Most of us have seen pictures of the guys carrying the signs during the Great Depression advertising themselves for work. Sometimes they listed why they needed a job; mainly to support a wife and three or four young and hungry children. Today, we see people with signs advertising businesses. They twirl the multicolored cardboard lettering above their heads trying their "eight-dollar-an-hour" best to get our attention as we drive by on a summer afternoon.
Occasionally, we still see the old standby sign guy. He usually has a homeless look about him. His traditional predecessors sported scraggly beards, a robe of sorts, and they were shod with leather sandals. I am thinking of the guys with the sign held aloft saying, "The End is Near."
What could be the motivation that drives a person to stand on a street corner holding such a message? Have they no other place to be? No job? Are they all just plain nuts? When someone tries to influence our thinking with such a radical sounding communication, we naturally question their credibility.
Did you ever ponder the fact that one day those guys will be spot on with their prediction? What difference might it make if an educated, reasonable person carried the same message? Well, I hope you're sitting down as you read this, because the end really is near!
The authorization for such a declaration comes from the Bible. So many predicted events and social diagnosis are evident today, that it goes almost without question that the guys with signs are delivering an accurate assessment. Why, we ask, is this important? Why do people who say such things in our society looked upon with such derision? Look at it this way. If you saw a tsunami coming to destroy your city or town, how might you appear to the unsuspecting citizens? You would look unhinged, hysterical, or even insane.
But isn't the Bible supposed to have good news? There is good news in the message that the world is coming to an end. If you or a beloved family member have been suffering with a painful disease, the Second Coming of Christ is good news. There will be no more pain. If you have lived long enough to say goodbye to a friend or a parent in death, the Second Coming of Christ is good news. He brings with Him eternal life for those who have believed in Him. If you are tired of breathing polluted air, or of being desperate for food, or continually in terror for your life, the Second Coming of Christ is good news.
Yes, I am one of those guys holding up the sign, The End is Near. I thank God that it is even nearer than most of us think. There is only one way to be prepared and that is to learn about God's Son and to believe in Him.