Last Days       

Dear Brethren,

What are we to be doing in these last days?  Jesus Christ said, "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing."  (Luke 12:43)  Some say that we are to be doing the Work.  Others say that we are only to pay and pray.  What is it that God would have us "so doing?"  These times are described as perilous times for Christians. It would be well if we would take heed.  God describes these days as perilous times because of the adverse affect that they have on us.

"Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."  (2Timothy 3:1-5)

These are not the days to sit back, relax and become complacent.  What should we be doing as Christians?  People think that they have plenty of time to, get their lives straight, to repent, and to produce fruits of the Spirit.  The apostle Peter also warns us of these hazardous conditions in which we live:  "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. "  (2 Peter 3:3-4)

Jesus tells us that is a wrong attitude and state of mind to fall into.  He expects us to be accomplishing a great deal - with a sense of urgency.  "If that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.   And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."  (Luke 12:45-47)  These verses go on to explain that much is expected of us.  God expects a lot from us.

Let's look at the signs of the times so that we may establish firmly in our minds that time is indeed short until the return of Jesus Christ.  When asked by His disciples:  What would be the sign of the end?  Jesus responded by telling them to be alert for religious deception, and to take a look at what would be going on in the world.  Jesus’ disciples asked Him, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”   (Matthew 24:3)

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, earthquakes, and natural disasters in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”  (Matthew 24:4-8)

This is exactly where we are today.  There are very rough days ahead, not only for our nation, but especially for the people of the Church of God.  The tribulation that is coming on all the world is a God-send for the Church of God in that it is the final wake-up call to those who’s zeal is simmering.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory... When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”  (Matthew 24:29-30,33)

Jesus is not delaying His return.  We, the people of God, need this time to develop spiritually.  God is showing us how to have Godly relationships with each other in the called out family of God.  At the same time, we realize that this calling is a tremendous blessing that we are privileged to be a part of.  What will be the impact on the members of the Church of God as society around them unravels?

As the world slides into oblivion, we find ourselves in a similar decline.  We must be exercising God’s Holy Spirit, so that with the help of God, we are overcoming the world.  We will not receive the approval of the world, which only loves its own.  Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."  (Mark 8:38)

The correct thing for us to do is to actively live by the principles Jesus Christ taught us.  We are supposed to exhibit the attributes of true Christianity – all the more as that day of Christ’s return approaches.  As we approach the tribulation, we are being given more and more opportunities to live our Christianity.  Even at this moment, God blesses those who choose to practice and follow His way of life.  There are spiritual principles involved.

Catastrophe, disease, natural disaster and destruction follow those who set out to beat God's system by breaking God's rules.  The Bible refers to these results as, “blessings and cursings.”  God lead America and Great Britain into becoming the greatest and most powerful nations that have ever existed.  But now, America and Great Britain are experiencing the beginning curses that follow the rejection of God and His law.  "All these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee."  (Deuteronomy 28:45)

What can we, as a people and a nation, expect as a result of our rejection of God and His Ten Commandments?  We can anticipate God beginning to remove the national blessings and the protection He has, thus far, afforded us because we, as a nation, have rejected His perfect way.  As society deteriorates, the people of God will be facing the greatest challenge of our lives.

These are the last days.  We will be called on, more than ever, to come to the aid of our brethren - not only physical aid, but also spiritual support.  It will take our utmost in spiritual discernment because so many will be going along with the world.  And yet, we of God's Church have a responsibility to set the highest example in our behavior and conduct.  Unless we, the brethren, learn to lay our lives down for our fellowman, we will not have a part in the Kingdom of God.

Let’s understand that the time of Jacob’s trouble is near.  “Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”  (Deuteronomy 28:48)  “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”  (Jeremiah 30:7)

"It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."  (Isaiah 2:2)


Sermon:  "Last Days"