There had been certain signs for several months that my health had declined. But, I was not bothered too much about either of the indicators.
I had no pain. There was nothing that seemed to adversely affect me. I categorized them in general considerations. Getting older, I rationalized. Just part of life, I summarized.
But, there eventually manifested a certain related health hazard that did get my attention to the point of going to the doctor about it. He suggested a possibility that could have been causing the problem to manifest. An adjustment was made, and it did help somewhat. However, the result was not sufficient.
So, I made a return visit to the doctor. At this point, our family was 10 days away from going on vacation. I looked forward to the sun and fun with the sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. I looked forward to the eats.
But two weeks from the first visit, I was again consulting my doctor. He urged me to allow him to set up tests for me to undergo. He had been prompting me previously about such tests. This time I agreed with him.
Unfortunately, I failed the initial tests, according to the first doctor. The second doctor said that he had bad news for me after he concluded his examination. Because of my condition, the third doctor did not allow me to leave the hospital, though the pending surgery would not be conducted until five days later.
I recognize that God has been very gracious to me in permitting a present progressive restoration of health after corrective surgery. But, it was the manifestation of that last sign that got my attention to the point of having something done about my ill health. Wonder if I would have resisted finding out what it meant?
Allow me to apply a spiritual spin here. There are a good many evident warning signs indicating that our nation and the world are about to fall under the judgment of God. We are on the edge of financial disaster. World war is being avoided just by the skin-of-the teeth margin. Certain groups are purposely attempting to stir social strife. Governmental re-alignments are being made to facilitate more easily one-world government.
Many ominous signs of apocalyptic consequences point to the critical importance that it is timely for us to set things right with God. However, these signs are being manifested almost to no avail. What sign will it take to get your attention?
Have you read through the Old Testament book of Ezekiel recently? The prophet highlights a powerful example of the indicators given for people to recognize and turn to God. Through Ezekiel, God gave certain signs that judgment would come. But, none got their attention. The people at large did not respond to any of the indicators. Neither did the political entities. Neither did the surrounding nations. Neither did the religious community.
God said, “I looked for someone among them that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me that I should not destroy the land. But, I FOUND NONE.”
Just like then, God is looking for someone to make up the hedge and stand the gap by way of showing a difference and leading the call for people to get right with God. As things stand for today, that “someone” should constitute a coordinated group. That group should be the Church, the redeemed born-again believers in Jesus Christ.
This is true because the Church should recognize the signs. Also, the Church, based upon the revelation of the Word of God, should be pointing out and proclaiming relentlessly and forthrightly the indicators — not only the indicators that identify the judgment of God, but also indicators that teach people the timeliness of getting right with God, as well as how people can get right with God.
But, the signs must get the attention of the Church, and then the Church must pay attention to the signs. If you are a part of the Church, which of the current signs get your attention most? Tell it to people. Time is of the essence.
The same proved true for me.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.
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