Discerning the signs of the times

Discerning the signs of the times

On the first Sunday after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, the American Pentecostal Evangel carried an article by Iowa evangelist and later Kansas City pastor, William E Long. This article was based around Matthew 24, asking readers the question posed in Matthew 16:3, “Can you not discern the signs of the times?”

A few years ago I used to preach on the Antichrist. I knew who he was then, but today I am not so sure. At that time I knew who the 144,000 were, and the man-child, and just about everything else there was to know – at least, I thought I knew. Once in a while I take my sermon notes of those days out of storage – even the moths wouldn’t eat them – and I am surprised at the things I used to preach about. When I was a little boy some were preaching that Kaiser Bill was the Antichrist. When he was exiled into chopping wood, they forgot about him, and they decided that President Wilson was the Antichrist and that the League of Nations was the Revived Roman Empire.

Someone else decided Lenin must be the Antichrist, and others thought it was Trotsky. Lenin died, and Trotsky was run out of Russia, and so they looked around for a fellow who was up and coming and chose Mussolini. He became second assistant stooge to Hitler and so they stopped saying he was the Antichrist. Then there were some who thought it was Lindberg – not now, but earlier – because he was a hero in this country. There were others who thought it was President Roosevelt. Some have thought it was Stalin. People have jumped at all sorts of conclusions. God in heaven expects us to have a sound mind and not to be carried away with every foolish idea that blows our way. I believe the devil has used these wild, weird ideas to blind the people so that the ‘signs of the times’ would not be preached any more. Let us remember that Jesus Christ is to come again. The Bible does give us definite, distinct signs of the times, and they are not the pipe dreams of someone’s imagination but facts of the Word of the living God. We must keep preaching the second coming of the Lord and not quit just because some have read into the Bible prophecies things that simply are not there…

Read the rest of this article in Heroes of the Faith Issue #30

“Some preachers have said they wouldn’t insult their audience by believing there would be any more wars. Had they read their Bible they would not have believed that, for Jesus said that right up to the time of the end “There shall be wars, and rumours of wars…””

“The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God”

“God in heaven expects us to have a sound mind and not to be carried away with every foolish idea that blows our way”

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