I was a teenager of seventeen when I attended my first series of evangelistic meetings in Glendale, Calif. I had chosen to be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church a few months prior to the meetings. It was 1972, September. The crowd in the large church sanctuary was buzzing with interest. The very air within was seemingly charged with electricity as we all awaited the beginning of a Spirit-filled walk through the pages of The Holy Bible with Speaker/Evangelist Lonnie Melashenko.
A group of colorfully clad men and women walked onto the platform and a hush fell over the room The music began.
With that, the Heritage Singers–as the group was named–raised expectations for the meetings to glorious heights with their rendition of “Redemption Draweth Nigh.’ I can still hear their voices raised in an uplifting chorus:
Signs of the times are everywhere
There’s a brand new feeling in the air
Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky
Lift up your head, redemption draweth nigh.
From that first rousing chorus through each amazing sermon presentation, I was Lifted by The Holy Spirit to new and deeper understanding of God’s Word. This experience, nearly 50 years ago, is as fresh in my memory as can be. I’m grateful to God for these memories, as well as the clarity of recollection. With two degenerative brain diseases at work on me these days, not all my recollections are so clear.
‘Signs of the times are everywhere’ is the first line of the chorus mentioned above. What ‘signs?’ Which ‘times?’ The mileposts leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, thus heralding the last days of Humankind’s existence.
‘There’s a brand new feeling in the air’–something, someone big is coming!
‘Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky’–Look Up! Turn your thoughts and eyes to the Heavens.
‘Lift up your head, redemption drawers nigh!’ Your Salvation, your Gift of Eternal Life is displayed for all eyes to see, all ears to hear: Jesus Christ has returned!
More so today than any time in my life, I believe the time is at hand. No, I don’t know when, but it’s soon! I’m preparing myself for that GloriousDay! Won’t you seek the Lord now, before it’s too late? — FM