Are we living in the last days?
This question comes through the minds of many believers as we look at the news and see how hundreds of Christians are being persecuted around the world. Yes, we have known that for centuries people have thought they may have been living in the times when Jesus might possibly return for His bride (the church), but of course, as time goes on, more prophetic words are fulfilled and more of the signs are stronger and stronger.
And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (2 Peter 3:4)
We as believers don’t need to be afraid, but rather, informed. We don’t need to get overly analytical, but we DO need to be alert. In the Bible it says, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” (1 Peter 4:7)
If Peter wrote this in the New Testament times, than how much more should we be alert and praying?
These are warnings that we need to wake up and pay attention to the signs in the world and the signs God gave us that would happen in the Word of God (Romans 13:11). God told us persecution would come. That happened in Jesus’ day and that is happening currently in the Middle East and in other countries that ban the Bible and Christianity. We have some verbal persecution or misjudgments in the U.S., but nothing that threatens our lives like our brothers and sisters overseas. We need to really be praying for those who are suffering for the sake of the Gospel. (Gospel means “good news.”)
Jesus spoke about how people notice certain things by observation, but cannot discern the signs of the end times. Isn’t this true in our day, even? Granted, the last days were spoken of in Jesus’ times, so I guess you could say we ARE, in fact, living in the end times, but this occurred after Jesus ascended back to heaven and left us with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1 and 2). Of course, Jesus warns us of these things taking place and the things that have already taken place. God mentions that in the Bible several times, over and over, to get our attention.
In the book of Revelation, the Lord says over and over, “He who has an ear let him hear.” (Revelation 2:29) Why does God say this? Because most people think it’s either a joke or they don’t take the Bible seriously. Those blind to the things of God think it’s foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14). Don’t worry what people think; be concerned about following God’s truth.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? (Matthew 16:3)
What is the “Good News”? Jesus (the Son of God) died on the cross for your sins 2,000 years ago, and rose again on the third day conquering and defeating sin and death so that you would live in eternity with your Father in heaven. God paid the price for our mistakes; we need to just accept the free gift of salvation and rejoice, for God loves us so much! (Read John 3 in the Bible and ask God to reveal himself to you and pray to God, accepting that Jesus Christ is Lord and that you want Him to be Lord of your life.)
Revelation 1:4-8 speaks of Jesus (Emmanuel—God with us), who will be seen in the second coming, which is after the taking of the church into eternity.
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.
Look, he is coming with the clouds,
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
God has three parts: the Father, the Word (Jesus, the Son of God) and the Holy Spirit. Just like we have a Soul, Spirit and Body (Genesis 2:7), God is three in one. He is triune, or as some people say, the trinity. The word trinity in Latin means “threefold.” Yes, this is deep, but the Almighty God is so big, we cannot figure Him out! He created everything! We need to recognize how powerful God is, amen?
Back to the revelations of the end times, there are many verses that give us warning of the things to come—for example, that there would be famines, floods, disease and storms like never before in history! According to NBC News, we have witnessed some deadly storms that were the most dangerous on record. Granted, there have been major wars and storms in the past, but there seem to be birth pains as described in the Bible. “The Asian tsunami of 2004 also rates a place on the top-10 list for the deadliest natural disasters, with the toll currently estimated at more than 230,000 people.” (NBC News)
Wars are also mentioned in the Bible; for example, the war in Israel is one of the signs of the Lord’s coming. Yes, of course there have been wars for a long time, but never before has there been such animosity toward Israel. It says in the Bible Israel will be a cup of trembling. It says the nations will be against Jerusalem and there will be wars surrounding Israel—isn’t that happening now? Just read the newspaper or watch the news. This is, again, not to make you afraid, but to pray for our nation, for Israel and for wisdom for our leaders, amen?
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:2)
The signs in our news and in society are signs getting stronger and closer together, and more intense as the birth pains grow more and more. We also read in a letter from Paul to Timothy in the Bible that in the last days, there are certain things that will occur, certain behaviors and attitudes that will take place where we will recognize the “last days.” If you read 2 Timothy, chapter 3, in your Bible, you will see that we are experiencing that now. It talks about people who won’t be able to accept the truth, but people in these times (even now) will have a form of spirituality but will deny the power of the Gospel.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Whether or not we are living in the days where Christ returns for the church, I heard friend and pastor David Diga Hernandez say, “It may or may not be the last days, but it is someone’s last day, so that should be enough urgency to share the Gospel.” (itbn.org)
“Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
[Sources: http://video.foxnews.com/v/3723727979001/a-look-at-the-persecution-of-christians-in-iraq/#sp=show-clips; nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/christians-flee-isis-rule-northern-iraq-amid-persecution-n200181; compellingtruth.org/body-soul-spirit.html; jrn.com/kgun9/news/Global-Alarm-Christians-persecuted-in-Middle-East-278197061.html]
Do you think we are living in the end times, biblically speaking?