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Are we in the last days?
Thank you for asking your question to LookingforGod. Your question is one that many Christian’s focus on, and is sometimes a matter of great debate and even worry. However I hope that this answer will give you peace and clarity.
Jesus described what the last days would look like, saying "And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains" (Matthew 24:6-8).
Paul also talks about people in the last days, describing their characteristics. But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people (2 Timothy 3:1-5). I’m sure that we could match this description with people we have met or know of through the media!
Even though wars have always happened, and even though people have had character described by Paul, from these indications, we can see that we are in the last days.
Further to this though, we have some conclusive evidence that we are in the last days, which is that the Holy Spirit has been poured out on God’s people. Through the prophet Joel, God said of the last days "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit" (Joel 2:28-29). Whenever God promises something, it is always fulfilled, and this was done at Pentecost (see Acts 2). This shows us that we are in the last days, because the Holy Spirit has been poured out into the lives of Christians, including today.
It is important that we are making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16), by preaching the Good News and making disciples of Jesus. Indeed, Jesus himself tells us to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). We are not instructed to sit on our hands and wait for Christ’s return, we are called to action, and that action is to preach so that others will follow Jesus.
To say that we are 'in the last days' can cause us some confusion. From a human perspective, with our relatively short life spans, to say the last days is a very short period of time, and indeed it may be. However, it may also be many years, decades or hundreds of years from now; we simply do not know.
There are two things to note here: first is that the Bible speaks regarding time from God’s perspective, where we are told that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day (2 Peter 3:8). From God’s perspective, these last days are a short time, even if from our human perspective it appears much longer. Second is that "concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only", as Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:36.
As a result of us not knowing when these things will happen, we must not be complacent. Just because Jesus has not returned in the last 2000 years does not mean that he will not return soon. Jesus warns us against being complacent, saying "therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:44).
In summary, the Bible clearly indicates what will happen and how people will be during the last days, and that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on God’s people, which happened at Pentecost. As we are in the last days, we are told to witness to people; to tell them about Jesus and encourage them to follow him. We do not know specifically when Christ will return, but we know that it will come suddenly and has been planned by the Father since before the world began.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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