’s going on in our country right now is the beginning of the end.

I’m not even sure I’ll still be living in a free country as I draw my final breath.

The thought terrifies me.

Christianity is under attack, which isn’t new, but it is new to me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to openly worship Jesus Christ for the rest of my life. Steps are being made now to make sure that I won’t.

And it isn’t just our country.

I know the end of the story, that isn’t what worries me. I’d be okay with the end happening right now.

It’s what leads up to the end.

Will we become a socialist nation? Will we lose our rights to worship? Will we be forced to accept an alternate religion or face persecution?

We’ve read the stories, we’ve revered the men and women who lost their lives for Christ. But we never REALLY considered that we might one day end up just like them.

Will we have the courage and conviction to stand bold?

Theoretically, I’m 100% in.

When it becomes real I become less brave. And I feel like a fraud.

Father, give me the strength and the courage to know that You are with me no matter what I endure. Prepare me for the battle that lies ahead and let me retain the faith you have given me. Let me be ready not just in theory, but in reality to fight. Amen.