Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all”
At the end of the day, as the sun lowers in the western sky, it seems to beckon a last glimpse of the beauty of Gods splendor as illustrated in His creation.
While the sun casts its receding light, the shadows grow longer and the sky changes from blue to red, then to yellow and finally dims in its brilliance.
It is during these peaceful moments that my wife and I enjoy a stroll together and allow ourselves the opportunity to give each other our full attention in conversation.
The splendor of Creation often reveals a foreshadowing of things to come. As I marvel at Gods beauty revealed in a fallen world, I can only imagine the beauty that Heaven holds for those who have been redeemed by the Lamb of God; a future home and hope, created in perfection and unstained by sin.
A foreshadowing indicates a sign of things to come. Not fully representative in its form, it only presents an imperfect image of what will follow. The shadowing also reveals a distant light and the light is not to be hidden, nor should it be.
The shadow cannot detach from its original image, it remains in step with the one it represents. The deeper the light is on the horizon, the longer the shadow grows.
We are now reaching the end of an age. The church age, which began with God incarnate and was then empowered by the Holy Spirit will conclude with the Messiah returning as He left, descending in the clouds and reigning on earth as King.
As the sun sets on this age of the church, the foreshadowing of things to come becomes more apparent every day. Israel has become embroiled in continuous infighting with her enemies, the world seems to be turning on her and vilifying her as evil and the mounting unrest reveals a soon and coming fulfillment of prophecy foretold long ago.
Ezekiel 38:18 “Now on that day when Gog comes against the land of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, My wrath will flare up.”
This battle will be the conflict that gives the Antichrist the opportunity to rise to the forefront of the world, but there are other foreshadowings that indicate the urgency of the hour.
When Jesus first came, there were a series of events that precluded Him. In the last days, there will signs as well.
Matthew 24:30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
- Prophecy was given thousands of years in advance. There were over 300 prophecies regarding the Messiah, foretold and then fulfilled perfectly in the life of Christ. Isaiah 53 is one of the most iconic portions of scripture that described majesty as revealed in meekness.
- Signs in the stars. The magi witnessed the alignment of celestial events that made evident the coming miracle.
- The hatred of the world. King Herod did everything he could to seek out the Messiah and murder him. Once Jesus began His ministry, the pharisees and rulers of the land likewise despised Him and sought to kill Him.
- The declaration of Praise. At Jesus’ birth, the Angels sang His praise, Simeon worshipped the Lord, and creation rejoiced in the advent.
- The follow of the few. Many came to hear Jesus speak, few really followed Him. At His crucifixion, nearly all fled and feared for their lives. After the Spirit was imparted to His disciples, we witnessed the power of God spread throughout the earth.
- The Church arose. With the spread of the gospel, the church was formed and Christ was glorified.
The signs of the Son of Man are the signs we see today. Prophecy fulfilled, signs in the heavens, hatred of the world, and when Jesus appears the angels will sound the trumpets, the few who love the Lord will arise with Him and Jesus will present His church unblemished in glory.
What can we see that God is revealing in us now?
The Lord reveals His glory in and through the one who trusts in Him. We can be a foreshadowing for the Lord Jesus Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify us and make us Holy. Holiness is a quality that God possesses and demonstrates in us by submitting to His Spirit in us. As Abraham took his son Isaac and offered him upon the altar, God provided a lamb as a substitutionary atonement, so Jesus became the offering for us who believe. There have been many events in history that foreshadow things to come, it is by God’s grace He gives these signs that others may follow.
As Paul encouraged Timothy, I too pass this on, it remains timeless:
1 Timothy 6:13-16 “I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”
When Jesus appears, the shadows will flee, as the source of all light no shadow will befall Him. Right now, we are only a shadow of things to come, a dim light that reveals His love and perfection. Our focus must remain an eternal focus and not be so caught up in this world that is destined to end but bringing hope where there is no other hope.
The world looks for hope and can find none in their own camp. We must be the light of Christ that reveals His soon and coming glory.