Thursday, April 27, 2017

Last Days

Over 30 years ago a young couple and their family had a little time free, before going to Brazil as missionaries, to help me in Cornwall do some personal evangelism. We went to a popular beach at Bude and positioned ourselves in the car park and gave gospel leaflets to people passing by. One holiday maker saw us and approached us saying, “Are we in the last days then?” to which I replied “It depends which last days you are thinking about”. He engaged in conversation with us and told us that for the past five years he had been associating with Jehovah Witnesses in Derbyshire. We spoke about the Bible and the Person of Christ. He surprised us by saying, “I am fast coming to the realization that the Jehovah of the Old Testament in the Jesus of the New”. I replied “That’s great! You are half way there”. What did I mean by that? He had come to understand that Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. What he needed to do was to acknowledge that he was a sinner for whom Christ died and to ask His forgiveness and receive Him as his Lord and Saviour. How lovely it would be if he went all the way!

Recent events on Westminster Bridge, Stockholm, Germany and France have demonstrated the evil of certain ideologies. Adolph Hitler had an ideology based upon a thousand years 3rd Reich world rule. He was prepared to annihilate all Jews from the earth. Even in the last days of his futile plan for world dominion, in 1944 he exterminated over 400,000 Jews in Hungary. Whatever the plan of ISIS is it will not succeed, because God has decreed that His Son, Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem for 1,000 years.

What I explained to the man in the car park many years ago was the difference between the 'last days' of 2 Tim 3 written by the apostle Paul, and the 'last days' written by Peter and Jude. Paul spoke of the conditions and conduct of unbelievers in the Last days of Christian witness and testimony, prior to the return of Christ to the air to take His Church to heaven. Peter and Jude, however, wrote of 'last day' conditions as they will be during the Great Tribulation.

2 Tim 3:1 reads, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.”

The characteristics of sin never change; the characteristics of righteousness are also unchanging. The first sin committed by Adam and Eve was disobedience to the word of God. That was the root of sin, the above catalogue of sins is the fruit.

It is evident that all these characteristics are present in today’s society. There are over 7 billion people living on planet earth today, the majority of whom have no time for the word of God. Their behaviour indicates that we are living in the 'last days' of Church witness. Very soon the Lord Jesus Christ will come out of Heaven and call His Church away from planet earth to meet Him in the air, 1 Thess. 4. Will you go then or will you be left behind for the seven years of Tribulation, spoken by Daniel the prophet and taught by Christ in Matt. 24 and 25?

Speaking about the 'last days', Peter says in 2 Peter 2:3,Knowing this, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 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. For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was , being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 


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