Scriptures

The Last Days!

Introduction

There is so much going on in the ‘religious world’ concerning the last days, people are looking for signs and wonders to prove we’re in the last days, there are wars and there are terrors which all point to the end of the world. I wonder what the Bible actually teaches concerning ‘the last days’, I think you’ll find it fairly straightforward.

‘In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.’ Hebrews 1:1-2

Notice how the writer begins, he writes as a matter of fact. There’s no doubt or question about the existence of God, he simply says, ‘in the past God’.

We find a similar style of writing in Genesis 1:1 ‘In the beginning God.’ Again, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ John 1:1

And notice again that there’s no doubt or question about the existence of God in these authors mind. In other words, the Bible never sets out to argue for the existence of God, it’s taken as a matter of fact that God is, God exists.

And because the writer says, ‘at many times and in various ways’ this actually implies that God had more to say. In other words, each prophet didn’t carry the final message. The whole truth wasn’t out yet, God’s revelation wasn’t complete yet.

We know that God first spoke directly to the patriarchs, then God spoke through the written law. Then God spoke in dreams and visions and God also spoke through the prophets. But God wasn’t done revealing His word yet.

And I use the word ‘but’ because that’s the word the writer of this letter uses. And he uses that word to emphasise the contrast between how God spoke and revealed His Word to mankind in the past and how He revealed His complete and final revelation in Jesus. He says, ‘but in these last days’ which is obviously a Messianic reference.

Now there are times when I get a knock at the door and there are usually two very polite religious people telling me how bad the world is today and how Jesus is coming soon because we are living in the last days. They bring to my attention all the wars and famines which are happening throughout the world and try to convince me that these are all ‘signs’ that we’re living in the last days.

But the truth is, we’ve been living in the last days ever since the arrival of Jesus. The last days are the days of the Messiah, not the end of the world. Several centuries before the birth of Christ, the prophet Joel in Joel 2:28+29 foretold that the Spirit of God would be ‘poured out’ in the ‘last days’.

When Peter preached the first Gospel message to the Jews in Acts 2 he says, ‘And in the last days it will be,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.’ Acts 2:17

Peter quotes from Joel 2 and notice how he describes the days in which they were living at that point in time. He describes them at ‘that point in time’ as living in ‘the last days’.

Countless sermons have been preached, thousands of books have been sold which all try tell to tell us that certain things are happening in the world today and they tell us these are all ‘signs’ that Jesus is about to return. And so, they go out on the streets preaching and they have these posters which say, ‘the end is near, we’re in the last days.’

People have been proclaiming the end of the world since 66 A.D.

Simon bar Giora who was a member of a Jewish sect was the first to predict the end of the world.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have tried to predict the end of the world at least 3 times.

Most recently Harold Camping tried to predict the end of the world twice.

And did you know that there are around 13 different new predictions for the end of the world coming up in the next few years?

All of these predictions past and present have claimed the signs are there, to warn us we’re living in the last days.

Well, of course we’re in the last days, and we’ve been there for the last two thousand years.

Look at what Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy, ‘There will be terrible times in the last days’. 2 Timothy 3:1. And then Paul lists a whole bunch of non-Christ like attitudes but look at what he tells Timothy later, ‘Have nothing to do with such people.’ 2 Timothy 3:5

This is present tense, have nothing to do with those people who were around at that time. That in itself, tells us that Timothy was living in ‘the last days’.

When Peter is talking about the Christ, he says, ‘He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake’. 1 Peter 1:20

Was Jesus around during the time of the Apostle Peter? Of course, He was. Peter understood he was living in the last times.

Jesus uses a similar kind of language in Matthew 24:1-35. Now remember the disciples have come to Jesus privately to ask Him ‘what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’

And so, Jesus is answering their questions. Let me give you an example of how Jesus answers them. Jesus says, ‘How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!’ Matthew 24:19

He uses the words ‘those days’ throughout this text, when He’s describing the destruction of Jerusalem.

But when we carry on reading from Matthew 24:36 through to Matthew 26:46, He uses the words ‘that day’ to describe what will happen at the end of the world.

‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’. Matthew 24:36

Do you see how His words are more specific?

Now if we were studying the topic of ‘the end of the world’ that’s one of the texts we would go to. But we’re not studying that today, we’re studying the topic of ‘the last days’ which aren’t something still to come.

‘The last days’ were then, as the prophets looked forward to the time by speaking of ‘in those days and at that time.’

If the world continues for another thousand years, we would still be in the last days.

And so, God formerly spoke through the prophets at many times and many ways, but in these ‘last days’ He has spoken to us by His Son.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

2 Corinthians 5:17

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