ARE WE IN THE LAST DAYS?
This is a vital question in the title of this chapter for the church which brings another question where does the church stand on the Lord’s word about the last days and is it being fulfilled today. Here is another vital question are we the generation that will see the end times or the coming days of the book of Revelation. I state this because of what Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew 24:33-34 it seems like here in these two texts of scriptures that the Lord is saying that there is a generation that will not pass away until all things that He prophesied for the last days be fulfilled. In addition, we know that all must be fulfilled also according to the prophet Daniel in the seventy weeks that he prophesies. Yes, there are many questions that can be addressed form the thought about are we the generation that will see the last days.
Furthermore, as far as other scriptures referring to this subject, I have not personally found yet so I went searching for answers to this question. Before we go any further with this search for answers it is well to remind everyone what God stated to the prophet Isaiah: “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’” (Isaiah 46:10 NKJV) If God states here that He will do all His pleasure from the Old Testament to the days of the New Testament how many days is it between the prophecy of when God will bring the pass together. Then my question is at the timing of God will the Body of Christ today see all of the events of the coming days?
I cannot speak for others; however, I believe that we are extremely close to the end of time and of the coming days and the fulfillment of the prophetic word of the book of Revelation. For during my studying of beware of the coming days the prophetic word keeps of the Holy Scriptures tells me that God’s servants need to be crying the message of the coming events as the biblical proof that we are in the last days and that we are the predicted generation. In addition, we must also remember what God said to the prophet Joel that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh Joel 2:28-32. The point is that the apostle Peter was identifying by the Holy Spirit that the day had come and the fulfillment of the prophet Joel’s message had come to pass Acts 2:15-21. One of the other signs that we are the last generation is the budding of the fi g tree Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33. This is just a brief understanding about being the last generation of the Body of Christ and therefore, we need to make ready for our Lord’s return to claim His Bride.
Yet there is another way of stating about the last generation and that we the Body of Christ is standing on the edge of eternity and there are significant prophetic words from the Holy Scriptures that clearly tells us that we are standing on the edge of eternity. The prophets of the Old Testament and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself spoke of the last days and the signs of the last days and the lord’s apostles also spoke of the last days. Yes, there is from many other interpreters of the Holy Scriptures states it in other ways however for the purpose of the writing I will use the term the last days along with other terms. In addition, let me use this example that I am just giving you just a few of the nuts and bolts from the word of God and the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
What do you see today regarding the last days? I ask this question for this reason that we see so many people acting as if everything is normal or as the Lord states it in the gospel of Matthew that it will be like the days of Noah when there was eating and drinking marriage and marrying and they knew not the day that the flood would come for they did not pay heed to the message of Noah Matthew 24:37-39. In addition, I believe that people on a whole put themselves first before God and everyone else. Moreover, I further believe we see that in the Body of Christ today even more and more. Yet even another way of stating it is people are more concerned about what the outside appearance is that what the inside looks like according to the word of God. Furthermore, in this modern age that we live in what you hear most is like a child when you ask them who wants to be first and you hear “me; me, me”! Would you personally say that we are living in the last days?
THE REVELATION OF THE LAST DAYS ACCORDING TO PAUL
Now I have stated before that God does not do anything before, He reveals it unto His prophets and servants, therefore, let us, consider what is stated in the New Testament that explains the prophetic word and its ministry: “God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.” (Ephesians 3:5 NLT) The point is here in Ephesians Paul makes it clear how and where God reveals to whom He has ordained to carry forth His Holy prophecy. I have used the New Living Translation to make this point regarding other translations state “was not made known unto” which means the same. However, one might interpret that Paul was also addressing the saints of the church which are God’s servants and minister the word of God among themselves.
The apostle Paul did not receive any of his revelation from man for he received it as a chosen instrument of the Lord to carry the words of the Lord unto the Gentiles. Whether it is the revelation found in any text of scripture it is a challenge to interpret it correctly of how it should be understood by others. It is vital for all Christian to rightly divide the word of truth and this can only be done by studying to show yourself approved 2 Timothy 2:15.
The Holy Scriptures is our roadmap which holds the key elements of revelation to God’s timeline of the coming days. Furthermore, as we look at Paul’s description of the last days that Paul describes the people and their characteristics of the last days. What Paul stated unto Timothy was the very fact that in the last days perilous times will come when people will have the characteristics Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:1-7.
Considering the term in the “last days” which relates to the Body of Christ today began on the Day of Pentecost found in Acts 2:16-17 which is the fulfillment of the prophet Joel’s prophetic word in Joel 2:28. Yet there are many who think that Biblical prophecy of the Old Testament is of little value or importance and therefore not taken seriously. However, the truth is of that which I find is that the biblical prophecy describes within the pages of the Old Testament describes the world and its conditions which are taking place this very day. You can find in the gospel of Matthew where the Lord rebuked the scribes and Pharisees because they did not understand the meaning of the times because they ask for a sign of the time Matthew 16:1-4. Now is it possible if our Lord was here that He would have the same rebuke for Christians today.
