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It's All in the Sign

Good morning. It is Thursday, June 17, 2021

I remember reading a warning label on my iron many years ago. It made me scratch my head. It read "Caution! Do not iron while wearing shirt. "

I saw a hanger in a motel room once with a paper cover that read: Caution: Do Not Swallow!

I remember reading on my grandchild’s stroller: Caution! Remove child before folding.

I wondered to myself, did something happen that caused manufacturers to have to warn people to not do these things? Did someone actually suffer burns while wearing and ironing their shirt? Did they sue? Did someone try to swallow a metal hanger and their argument was “there was no sign that said I should not”?

I did a quick on-line search this morning and found some strange, and sometimes funny, warnings.

Warning label on wheelbarrow: Caution! Not intended for Highway Use. (good to know! No wheelbarrow racing on the highway)

On carpenter’s electric drill: Caution! This product not intended for use as a dental drill. (WHAT?!)

On a jet ski: Warning! Never use a lit match or open flame to check fuel level. (good advice!)

On a bottle of dog medicine: May cause drowsiness Use care when operating a car. (Now, that would be a sight)

One of my favorites: on a “vanishing ink” marker: Notice! Should not be used for signing checks or any legal documents.

On a hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping. (maybe they were cold?)

On brass fishing hook: Caution! Harmful if swallowed. (are you talking to me or the fish?!)

On an ink cartridge for a laser printer: Warning! Do not eat toner.

On a letter opener: Caution! Safety goggles recommended. (That must be some story!)

Warning on Pepper Spray: May irritate eyes. (I hope so!)

Warning on chainsaw: Danger! Do not hold the wrong end of a chainsaw. (That could end very badly)

We are surrounded by warning labels. Signs and labels that are intended to keep us from harming ourselves and others.

Of course we can choose to listen and heed those warnings or, do things our way.

Take the beach for instance. You might see warnings for High Surf, Rip Currents, Strong Currents, Slippery Rocks, Sudden Drop Off, Waves Break on Ledge.

You might see signs that read No Swimming or No Diving. These signs cannot prevent you from swimming or diving, but they have warned you that it is dangerous to do so.

Jesus gave us signs. He told us what to look for. He warned us about life on planet earth. He also gave us free will. Such a loving God to not force us to do what is right. What a sacrifice, truly, to allow us to do things He knows will harm us and perhaps even cause our eternal death.

The very first warning came in the garden of Eden: Genesis 2:16-17 ESV “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

This warning might have seemed irrelevant to Adam and Eve. They may have questioned it. But the day came when they chose to ignore God’s warning and eat the fruit. They believed the devil’s lies and, ignoring God’s warning, they ate.

We all know the results of that fatal day. Our world was plunged into what I call, “the experiment of sin”. When this ‘experiment’ is over, when we have reached the final conclusion, every created being will know that sin is a terrible thing. Jesus promises us that sin will be no more.

The book of Revelation paints a picture of peace. A time, coming soon, where we will not live under sin but have a joy-filled life.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 ESV

The former things have passed away! Think of all the bad in your life. Think of the pain and suffering; sickness, death, grief, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, worry…all of that will be gone!

Jesus is coming soon. The signs, aka “Warning Labels”, are all around us.

Mark 13:7-8 ESV “And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.”

The following from 2 Timothy paints a much more vivid picture.

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3:1-4 ESV

Talk about a Warning Label! Let me ask you…do you see any of this going on around you today? Can we relate to any of those verses?

Yes! The signs are all around us. Jesus is coming soon!

Matthew tells us that not everyone will be saved when that day happens. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14

Do you know Him as your personal Savior? Have you accepted the ‘gift’ of eternal life? If not, why not?

Just imagine, someone gives you a beautifully wrapped box. They tell you inside is twenty-million dollars. They tell you with that money you can start a new life; buy the house of your dreams; help your children with their education; pay off all your debt. They tell you with it, you can get the newest medical science that allows you to live for 200 years in perfect health. The wrapping paper is gorgeous. It has beautiful ribbon around it with an elegant bow. But, you decide not to open it.

Why? It is just too pretty, you say. But a much better, longer “life” is inside that box! You must open! You must accept it to claim what was given you.

It’s the same with Jesus. He is holding out to you the gift of eternal salvation. Eternal life! You can have the house of your dreams. You can spend eternity learning. You will have NO debt. You can live for ever in perfect health. Why would you not accept that wonderful gift??

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 ESV

Do you hear that? That knock at the door? That is Jesus, and all you have to do is stand up and open the door.

Hebrews 9:28 ESV “so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

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