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by Danny Boggs

“Aflockalypse?”  That was one of the bizarre headlines following the death of thousands of birds in Beebe, Arkansas, in the dark of January 1.  The suspicions of some only grew as reports of other ill-fated flocks and floundered fish surfaced over the next few days.  Could these be signs of the end of the world?

Has God promised signs that the world is about to end?  Some sincere folks think they have found just such a promise in Matthew 24. 

In the first 35 verses of that challenging chapter, Jesus prophesied that the magnificent Jewish temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed with the rest of the city. He wanted not one of His disciples to lose a life in the Roman onslaught of 70 A.D.  So He described one thing after another that would happen.  He told of ways they could be sure that God was about to lower the boom on the city and the people that rejected their Messiah.  First-century Christians paid attention to what Jesus said and escaped the devastation.

In verse 36, Jesus sifted out His return at the close of the age as a different subject:  “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”  Did Jesus promise signs of the end?  How could He?  He knew He would return, but He knew not the date.  Instead, He challenged, “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming…Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42,44).

Let’s not watch for signs.  Let’s watch ourselves, and always be ready to meet the Lord.