The Last Days

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The last days are not near. They are not rapidly approaching. They are already here. Congratulations, you get to live in the last days.

I’m not saying that these are the last days because of something Obama said or because someone found a red heifer walking around Jerusalem. I’m saying that these are the last days because that’s what the Bible says.

When the Bible talks about the last days, it is referring to the period of time between the resurrection of Christ and his return. So when Jude says that, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions,” he’s talking about his own day. And ours. If you don’t believe me, turn on the news.

So what should we do? Well, there are a lot of options. You could do nothing. After all, the last days have lasted some 2,000 years now so who’s to say that they wont carry on for another few thousand years? Or you could devote your life to constant speculations about when Jesus will return and figure out how every major politician fits into the book of Revelation while you stock up on supplies and head for the hills with the rest of your followers.

Both responses are wrong.

Jude gave his readers better advice.

[20] But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, [21] keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21 (ESV)

Make disciples.

Pray.

Love.

Keep your attention on Jesus.

In other words, in the last days, keep doing what you should be doing anyway. As you do that, you can be certain that the rest of the world will keep doing what comes natural for them.

Disregarding God’s commands.

Mocking prayer.

Hating.

Never giving Jesus a second thought.

As we see our culture reject God in increasing ways, it’s easy for us to sit back and tell ourselves, “Just wait, they’re gonna get what’s coming to them.” Again, this is the wrong response. Yes, they will get what’s coming to them but we should be doing everything we can to keep that from happening. Here’s what Jude says to do.

[22] And have mercy on those who doubt; [23] save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Jude 1:22-23 (ESV)

Show mercy.

Show mercy to those who doubt whether or not Jesus rose from the grave or whether he was born of a virgin. Be patient with them. Remember that God, not you, is the one who is in charge of their salvation so lay off the Facebook status updates in all caps reminding people of how right you are. If this is your typical method of evangelizing, you just might be helping the other team more than your own.

Show mercy to blatant sinners. Hate their sin. Love them. Don’t focus on one or the other. Regardless of what you tell yourself, if you don’t hate sin, you’re not really loving people. The two go together.

These are the last days.

The end is near, at least it’s nearer than it was this time yesterday.

Many Christians act as if the return of Christ is a contest. Whoever gets closest to predicting the actual date gets a golden street named after him in heaven. It doesn’t work that way. Instead of fooling around with charts and figuring out which presidential candidate is the AntiChrist, we need to be loving lost people. We need to be loving the church that we are committed to. And most of all, we need to be worshiping Jesus because we love him.

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