16th July 2011

Living In The Last Days

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

Much is being written at the moment about world events. Among the religious there is also discussion, at least in certain quarters, concerning the future as they interpret happenings through prophecy.

Much of this understanding is based on the NOW concept of prophecy—what’s happening right now is the fulfilment, or the beginning of the fulfilment, of prophecy. And there is much about prophecy in the Bible. Only Jesus tells us that pretty much all of it refers to him (John 5:39). At the time he said this, the only scripture written was the Old Testament, but in our day and age, we have to include the New Testament too.

There are two things to understand about prophecy, if an individual is not to get sidetracked from Jesus’ instructions for us as Christians—as those belonging to him. First, yes, we are living in the last days, but these began with the original sermon by the apostle Peter (Acts 2:17), they didn’t begin in our day and age. Living in the Last Days began from 31 AD.

Second, Jesus tells us the why of prophecy. It is to encourage us to continue in our Christian walk, not to get distracted and especially so that horrific happenings will not terrify us (Luke 21:9). 

We need to understand that much prophecy is FROM NOW in concept; that is from Acts 2:17 onwards. We are not expected to keep an anxious eye on events; rather to understand that God is in charge as we note the passing of events, and he is telling us enough to know that he is in charge, and only that in the main. All will be well; concentrate on living the Christian life you are called to, summarised in the scripture quoted above.

Too many people, seeing the NOW fulfilment of scripture, get sidetracked into using all their efforts either to tell others or to prepare themselves to meet the end. No, Christ is in control, and he says he will be with us until the very end (Mathew 28:20), so really we don’t need to worry about the future. Christ has it all in hand and our future as belonging to him (John 17:11) is very much in his mind. If you really want to prepare yourself for the end, live the Christian life now, more and more perfectly. 

Prayer
Loving Father, as we watch the news and read about events in our newspapers, our reaction is usually one of despair and horror. Please help us to realise, give us the conviction to know, that where the future is concerned, you know, you are in charge, you are able to make what you determine come to pass. Strengthen our faith in Jesus; to keep our eyes on you, we pray.
Amen

Study by John Stettaford

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