March 4 "Then he also said to the multitudes, 'Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather,’ and there is. Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?" Luke 12:54-55 Jesus held them accountable to recognize the times. In order to recognize the times they had to know the Word of God, because the Lord had put enough information in his Word that they should have been able to recognize the Messiah. But because they did not recognize him, because they refused to recognize him, they fell under the judgment of God. In that same generation Jerusalem was destroyed, the Jewish people were scattered throughout the earth, and the land of Israel became desolate. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate;" Luke 13:34-35 Fast-forward 2,000 years and we are once again in an unfolding Bible story. The Lord has put enough information about it in his Word that we are going to be held accountable for knowing it. The signal signifying the "last days" is the restoration of the nation of Israel. For more than 2,000 years the land of Israel lay desolate and the Jews scattered to every nation on earth, but the prophets foretold that the time would come "in the last days" when God will bring them back to the land of their fathers. And this is the generation in which exactly that has happened. Of the many signs Jesus gave that would signal the time called "the last days," the greatest one is the budding of the fig tree, which is a Biblical symbol of Israel: "Then he spoke to them a parable: 'Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.'" Luke 21:29-32 The fig tree has budded, the nation of Israel has been restored in our generation, it was restored and re-established in May of 1948. The Jews are back in the land of their fathers by the millions. And the land is no longer desolate, but rich with produce. The fig tree has gone from budding to producing. For the many other signs he gave which would confirm to us that this is the time called "the last days," read Matthew chapter 24. We are held accountable to recognize this time when the end of the age is upon us. The church age is about to come to a close just before the 7-year Great Tribulation begins which will be the wrath of God falling on a Christ-rejecting world. Believe me, you don't want to be here to live through those days. Jesus said that the tribulation of those days will be greater than anything the world has ever experienced or ever will again. "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew 24:21 Recognize the time we are in. This is a call to put down your pride and surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Receive the salvation he so richly offers. Confess your sinfulness and ask to receive the atonement he provided for you, the forgiveness of your sins. Bid him take over your life and become your Lord and King. Those who do will be spared, they will not be here to live through the days of the wrath of God. But you have to recognize the time we are in and surrender your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Those who are his are not appointed to the day of judgment. "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,"