It finally happened, and I hope it’s enough. When I was a small boy, my grandfather told me something that I never forgot. You see, he was a farmer and a student of the weather. He said to pay attention to the first sign of robins because we will then have one more snow. This has proven true all these years except one. It’s been awhile since the first robin appeared this year, so I assumed this year would be the second. My grandfather was kind to share his wisdom in knowing the seasons. I’ve written about this before.
Jesus warns us to go beyond knowing the seasons. We are to interpret the times as well.
You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Luke 12:56
Was he talking just to the crowds of his day, or is his message for us as well?
Take A Look Around.
It’s not hard for those with eyes that are opened by God to see that the world is awful and getting worse at an alarming rate. We know that the next big event on the prophetic calendar is the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:50-58), and we wait in increasing expectation as we see the world implode upon itself. My hope is that Jesus will return today!
This world is clearly under judgment. Romans 1:18-32 lays this out so plainly. Humans are ungodly and unrighteous and suppress the truth. The wrath of God is revealed against us because we plainly know about God yet refuse to honor or thank him. Instead, we make up our own religions with gods of our own creation to suit our own desires. In all this, Paul says, we are without excuse. That’s the human condition. That’s our reality.
The Wrath of God.
Interestingly enough, the wrath of God that Paul speaks of is not the lake of fire where the unsaved will eventually be sent. No, God’s wrath is being revealed now. We see this in the three “God gave them ups”.
- v. 24 God gave them (up in the lusts of their hearts) to impurity. Impurity is the first judgment of wrath. In this, we dishonor our bodies among ourselves. We are becoming increasingly sinful with our bodies.
- v. 26 God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Here, Paul writes specifically about homosexuality. The whole world is tripping over itself to bring homosexuality into the main stream. What once was a secret taboo is now openly promoted. According to God, this isn’t simply a sin, it is the wrath of God. It is a curse. Great harm will come to us because of these dishonorable passions.
- v. 28 God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. This is the third and final wrath that is revealed from heaven. This is certainly easy to see today, too. We are filled with unrighteousness, evil, covetness, malice, envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossip, slander, hate of God, insolence, pride, boasting, inventing evil, disobedience to parents, foolishness, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” v. 32.
This is the wrath of God as revealed from heaven. We have reached the last of three levels. You tell me, is there any question in knowing the season?
John MacArthur had a sermon this past Sunday on this. In it, he says that it’s basically too late for our country. Scripture in clear that judgment is already in progress. As Christians, we’re not going to be able to vote common sense into our government. Society, as well as government, already has a debased mind. Sound reason has already left the station. What, then, can we do? MacArthur says we can proclaim the gospel and make disciples with those whom God has mercy. That’s it.
Are we to get upset by all we see? It’s hard not to, but we still must be careful that we don’t fall into sin (1 Corinthians 10:12) with anger, fear, or despair. A quick check on the the Fruit of the Spirit will tell us how we are doing in that regard.
We have nothing to fear. Let me close with a portion of Psalm 91. Notice especially verse 8.
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Psalm 91:3-8
Recompense. That means compensation. The chaos we see is God’s compensation to the wicked, the “wrath of God [that is] revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18) As with the robins as snow, there is great wisdom in knowing the seasons.
Father, it’s not pleasant to witness, but all of this brings you glory. So be it! Amen.
Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers