By The Rev. Daniel Larson, Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church and Hospice of North Iowa Spiritual Counselor
Jesus once told a parable, saying: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:29-31).
There is a lot of bad news reported these days: war, robbery, murder, corruption, domestic abuse, even the threat of nuclear strikes. Life just seems to be one bad thing after another.
Will there ever be an end to all this? “Yes,” Jesus says. In that short story about the fig tree, Jesus teaches us about His coming on the Last Day.
Our gracious God has put a schedule in place for this earth. Only God knows exactly when these things will take place.
In His divine wisdom, though, God sometimes lets us know when things are about to change.
Jesus said that when trees begin to sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, Jesus tells us when we see things like wars, threats of war, earthquakes, and upheaval of all kinds taking place, we know that the kingdom of God is near.
We can’t just ignore the bad news, and we shouldn’t. God doesn’t want us to be afraid of these sad events. Instead, He wants us to keep looking heavenward to the day when He will return again.
The second coming of Jesus will bring an end to all that is wrong with this world. It will be a day of final judgment. For those who reject Jesus, there will be no escape; they will not have another chance to believe. Those who trust in Jesus have no need to fear that day.
Believers know that Christ has forgiven them and has promised them eternal life. They simply wait for Him to come and take them to that paradise He has promised. That will be the day when things will be changed for the better forever.
So, look at this lesson from the fig tree. It reminds us that Jesus is coming again and that life with Him in heaven will be far better than anything we can imagine.
We invite you to worship with us at Cross Lutheran Church to learn more about the wonderful things waiting for those who believe in Jesus.