The words of our Lord unto the Pharisees and Sadducees in the gospel of Matthew 16:1-3 to my way of thinking brings this reality unto me that the Lord is speaking not just about the weather, however, a storm that is rising that discern the signs of the time. “Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘it will be fair weather, for the sky is red; 3 “and in the morning, ‘it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:1-3 NKJV)
I am not a meteorologist, yet Jesus using the weather for discerning the end of time seems to go hand in hand. Unlike the Pharisees and Sadducees of the Lord’s Day while He walked upon this earth and in that century and now in this twentieth century of the Body of Christ, I personally refuse to ignore the signs of the Lord’s word regarding His return and the signs the Lord spoke of in the gospel of Matthew. There you will find these recorded in the gospel of Matthew 24 and in the book of Revelation where the Lord tells His Disciples and the apostle John these things will take place in the coming days: There will be wars and rumors of war, famines, and pestilences, earthquakes in diverse place, false prophets, false Christ, and persecution. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come”. 2 Timothy 3:1 KJV
The title of this chapter is an age-old question that has been addressed by many individual Christians for centuries “Are we living in the last days”? Then, it would be natural to assume that most people would ask do you believe that we are the last days? Yes, I believe that we are in the last days for many reasons that the Holy Scriptures reveals in both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament the last days especially according to the prophet Joel and that this prophecy was fulfilled in the book of Acts 2:16-18. In addition, there are many different opinions about the last days within the Body of Christ today as well as with many scholars and theologians over when the Body of Christ or the church of when the last days began in the church. It is well to note: From the beginning of the foundation of the earth in the book of Genesis and through to the Revelation of Jesus Christ brings a truth that with each passing day the end of time is drawing to a close or time is running out.
In this text of scripture in 2 Timothy 3:1: First consider how Paul begins this text of scripture with his warning “this know also” Paul is bringing to Timothy attention the prediction by these words of instructions of the last days will come and Timothy must be ready for apostasy that characterize the final days of this earth. Paul understood as being an apostle and a leader in the church that an individual must set a standard whereby that they may minister in the days to come as well as the duty of that office of ministry that they hold. The reason for the statement above regarding the office of ministry anyone who is in the work of the ministry should know that they have a duty to proclaim the gospel of Christ and to foresee the dangers where the church is failing or falling away.
Again, what Paul states about “this know also” it should be a great concern of all Christians of all churches throughout the world to have the heart fixed on the coming days and the approaching dangers of the coming days. Not only the apostle Paul but also Peter and John the Lord Jesus Christ gave them the revelation of the coming days and we have been given this revelation by these apostles the message of the coming trials of persecutions that will fall upon this earth by the hand of God Almighty. Yet even today there are many who still are asking the same old question “what shall be the sign of thy coming” found in Matthew 24.
Now to add to Paul’s words of warning and instructions we must further consider these two words “shall come” now the apostle Paul has given unto us this understanding that these future events will come within the church. This may not be the kind of interpretation that most read from the words written in 2 Timothy 3, however, I personally see it as a dangerous infection that will plague the church with all these different attitudes that will affect the church in the coming days and is affecting the church today. According to Paul and in the Revelation of Jesus Christ this in addition describes not only the bad characteristics of bad times it also describes bad people as well as good people who are having a tough time in these days.
There is a broad word of interpretation regarding the coming days and the coming events and in the spiritual battles, spiritual warfare, and persecutions for the Body of Christ. Yes I know that many churches through the world which teach pri-tribulation rapture, and that the Body of Christ will be resurrected, however, from my own way of thinking from what I read within the pages of the Holy Scriptures that I can find where it clearly states pri-tribulation rapture and therefore if the Holy Scriptures does not state pri-tribulation rapture then how can it take place according to God’s word not mine. I believe that those who overcome the issues that the Lord said to overcome will have the victory to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Furthermore, I believe that only by passing the word of God can bring about the harvest for the Lord Jesus Christ of which He spoke about in the wheat and the tares.
PAUL’S DESCRIPTION OF MANKIND’S CONDITIONS IN THE LAST DAYS
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lust, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of truth.” (2 Timothy 3:2-7 KJV)
As we consider these verses of scriptures regarding there fullness of the words of Paul within the church and world today. Then the question is can we see or find any of these things written by Paul unto Timothy today in the church? This answer is just from one individual’s personal understanding of these scriptures: greed is unbelievable, you can see children rebelling against parents, people are lovers of themselves, people are full of pride and boastful in that pride, people are abusive, ungrateful, unthankful, unholy, having unnatural affection, and having a hypocritical outlook on godliness, however, living in duplicity. The point of logic is that the closer we draw to the day and time of the prophetic word recorded in the book of Revelation the more these things will increase. I believe what Paul is trying to relate to Timothy is that there will be a great increase in human sin that will lead to the great apostasy in the coming days therefore be aware of the coming days.
