The Signs of the Times

Michael Heykoop
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Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. For millennia, people have recognized that it would be beneficial to be able to read the signs of the times to predict future events. Sometimes the signs can be wide open for all to see, but only those who are able to put them into the right context can understand what they mean for the future!

Sailors and others whose lives depended on the sea learned that a red sky in the morning had a very different meaning than a red sky in the evening. Since most weather patterns move from west to east, a red sky in the evening—when the sun was setting in the west—meant that clear skies were ahead. By contrast, a red sky in the morning meant that the sun was lighting the underside of approaching storm clouds, arising to the west.

Jesus Christ referred to this very phenomenon when speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees. “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening’” (Matthew 16:2–3).

The Pharisees and Sadducees did have a certain level of wisdom, which allowed them (among other things) to read the coming weather patterns. However, they were not as wise as they thought themselves to be. Christ rebuked them for their inability to read the signs of the times in which they were living. “Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3). They were waiting for the Messiah to appear, but could not recognize that He was standing right in front of them! Later, Christ used a similar saying to teach His disciples to watch for His return (Matthew 24:32–35). He told them of signs that would accompany His return and the end of the age (Matthew 24:3).

Are you watching for the signs of the times? Do you see the gathering storm on the horizon? Paul described that, at the end of this age, “perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). What age could this describe if not the present one? The prophet Daniel describes the end of the age as a time when “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4). Think about the achievements in transportation in the past century, and the knowledge explosion that has come about through the digital age.

There is a blistering red morning sky. The signs are there to see, but they cannot be interpreted properly without the context of God’s Holy Scripture—the Bible. The signs are pointing to a gathering storm that would destroy mankind entirely, were it not for the prophesied return of Jesus Christ to set the world in order!

Wake up! Tomorrow’s World presenters and writers are conducting a series of informative events in the weeks and months ahead, and I urge you to attend one near you. And, for an overview of the signs of the times that must occur before Jesus Christ’s return, read our free booklets Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return and Prophecy Fulfilled: God’s Hand in World Affairs.

 

  Originally Published: 10th April 2012