Are You Listening?


Elder Mark D. Rowell


Luke 21:28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

These are interesting times that we live in. We live in a period of global concern of a pandemic that has derailed the nation for several months. We live in a period of civil unrest that disturbs us to our core. We live in a time of pervasive anger and hate. These are concerning times. However, history shows that we are not unique in what we are experiencing today. We need only go back 60 years to a period of time where pervasive anger and hate were just as prevalent as they are now. We can go back 80 years to a time of evil dictators and rulers that sought to exterminate an entire culture. We need only go back 100 years to a period of time that a much worse pandemic than we are experiencing now swept the globe. We can go back in history again and again and see that what we experience today is not unique when it comes to the troubling nature of the times. The problem we have is that this is happening now in OUR time, and so it is much more impactful to us and causes concern to rise up within us. If we aren’t careful, our concern will lead to fear and that’s never good. Remember in previous writings, the spirit of fear does not come from God!

It’s in times like this that many of us spend more time in self-examination of who we are, what we believe, and where we stand (2 Cor. 13:5). I know that’s been the case for me, and shame on me for not spending more time examining myself. When we examine ourselves, and look to remedy our own faults, we become less concerned with the calamities around us and more concerned with our own problems. More importantly, we apply more focus to the One who died for us and saved us from our sins! We embrace the realization that, though we are sinners, Christ died for us! Christ died for ME! When we do that, we are able to let go the spirit of fear and embrace the Spirit “…of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim 1:8) In doing so, we are lead to a wonderful place of hope!

You see, regardless of the times, we should always embrace hope; hope of the resurrection that carries us through each day! In so doing, we realize that, in good times or bad times, this world is not our home. This should cause us to lift up our heads daily, because this day could be THE day! We must not consider the resurrection as some esoteric notion of some future event that may or may not happen in our lifetime. God forbid! Rather, we must look at it as something that will happen, that may very well happen in our lifetime, but will certainly happen, as it is a promise of God, and He has never, nor will ever, break one of His promises.

The Apostles testified that they believed that the resurrection would happened during their lifetime. The Apostle Paul proves that in 1 Thes. 4:15 when he says “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.” He does it again in verse 17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds…” Paul preached the resurrection to this church as if it would happen before he died. This is how we should live our lives! This should be our expectation! Though not as explicit, Peter does the same thing in his second epistle when he says “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God…” Do we know that the resurrection will happen prior to our death? No. But that should stop us from believing it will!

At the funeral of one of my best friends, the minister, in providing comfort to the family, said there are several ways that we can look (behind, to the sides, etc.), but only one way we SHOULD look, and that’s UP! During these troubling times, we end up like Peter when he was called by the Lord to walk on the water. When he stepped out of that boat, looking at the Lord, he walked across the surface of the water. When his eyes were fixed on Jesus, and he was blocking out the tempestuous seas all around him, he walked above it all. But then, he looked left and right, perhaps behind, and let the spirit of fear take over, and he sank. Then he cried out, “Lord, save me!”, and the Lord saved him. (Mat 14:30) This is me! Sometimes I let the boisterousness of the world distract me from taking my eyes off my Saviour and I sink down with the cares of life. Instead I should be lifting my head up! Looking! Paul said, “…and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb 9:28)

A good friend of mine that I worked with for over 7 years once told me, “Some folks are looking for a sign of the times. I’m listening for the sound of the trumpet!” That is so well stated! I love that sentiment! Have you spent time listening? I have. Do you realize how calming it is to shut out the world, and listen? Not listen to music or anything else, but listen to see if you can hear the trump! I have received so much calm in the midst of great calamities when I stop, look up, and listen. To think “This may be the day” brings so much calm and comfort to the child of God who has grown weary of this world and is ready to be carried into the Eternal Heaven by their risen Saviour.

Brothers and sisters, fellow pilgrims, the day is coming, and it could be TODAY! Lift up your heads! Listen!!! Listen for the trump! Oh what a day that will be when we hear the trump; when we hear the voice of the Son of God! When the sky is rent in twain and we behold our Saviour coming, shouting, to recover that which was purchased on the cross! Oh I can’t wait! I’m ready! Aren’t you? I’m ready to stand on the shores of glory and cast my perfect eyes on that heavenly land! I’m ready to hear the saints sing in perfection “Worthy is the lamb!” I’m ready to see my Saviour as He is! I’m ready to join the heavenly choir in songs of perfect praise! I’m ready to find that long sought rest and spend eternity in that perfect world. Oh, brothers and sisters, I’m ready!