Message: Be alert, stay focused, attentive, and busy fulfilling the responsibilities we have been given. There is trouble to come but that is just the beginning. These signs are not meant to call us away into hiding or distract us from doing our jobs. They were meant to be a confirmation of the times we are in so that we will stay active fulfilling the responsibilities that we were left with while our master has been away.
Command: Be alert and be found faithful attending to the responsibilities we have been given. Pay attention to the signs and be aware, but don’t stop working!
Promise: If we stay on task and pay attention to the signs around us, we won’t be sucked into deception or be caught off guard when trouble comes, and we won’t be caught sleeping on the job when the master comes to take us home.
Warning: There is tribulation to come, and the deceiver will be coming with an agenda to not only deceive the world, but also to deceive God’s people if he can. If we are so hyper-focused on the signs of the times but aren’t busy working, we will not be found faithful when the master comes.
Application: As I read this, I thought about all the people who were shaken up by the events of 2020. There has been more talk now than ever about being in the end times, but it started to frustrate me because what are we doing with this information? On the road when there is an accident, traffic always gets backed up worse because as we pass by the scene of a wreck, we can’t help but gawk at it as we slowly drive by. There are people on scene working but we can’t help but stare as we slowly drive by in our distraction. Are we standing around obsessively looking at the signs and talking about it with fear, dread and disappointment as we reinforce our political views, stockpile toilet paper and food to save ourselves, or are we busy at work fulfilling the responsibilities that Jesus left us with? I fully believe in social awareness and preparation, but are we reacting to the climate around us and trying to fix the kingdom of this world, or are we being fruitful about building the kingdom of God? The signs around us are not our cue to hide away and take cover and they are not a call for battling our perceived enemies. We don’t know what day this will be but if we are busy working it doesn’t matter because we won’t be caught sleeping when the master returns. We will be found working and we will be trusted and rewarded for a job well done if we keep on task. Jesus never instructed us to fix the end times mess. He told us to go and make disciples. The signs around us are not our task to fulfill. They are a sign to us that we are closer than ever to seeing our master. We can’t right the wrongs of social injustice and we can’t provide a vaccine that will protect people from all of the travesties that we encounter in this life. Jesus did that and our responsibility is to point the way to him. This brought me back to the scripture at Acts 1:11 as Jesus was ascending to Heaven. “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”