The fact that we are living in the “Last Days” can be demonstrated from the scriptures. We live in a time where all the major trends that were predicted by the Prophets in the Old Testament and the Apostles in the New are coming to a climax. For a believer who loves the Lord, this is an exciting reality. We are to “look up” and “lift up our heads” because our redemption is drawing nigh!
The overall trend in teaching among Christians today has become very pragmatic – meaning they’re interested in the here and now. “How do I live, and what should I do?” It is taught that to be focused on the Lord’s coming is impractical, and not the Lord’s will. To focus on the Lord’s coming is to be “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.”
There are very few churches that teach Bible Prophecy. This is a great loss, because Bible Prophecy is the proof that the Bible is of a supernatural origin, authored by One who “Sees the End from the Beginning”. God declares His accurate prophetic word to be His unique signature:
Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure…
Peter called the Prophetic word the “more sure word of prophecy”, saying it was even more certain than the eye witness testimony of the disciples who saw the Lord:
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
The Bible is an amazing book, because it tells the history of God’s people in advance. We are being plunged into a time about which the Bible has more to say than any other time in human history. Today all the major world trends were predicted in the prophets, and as they converge we should not be unaware.
In contrast with today’s pragmatists, Jesus gave us many warnings that we should be watching for His coming. A few examples:
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Luk 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
Rev_3:3 …If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Because Jesus said He was coming as a thief, at an hour that we do not expect, some believe that the Bible’s teaching therefore is that we should not watch, because we cannot know. However, while we do not know the hour, we should know the season. As Jesus said:
Mat 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 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?
Before the Lord ascended, the disciples asked Him (recorded in Acts 1), “will you at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?” He answered , “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Many have taken this to mean that we should not focus on His coming, but merely being about the Christian life in the here and now. Rick Warren even said that Jesus meant “the details of My coming are none of your business”. If this was the case, Jesus would not have encouraged us to watch, and would never have given all of the details in the Olivette discourse concerning the end of the age in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
When Jesus answered His disciples in Acts 1, Jesus was initiating the Church age, and was telling His disciples at that time to be focused on the clothing of power and the preaching of the Gospel. When they did receive that power, they preached the Gospel in terms of the prophetic word. They preached the Lord’s coming and His Kingdom! Peter’s first message in the next chapter of Acts was from the book of Joel, speaking of the coming Day of the Lord, and the need for the people to repent so that they could be saved and enter seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord at the “time of the restoration of all things.” The apostolic gospel was from the very beginning a prophetic message and remained so.
All the epistles speak of watching and waiting unto the coming of the Lord. Consider these verses:
Jas_5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
1Co 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
The coming of the Lord was set forth by the apostles as the chief motivator for everything in the Christian life. Even the ordinance of communion was to display the lord’s death “until He comes”. The apostles put everything into the context of watching for His coming with His salvation and His reward.