The Last Days…

What would you say if someone asked you if we are living in the “last days?” Honestly, this topic can intimidate me, and it can be confusing for a lot of people! And while we cannot know when Jesus is coming back, we can know how to live until He does. I have been sobered AND thrilled learning what Scripture says about the “last days” and what they mean for us as God’s people!

Are we living in the last days?

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He comforted His disciples by promising to send the Holy Spirit to be with them always (John 14 & 16). In Acts 2, Jesus had returned to heaven and His followers were in one room together. Then Jesus’ promise was fulfilled when the Spirit came upon them. Onlookers mocked, saying that they were filled with “sweet wine.” Peter responded to these accusations by quoting a prophecy from the book of Joel: “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘that I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind’” (Acts 2:15-17).

Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.” And in 1 Corinthians 10:11, Paul says that the stories written in the Old Testament “were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages has come.”

In each of these passages, “the end of the ages” or the “last days” refers to a segment of the world’s timeline. It began with Jesus’ first coming and will end at His second coming. Therefore, here in 2012, we are living in the last days! (There is a difference between “the last days” and what many call “the end times.” The “end times” will take place at the end of the “last days,” near Jesus’ second coming.)

What does that mean for us?

Thankfully, God has not left us without direction! While we cannot know when Jesus is coming back for us, we can know how to live until He does. Two of the primary ways that God has chosen to guide His children through this period of history is through the Word of God and through the Holy Spirit.

First of all, we receive God’s direction in these last days by soaking ourselves in His Word. We love to complicate Christianity… but really it boils down to reading, believing and applying the Bible. 2 Timothy 3 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” So many times we wish that God would tell us “His will for our lives”… forgetting that He already has done so! Scripture is the very Word of God- the primary way that He speaks to us and tells us how to live. So cool!

Secondly, God has chosen to direct us in these last days through the Holy Spirit. In Ezekiel 36 God said that one day He would put His Spirit within believers and cause us to walk in His ways.  When someone makes Jesus his personal Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit enters that person’s life to be with him always. Christians can trust that as we walk in the Spirit, He will comfort us, bear fruit in our lives and give us wisdom. That is so reassuring to me! We don’t have to come up with a legalistic set of rules to self-righteously follow. One of His roles is to lead us into and remind us of truth (John 16). Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” As Christians, we have the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead living inside of us!! So incredible!

I am so thankful to belong to a God who loves us and has given us access to abundant life through His Son. I pray that we would be humble and moldable to conform to His image in these last days!

Emily is a native of Athens, GA, who never left. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009 and now works for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at UGA and Watkinsville First Baptist Church. She loves spending time with college students, cheering on the Dawgs, running, and drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee.

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