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Some sports analysts might have “found religion” this baseball season. The Chicago Cubs, against their century-long tradition of incompetence, played incredible baseball. They were the best team in Major League Baseball during the regular season and capped it all off with a thrilling win in game seven of the World Series. Have the Four Horsemen been unleashed? Is the Cubs’ World Series Championship a sign of the end of the world?
While this “sign of the end” might be bit tongue-in-cheek, a Cubs victory is the exact type of sign the world loves to look for: one that does not require any personal change. Although it is easy to joke that for the Cubs to actually win the World Series it would be proof of divine intervention, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually taking the God of the Bible more seriously because of this “sign.” This makes sense, of course, because the Bible takes no note of sporting events and winning or losing streaks, no matter how extreme they might be.
However, this can raise the question: If we are not taking our spiritual life seriously (or as seriously as we would like), what sign are we waiting for? The Bible predicts many signs to be looking for: religious deception, wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes, among other signs (Matthew 24:4–8). Perhaps people are waiting for these? However, if we look at the world news honestly, we see these signs are already happening! Ironically, many will dismiss these signs as being too general to be applied to modern times as they could also be applied to many times throughout history (2 Peter 3:3–4).
The Bible warns those of us who take it seriously to not wait for a specific “sign of the times” to get our lives in order. There are two major reasons for this. First off, Jesus Christ warns several times that the end-time judgment on Israelite nations will be sudden (Luke 17:26–37, 21:34–36). Paul also writes that “sudden destruction” will be the fate of ungodly nations (1 Thessalonians 5:1–6)! The Bible clearly shows that life will continue as normal in Western nations until they suffer an irreversible collapse similar to what occurred during the times of Noah and Lot (Genesis 6; 19). People waiting to see a beast power rise, a man of sin be revealed, or the Jews restart their sacrifices might have some idea of events to be looking out for. But knowledge that these events remain to be fulfilled should not cause us to delay our repentance and put off fully living God’s way of life!
This is especially true because of the second reason to not wait for a specific sign of the time. That second reason is that we don’t know when we will die. While most people hope to live for many more years, we simply do not know what will happen to us today. Tragedy can strike at any moment as it has for God’s people throughout history. Waiting for a specific sign to get serious about our relationship with God can cause us to ignore the fact that our relationship with God should not be dependent on when this age ends and Jesus Christ returns. Every day is a special day to draw close to our Creator and we cannot assume that we will have the same opportunity tomorrow.
It can be easy to joke about the Chicago Cubs and their relationship (or lack thereof) to end time prophecy. We joke because we all know their success is not truly indicative of God’s plans for mankind and therefore requires no more serious thought about the state of our spiritual lives on our part. But we should not take this attitude too far. World events are moving, even if our daily lives in Western nations continue more or less as normal. There is a real God who inspired the Bible and He will soon intervene in world affairs! The time to change is now and not wait for some specific sign to get serious about our relationship with the Creator of the Universe!
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