“When you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:33–35, NIV 1984).
My Musings – I don’t know what you do for a living, but I’d bet many of your tasks involve a checklist of some kind. Maybe not written down, although I suspect most are. And as much as we might dislike them, we also know how important they are. Things can go mighty wrong if steps are skipped or perhaps done out of sequence. If you doubt that, try boarding a plane where they readily admit that they do not follow the checklist religiously.
When I worked for an agribusiness company years ago, most of our locations were in rural areas with no large airports. So, we had small company airplanes to get us to those out-of-the-way places. On those trips I was able to witness the pilots go through their pre-flight checklists. It was no small comfort to know that they didn’t “wing” it.
In Matthew 24, Jesus gives us our “pre-flight” checklist. He specifically mentions “when you see all these things.” We have a tendency to get really excited when we see something happen that we think fits one of the items on the list. In that respect, I suppose I am like all the rest. But we must also keep things in context. All the signs must happen. In fact, Jesus also says they will be like birth pains. A woman can have all the signs of labor, but they “are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Matthew 24:6, NIV 1984). They know the labor pains will grow more intense and closer together “and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14, NIV 1984).
I cannot say with any degree of certainty that all the signs have happened yet. And I do not know how frequent or how intense they will be before the end, other than “there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive.” (Matthew 24:21–22, NIV 1984). The corona virus (perhaps at the beginning of birth pains), is child’s play in comparison. But I do believe the birth pains have at least begun.
My Advice – The text goes on to say, “for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22, NIV 1984). Be one of “the elect.” The work’s already done.
If you want to learn more about the Second Coming “checklist,” read my blog series “Revelation – Signs of the Time.”