Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Living in the Last Days: Lessons from the Bible

Sometimes you wake up and have certain thoughts and/or certain scriptures dominating your mind and it has that "from the Holy Spirit" feeling. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Today was one of those rare occasions - where the following ideas just seemed pressing and relentless. As a result, I felt compelled to put these thoughts and scriptures in writing - lets see where it takes us.

What is Jesus expecting from us right now? In these last days - given that we have knowledge and understanding of biblical prophecy and the fact that we know time is growing short - what should our focus be in the last minutes of the last hours?

The Bible actually has a lot to say about this - some things will be highly repetitive (my apologies, but repetition can be a good thing, especially with scriptures) and some things are new as far as previous discussions here.

The first is one that we, by definition, already know:


Simply put, it is extremely important to Jesus that we are watching (constantly) and prepared for His return. The reasons for this could be discussed for days, but given how many times Jesus brought this up, it is obviously of great importance to Him, so I'm in on that basis alone.

Matthew 24:42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come"
Matthew 24:44 "So you must also be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Matthew 25:13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."

Mark 13:33 "Be on guard! Be Alert! You do not know when that time will come"
Mark 13:35 "Therefore keep watch..."
Mark 13:37 "What I say to you I say to everyone" 'Watch!'"

Luke 12:35-40 "Be dressed and ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.

It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes (37)
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.(38)
You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.(40)


It strikes me that we are living in an age now in which lies and deception rule the day. Is is very difficult to know the truth behind most of the news that we are fed today. Unfortunately, the same can apply to some churches and some pastors who are teaching false doctrine. Not to mention those atheists who are on a mission to divert our young people (and old for that matter) away from God with their nonsensical pseudo-intellectual writings that seem to appeal to so many these days:


"Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals - these are the very things that destroy them. (10)

"But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the spirit. but you dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.(17-21)

2 John:

"Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out in the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (7-9)

1 John 2:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and he boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of the Father lives forever. (15-17)

Who is the Liar?
It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. (22)

I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray (26)


Simply put: Jesus wants us to "take it up a notch". This is something that He strongly desires - I believe He wants our full and unabated attention, love and devotion now, in these last hours, as we approach the day that we find ourselves in His glorious presence:

1 John 2

"And now dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed at his coming"

Romans 13:

"And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (11-14)

1 Thessalonians 3

"Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen our hearts so that you are blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes..." (11-13)

1 Peter 1

"Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."(3-9)


In other words, our focus doesn't need to be concerned with what is happening on earth, regardless of how ominous things appear. Jesus has directed us to bypass these earthly concerns, and instead, focus on what awaits us in the heavenly realm.

Luke 21:28

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near"

Luke 21:31

"Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near."


To summarize, our directions for living in these last days are clear.

Jesus wants to be our focus. He wants us to turn away from the fear and apprehension that these days bring, and shift our focus to Him and what awaits us - after all we are the Bride of Christ and we have a wedding to attend!

Additionally He wants to be our obsession. Yes - obsession. Look at the words that are used to describe our desired state of mind:

- "Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus"
- "Continue in him"
- "May the Lord make your love increase"
- "In this, greatly rejoice" even though we may "suffer grief" in "trials" (in these last days)
- We should be "filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy". Why? Because we "are receiving the goal" of our "faith"
- these things will result in "praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed"

Wow. Those are some major promises.

But look at the overall picture of what Jesus expects from us in these days. Our full attention. Our full love. Our abundant joy in what awaits us. To be immersed in Jesus and thoughts about Jesus. Thats how we are "clothed" in Him and how we "continue in him".

Even in the face of our fears, concerns and worries in these last days.

Jesus is telling us that none of that really matters, as our focus should be on Him, directly and unequivocally. Him exclusively. It is through that focus on Jesus we will experience great joy which is "inexpressible" as we await His coming.

Its time to turn it up a notch.

Jesus is waiting for His moment to be with us as well - in fact we were on His mind at the Last Supper.

"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you...

I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29)

That's the Wedding Supper of the Lamb that Our Lord is referring to and is waiting for.

As you can see, He was anticipating that moment 2,000 years ago - that moment when we will all be together in the Kingdom.

In the meantime - our obsession and sole focus should be on Jesus Christ.


He will be coming soon!


Anonymous said...

Excellent post Scott! I so appreciate how you back everything with Scripture. Our focus should be on Christ as we await His soon return. We know the hour is late because of the hostility directed against Israel. I'm personally taking some time to get things in order this summer - letters to loved ones who are not saved, especially. "General housekeeping" also - getting things in order - as if we were leaving on an extended trip - and we are.


Anonymous said...

Oh Scott-do you realize how much your faithfulness boosts our spirits? This is not to make your head swell, its just encouragement like you bring to us! Each of us has our own problems, and though we all share somewhat, it is very difficult to know the exact circumstances in which each of us struggle! But in my case, this is the only place I get love and fellowship from other Christians. And there is real love here. I see it in the respectful and kind way you handle the persons here. I am so thankful for this teaching...I want to do and be what God wants me to be but it is so hard sometimes.... so Scott, I hope I get to be there to see Jesus say to you..."Well done my good and f aithful servant"! Maranatha ally

Scott said...

Thanks a bunch guys - In all honesty, I think these thoughts and scriptures were things that I needed to hear/read - as directed by the HS. I struggle with all of these same things - apprehension, fear, impatience (probably my worst trait :) :), frustration, etc....These scriptures really helped me.

Its kind of funny....I had these thoughts in mind yesterday morning and I had to take my car to the shop - and in the waiting area they had a bible, and I opened it randomly to the scriptures from Jude and 1.2 John...I find that interesting because these scriptures encapsulated the very ideas I had awakened to....Very interesting IMO.

Thanks a lot for the encouragement - it really means a lot to me and its greatly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful, hopeful post! To God alone be the glory! Thanks Scott for all that you do. :)

Scott said...

Thanks so much - God Bless!

Expected Imminently said...


Praise The Lord! Maranatha!

Anonymous said...

I've been out working here the past two days and just wanted to report back after ready these two posts how encouraging they are. Thanks Scott...


Scott said...

You guys are beyond awesome. I was just telling my wife last night what a great little community that we have here. Its very special. No egos, no backbiting, no arguments - yet great enlightening discussions. IMO its quite unique and so encouraging. We're all lucky to have found each other here. I feel greatly blessed.

Anonymous said...

I tried posting a big thank you first thing this morning but the internet service was disrupted. : / I think this is one of your best commentaries to date and I very much needed this. Thank you for being such a dear brother in Christ and how I long for our special fellowship of fellow watchmen on the wall at the Supper of the Lamb.


Scott said...

Thanks geared - please stop by at the Wedding Supper - I'll be the guy annoying Elijah by asking several thousand questions (Elijah has always been someone I really really can't wait to meet....followed closely by Peter...) :)