Are we living in the days of Christs return?
Many Christians who study the Bible are familiar with at least one scripture that uses the infamous phrase “in the last days”. Many times people see those words and immediately conjure a list of apocalyptic imagery, a check list if you will, of items by which most people identify the end apocalypse. Once they have this check list in mind they compare it with the current state of the world and find similarities and before you know it we have a solid belief that we are in fact living in the end times.
Let’s take a look at some of the scriptures that use the phrase “in the last days” and see what picture the Bible really paints about what the last days will be like and how, if at all possible, we can identify them and prepare for them.
One of the most prevalent occurrences of this phrase, or at least one of those most often presented to me, would be 2nd Timothy Chapter 3. In this chapter there is a long discourse about various things associated with the specific phrase referring to “the last days”. These descriptions include things such as men being lovers of themselves, being lovers of money being abusive and boastful being brutal and cruel and l hating God and denying his power. Now on the face of it reading these words seems to be a rater obvious description of the current state of affairs in our world. After all we are currently in the midst of a time where there are outright attacks on Christianity all over the world, there is persecution and the slaying of Christians abroad and there is heavy dislike and animosity here in America as well. Christianity is being pushed out of the way and immorality reigns supreme in the land and anyone who says anything against it is ridiculed for being intolerant or hateful. The similarities are very striking but the real question is as we look back through history, can we find a period where men were not lovers of themselves and of money? A time where there was no cruelty or outward rebellion against God and his power or authority?
In even a summary reading of the Bible itself we come across passage after passage that shows the world, the non-believing, secular world at large possessing those very qualities since the beginning of recorded time. We even see accounts of people whom were supposed to be believers displaying those same traits.
Now we can obviously assume base on this that there will in fact be all these signs present in the last days however we know this because they are present now and they have always been present. But we cannot really use this criteria as a definitive sign that these are in fact the last days.
In the Bible as well as in extra biblical writings throughout history we have a genre or style of writing know as apocalyptic literature. This kind of writing is known by its dramatic and even poetic depictions of what sounds like the end of the world. In point of fact these writings are often speaking of an end although not the end.
We can see many examples of the use of the term last days and how it is used in a few different contexts. Sometimes it has to do with the last days of a city or people, sometimes it’s referring the last days before a change comes, we can see that many of the stipulations mentions in conjunction with the last days include things that aren’t necessarily uncommon things and can’t really be signs of the end because they are always present.
I know that the end time subject is one that is very popular in both Christian and secular circles. Christians have the ingrained idea that people will only be won to the lord if they believe the world is ending right now. The fact is I don’t know if we are in the last days of human kind right now but what I do know is that each one of us is in our own last days. Weather we meet Jesus with everyone else or on our own we will still be meeting Jesus and we are still going to give account. we should all be living as though these were the last days before Jesus’ return
Check out the Asking a Christian Podcast This Thursday for a more detailed analysis including several examples of the Last Days in scripture.