Sadly, to say that the prophetic words of Paul recorded here in the book of 2 Timothy, furthermore, states the power word of God and corruption of how people will turn away from the way of truth of God’s word in the coming days. Therefore, when you look into the prophetic word of the book of Revelation you also find the corruption and even though the events the Lord gives to change them is happing unto them, they repent not. I will write more on this subject when I get to the seven last plagues in Revelation 16 and where the Lord makes reference unto the fact that they repented not.
Now there are many other texts of scriptures that state the problems that will take place within the church or community. For example, there is also recorded in the book of 2 Peter where Peter warns about this natural tendency “Knowing this first that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 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 creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4 KJV) What the apostle Peter is saying to the people then as well as today since the leaders of the church has fallen asleep things go on just as it was from the beginning of creation.
I cannot say for anyone else but I believe that this describes our present age in the church today. However, there are those who are false teachers and false prophets that they will take and make a big deal over these texts of scriptures we in addition need to remember what Paul wrote to them at Rome: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 KJV) Therefore, every man or woman must see themselves as they really are.
As we move closer to the coming events recorded in the book of Revelation you should be able to see a storm arising with the information given in the gospel of Matthew 16:1-3, chapter 24 and the book of Revelation concerning the coming days. Next, we must also consider the gospel of Luke chapter 21: 34-36 “But take heed to yourselves, least your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 “For it come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 “watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all things that will come to pass, and stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36 NKJV)
The more I watch the events of what is taking place in the world today the more I do not want to see personally what will take place with them according to what the prophesy written in the book of Revelation of what is going to happen if that makes any sense to you. In addition, if you have not read the prophecy of Revelation you cannot understand why I state what I have just stated about the coming days. However, I would feel safe in saying that there is a mighty storm brewing in the kingdom of heaven regarding the Revelation of Jesus Christ of the coming days and the events that will unfold upon this earth in the coming days.
This chapter we will be looking at a deeper understanding of why Paul wrote to Timothy about the perilous times that shall come 2 Timothy 3:1. In this text of scripture Paul is relating a context of ministry that will take its course with Timothy ministry and with the ministry to come with Israel, the church, and the last days. You will note that Paul’s first words to Timothy “in the last days” I further believe that Paul makes this statement to let Timothy know as well as to indicate the great apostasy that will be characterized in the final days of the church or the final age of the church. Of course, it is good to remember who has the last word or the final say about the last days and this is Almighty God. Yes, you can find within the world and among all of us that we have our own speculation with the Holy Scriptures of what is being revealed about the last days.
What is even greater fact is that what we hear is that are we truly living in the last days? My thought and answer is yes, we are living in the last days. Most of the times when you hear people in church talk about the last days, they are usually referring to the book of Revelation and the Second Coming of Christ and the final judgment. I personally believe when the scriptures speak of the last days its more than about the Christ Second Coming and the final judgment, I believe that it is also about all of the events that take place in the fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures as well as how we are to live in the last days.
Therefore, beware of the coming days and pass the word. When the Holy Scriptures uses the term “last days” does not refer to a short period of time or a specific period like a few days, a few months. I do not know just exactly what others believe about the last days, I believe that both the Old Testament and the New Testament refers to God’s judgment, statues, and His warnings about the coming days and how He will pour out His wrath in those days to come. Therefore, I find repeatedly in the scriptures and where the Lord and the apostles speak of the last days to this understanding that they want Christians to know and understand the characteristics of the days and events of the last days in which we live and minister to the Body of Christ in the last days.
In fact, as we consider the passages of scriptures in the Holy Scriptures and their description of how to live and minister the word of the Lord in spiritual discernment for the difficult days, we are living in. For the apostles wrote what is need for spiritual discernment and it is surely the day and time we need to beware of the coming days and pass the word that we take heed of the words of direction to beware of the coming days and the word proclaimed for us to read. Now the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and one of those gifts was the gift of discernment 1 Corinthians 12:10 called discerning of spirits.
Each and every Christian and minister knows in one way or another that we must be simultaneously be discerning that we are confident that we understand the words of the Holy Scriptures concerning the last days. Therefore, this is why I believe that the apostle John wrote that we are to try the spirits to see if they are of God 1 John 4:1. Moreover, do not expect the world to stay out of the church in the coming days and the events that will take place according to God’s Holy Word. Therefore, remember the words of our Lord of what He said to Peter that upon this rock I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it Matthew 16:18. Furthermore, I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ when He spokes these words to Peter knew that the world and the gates of hell would do all it could do to destroy the church in the last days and the return of our Lord to claim His bride. In passing the word it is well to note what Peter spoke of in 2 Peter 3:1-13 especially verses one and two “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by the way of remembrance), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,” (2 Peter 3:1-2 NKJV)
Peter like Paul goes into a lengthy discussion concerning the last days here in 2 Peter 3, which to all Christians deserves our attention that we be not willful to be ignorant of the scriptures regarding the last days and our creator words regarding the coming days 2 Peter 3:5. Like Paul, Peter in like manner show unto us the areas of people’s character as well as gives warning of the false teaching concerning the commandment of the apostles of the Lord and Savior and knowing this regarding the last days 2 Peter 3:2-3. Chapter Four