A year on our planet is divided into four seasons of about 3 months each. Each season is its own period of time with its own unique environmental signs, so that each season is easily discernible from the others. Knowing the signs of the seasons will keep you oriented even if you don’t have a calendar. In Florida, summer is marked by hot temperatures, strong thunderstorms, and breathtaking humidity. Winter is marked by cold mornings, mild afternoons, and clear skies. Autumn is marked by not-as-hot-as-summer temperatures, cool evenings, golden colors, and dry weather. And spring is marked by rains, an explosion of yellow pollen, and vibrant foliage.
This idea of distinguishable periods of time is common throughout scripture. In one of the most famous verses in the bible, Solomon eloquently speaks to that idea when he proclaims, for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1-22).
One of those matters that exist under heaven is the putting right of everything wrong on Earth. There will come a time when God will separate evil people who belong to Satan from the people who belong to him (Matthew 25:31-46). These will be the last days of humanity as we now know it. And it will be a terrible time. Using the season metaphor, Jesus tells us how we can be aware of when those times are approaching. He compares human history to a fig tree, and tells us that like how the budding of the fig tree shows us when summer is approaching, the budding of prophecy can make us aware of when his coming is drawing near (Matthew 24:32-33).
Matthew 24:3-14 gives us a glimpse of the signs of that season. It’s there that Jesus tells us about how those times will be marked by lawlessness, false prophets, a growing lack of love, and terrible difficulties for those who follow him.
In recent weeks, we’ve learned that Christians are the most persecuted group on the planet — often violently so . For those awake, it is difficult to miss the many men and women “shepherds” who parade around as if they are true Christians, but who are more interested in advancing their own kingdoms than they are a kingdom of truth. Our politicians are having difficulty following the laws they’ve written, and in those places where lawlessness reigns, many people have become callous. There is much evidence that the final season is beginning, and since this evidence grows stronger each year, we must hasten our efforts to share the saving good news with those who don’t know it.