STILL SEEKING SIGNS
A SIGN FOR ALL TIMES
SUNDAY DEC. 8, 2019
Scripture To Consider:
“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’”
“The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.” Matthew 12.38-42
Something To Consider:
The scribes and Pharisees had seen Jesus perform many miracles. They had seen with their own eyes the multitudes who had received healing from His touch. They had heard with their own ears the power of His spoken Word. And yet, they still sought a sign from Jesus. Paul was certainly right for writing in 1 Corinthians 1.22; “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom.”
As stated in earlier lessons, signs do not produce faith; they only temporarily satisfy a fleshly desire for the miraculous and the spectacular. Faith on the other hand comes from the hearing of the Word of God; therefore, Jesus continued speaking to them. And in the words of Jesus in our Scripture to consider, the biblical story of Jonah is mentioned as an actual event and picture of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. For some, the book of Jonah is simply a fanciful tale and nothing more than a myth. But Jesus validated Jonah and his telling of God’s sparing of the city of Nineveh.
Jonah wrote his book in approx. 860 B.C. and documented his reluctance in preaching repentance to the city of Nineveh. But God has His many infinite ways of capturing our attention. And while Jonah was heading in the opposite direction from Nineveh, he was thrown overboard out of a ship and swallowed according to Jesus by a great fish.
Fortunately, Jonah repented of his rebellion against God’s command to go to Nineveh to preach repentance and was expelled from the belly of that great fish onto the shores just outside of the city of Nineveh. How convenient for Jonah!
Something Else To Consider:
Therefore, Jonah preached the Word of God to the wicked inhabitants of Nineveh and according to God’s mercy the city repented and was spared from destruction and judgment at that time in history. And yet, less than 300 years later in approx. 606 B.C. after the prophet Nahum had warned the people of Nineveh in chapter 3 of his book of prophecy, the city was completely destroyed; never to rise again.
And yet, how many have turned their backs on God and God’s warning given through the prophets down through the centuries since? How many individuals, cities, states, and entire nations have closed their ears to the preaching of repentance, including the majority of individuals, cities, states, and entire nations of this 21st century? And in doing so, they have forced God’s hand of eternal judgment and destruction to be forever enforced!
Something More To Consider:
Jesus declared, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Jesus was of course making reference to the time between His death upon the cross and His rising in power from the grave. That event in history, according to Jesus was to be a sign for all times, a sign for all generations.
Paul writing to the Romans and speaking concerning the believer’s confession of faith in Christ, professed in Romans 10.9; “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Therefore, salvation truly is a sign for all times! And it is made a reality only through our true repentance as did the people of Nineveh at the preaching of Jonah.
But humans will continue right up to the end of this age to seek signs according to Jesus. In Matthew 24.24, Jesus speaking of the coming tribulation to be brought about by the revealing of the Antichrist, predicted; “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect [true enduring to the end saints of God].”
Jesus then declared, “See, I have told you beforehand.” Jesus has warned us as His elect, in advance! Will we heed the warnings of Jesus and the apostles and true prophets within the Word of God? If not, what recourse do we have when the great signs and wonders are unleashed upon planet earth and its inhabitants? WE MUST BE PREPARED!
A Few Final Words:
Also, according to Jesus, in verse 29 of Matthew 24, a sign for all times will be given after the tribulation of those days. According to Jesus, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days [end times yet to come] the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man [a sign for all times] will appear in heaven.”
Also, according to Jesus, believers and non-believers will see the sign of the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Also, according to Jesus in verse 31 of Matthew 24; “And He [Jesus] will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet [the last trumpet], and they will gather together His elect [enduring to the end godly believers in Jesus] from the four winds [four corners of the globe and] from one end of heaven to the other.”
Every evil generation seeks after signs, and yet wise spiritual leaders seek after God’s wisdom in attempting to reach every generation of sign seekers. “But He [Jesus] answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’”
Our Father in heaven, may we see and believe the sign of the Son of Man, Jesus, and sincerely seek the Son and His Word more than we seek signs. In Him Always, Amen!