There are signals all around us. The little red dot on the top right of our Instagram is a signal that we have a Direct Message. The ringing bell at the end of our class is a signal that school is out. A red light at an intersection is a signal that we need to stop.
We can see spiritual signals in the world the same way that we can see a signal on our phone, or hear a signal in our class.
The Apostle Paul actually talks about these signals in Romans 8:22.
All throughout the book of Romans Paul is teaching about the meaning and significance of the gospel, the good news that Jesus’ work allows us to have a restored relationship with God. When talking about how we have a “future glory” in Christ, and how the hope we have in Him is bigger than any suffering we can have in life, Paul writes,
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved...
Here are a two important things that we can dig out of this passage.
Sin is a signal that something is broken.
Have you ever seen something so terrible it makes your stomach drop? When I was in second grade I remember coming home to see the news that terrorist had flown two planes into skyscrapers in Manhattan. The live video of one of the towers crashing was one of the most jolting things that I have ever seen.
When we see things like that we are seeing signals that the world is broken. To use Paul’s word, the world is “groaning.”
Many people do not have a hard time saying that things are not as they should be. People can easily tell you that the world is broken, what we so often miss is that scripture teaches that the brokenness is a signal and result of sin.
Signals should remind us that we have a hope in Jesus.
Paul tells us that the groaning signals that we see in the world and experience ourselves should do more then just inform us that the world is broken. These signals should actually help us long for the day that Jesus finishes His work in this world.
We are saved by Christ the moment we first have faith, but we also await the day where Jesus will bring about a new heaven and a new earth, and where we will spend an eternity with Him.
The Bottom Line: It is often hard to deal with the signals of sin in this world, but rather than sinking into hopelessness we should await the future we have in Christ. Respond to the signals by longing for Him.