2009-09-17 - Road Signs
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. (NASB)
When a major road work project starts there are usually a lot of warning signs that something big is about to unfold. Equipment and materials start showing up and some preparatory work begins to be done. The construction signs go up. They are often covered with canvas until their message goes into effect. The first day those signs are uncovered and the traffic patterns all shift is usually not a good commuting day as everyone gets adjusted to the new speed limits, lane adjustments and closures and other assorted changes. Not taking heed to the new signs is a sure way to be the cause of additional delays or accidents. Blessed is he who reads and heads the words on those signs.
For many centuries the Jewish nation and later the fledgling Christian church were only given bits and pieces of what was to come as time winds to a close. Then like a wave we are given an entire book that looks forward many centuries at the time of its' writing. The Apostle John is now probably in his 60's or 70's. He is sent to the island prison of Patmos for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Patmos is a small island with a marble quarry work camp. The Roman government probably did not expect John to return from his imprisonment. There John has an unprecedented vision in which he is momentarily reunited with his beloved Savior and friend Jesus in His risen and glorified state. John is presented with prophecies for the seven churches, and the end of days on this present Earth, the battle and defeat of the enemy of our souls and his army, mankind's final rebellions and defeat. There are judgments and rewards and warnings.
Some of the things that John saw were probably beyond his explanation. These are signs to us showing God is in control even in the most unimaginable times, He sees what we are doing and warns us when we stray from His path, the wicked will be punished, His promise of eternity with Him is real, and the list goes on. Many avoid this book of prophecies because there is a lot of debate over the exact meaning of some of the events written down. But John writes, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy ...". There are some amazing things - both terrible and beautiful - contained in the book. There is a condition on the blessing that is there. Those who read or hear must also "heed the things which are written." Even more critical than the sign in the construction site that says to slow down, the prophecies in the Revelation must be heeded, "for the time is near."
If the time was near more than 19 centuries ago, how much closer must that time be today? For those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord the approaching time is something to look forward to with expectancy rather than fear or uncertainty. Mankind is a fallen race. We are born with a disease called sin that we ourselves will never defeat. Cancer can kill our bodies, but sin will condemn us. In a world of uncertainties there is one unchanging rock. God loves you - whether you know Him or not. He stands ready to give you the cure to sin and the eternal condemnation that disease causes. It has a cost. It requires that you turn your life over to Him. But think for just one second about that. It is the life that you already can not keep. There is a sign in the fork in the road of your life. One arrow points toward an eternity with Jesus in Heaven. The other points to eternal separation from God and His love. Which way will you turn? Read Revelation chapters 21 and 22. It's about two pages and describes the new city that God is preparing.
I cheated and read the end years ago. We win.
Grace & Peace,