Tue | Jul 23, 2024
Live Ready – Part 4

Live with an awareness of the end times

Published:Sunday | June 16, 2024 | 12:05 AM

Rev Dwight Fletcher

OVER THE last three weeks we have been speaking about the end times. This refers to, “The times immediately preceding the end of life on earth and the second coming of the Messiah (Christ), when the world will be judged”. The return of the Lord is sure and it’s closer than it’s ever been.

As things wrap up, the Lord will not forget us. God is gracious and He doesn’t want us to be unaware of the things that are happening around us, and the events that will precede His coming. He wants us to be prepared. Therefore, He has given us a ‘road map’ that we can use to ‘read the times’, so that we can live ready.

The end of days is predicted across many different religious groups, and this demonstrates that God has sown eternity in our hearts and we are conscious of it. It’s a subject of direct relevance to us today as over the past few years we have seen a worldwide pandemic, civil unrest in numerous countries, economic collapse, wars and rumours of wars, and natural disasters of biblical proportion happening worldwide, and many continue to happen and escalate.

LIFT UP YOUR HEADS

It may not be the end of the world, but at minimum it looks like the beginning of it. “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28 (NIV)

There are two general approaches to learning about “the end times”. First, there’s the ‘what’ camp. These persons want to know what the Bible says about it, what will happen, and what to expect. Although ‘what’ is important, the more important question to perhaps ask is ‘why’. This ‘why’ is of great importance, especially for Christians.

In the Bible, the entire end-time perspective was written to the church. The ‘what’, without more, will only fill us with information; asking the ‘why’ gives us the purpose of the writing and upgrades our understanding and application of the truth. For the Believer, the application is the important thing.

There’s another group which includes people who believe that we shouldn’t be bothered with looking at the end times, because no one knows the time of Christ’s return so we should just live and when it happens, it happens. There’s some truth in that approach because we must live ready, but there’s a fundamental opportunity and critical truths which are missed if we fail to look at, and be aware of it. This approach will leave us vulnerable in the end times.

To study and live with an awareness of the end times is to obey God’s Word.

“This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show his servants what must so on happen. … 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of God’s message and blessed are the people who hear this message and do what is written in it. The time is near when all of this will happen.” Revelations 1:1 &3 (NIV). God gave it to Jesus to share with us, so it must be important.

Because God put it in the scriptures, then as His children we must know it. God speaks to us through His Word, and when we refuse to read about the end times in Scripture, we are actually telling God that we’re not listening or don’t want to hear. There’s a promise of blessing to us when we read it, and do what is written. The message that it gives is for us to be prepared.