Discerning the Signs of the Times

September 12, 2015

What in the world is happening? Do you know? Can you know? When we look at our nation and the obvious, rapid changes that are occurring, how do we interpret these events? How do we determine what is really happening in our life, our marriage, our family, our relationships, our churches, our nation?

UNDISCERNING CONCLUSIONS

The Pharisees were men who had no God-orientation. They thought just the opposite, of course. But the reality was that they had never surrendered to Him. Their lives were full of pride and self-sufficiency. Why did they need God?

In that light, they had constructed a complete worldview on their own, cloaked in religious terms. They thought it was incredibly spiritual and wise. But the only problem? There was no room for Christ. When God-in-human-flesh stood right in front of them they did not recognize Him. And, what He was doing challenged their pea-sized worldview and so they rejected Him.

They would make no room for Him in their hearts or minds. In this fatal act, they rejected the One Source that could show them what was really going on in the world. Their unwillingness to surrender to Christ and follow them assured blindness. If you refuse the Light, you walk in darkness. It's as simple as that.

So Jesus gives this stunning indictment about their vision and opinions.

The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. (Matthew 16:1-4)

They knew how to talk about the weather, but they had no clue what was really happening around them and what God was doing in human history. And the greatest tragedy? Because they would not receive Him, there came a moment when Jesus just went away.

OUR BLINDNESS

I wonder if we are any different. We can understand the weatherman, but when two planes crash into a building on 9/11, how do we evaluate this? Is God saying anything to us at that moment?

When we look at the Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage, what is this indicating? Is this just a random act in history? Why did that happen and what is it communicating?

When we hear reports that Planned Parenthood is murdering babies and selling their body parts or that 33 million married people are looking for extramarital affairs on Ashley Madison and are exposed, what is this shouting to us about the human condition? 

There is one thing for sure: if you refuse the Light you will walk in darkness. God can be bringing judgment or extending mercy, but you will never think of it spiritually or holistically. You will explain all of life around you in merely human terms. You will assume the problems in our world can be solved by a change in economy or elections or political wrangling, but you do not see that “We wrestle not against flesh and blood” but against “spiritual forces of wickedness in high places.”

OUR PERSONAL SURRENDER DETERMINES OUR SIGHT

I was talking recently to a young man who was running from the Lord. He knew better. I reminded him, “There is only one who can show you the path. If you refuse him, you will never find the path he has for your life. Nothing will make sense to you. And you will keep relentlessly searching for something that is only found in Christ. Only Christ can give you the discernment to know what is happening and how to solve the problem.”

It really is that simple.




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