Wednesday, September 2, 2020
For the last two days we have laid the foundation for our study of the Last Days as revealed to us in Scripture. We learned that we are already in the last days, and that as we live through them we are to keep our focus on Jesus Christ and His mission of redemption. We are not to be distracted by searching for signs, but rather we are to be faithful and intentional witnesses of God’s grace to the lost world while we wait for the return of Jesus. If we can remember to keep those foundational principles in front of us, we are prepared to use them to help us understand the things that will be happening as Christ’s return approaches and how we should be living while we wait.
The first time the actual words “last days” are used in the New Testament is in Acts chapter 2 when Peter the Apostle preaches on the day of a Pentecost.
“But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” Acts 2:16-21
Before we get focused on what the prophet Joel said in the middle of this passage, let’s remember our first principle – keep the focus on Jesus and His mission. While there will be signs to observe, the focus of the last days is on the pouring out of the Spirit of God on all flesh so that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Everything that happens in the last days has one purpose ordained by the Father – to get people saved from their sin.
On Sunday we are going to dig into Joel’s prophecy and discover that the prophet has a lot to say directly from the Lord about how we are to live during the last days. But for today, please consider this:
Since God’s desire during the last days is that people get saved, and the Holy Spirit has been poured out to draw people to Christ for salvation, does it not follow that we should join the Holy Spirit in the mission of redemption and be the witnesses of Jesus Christ to the lost people of the world?
I totally understand people’s curiosity about the last days. But I challenge you to consider this: while we are trying to figure out the signs of the last days and when Jesus will return, people around us are spending their last days preparing for eternal separation from God, and most don’t even know it. Of what value is it for us to know all about the last days while those without hope are plummeting towards their last day?
Won’t you join the Holy Spirit in the mission of redemption and become a bold and vocal witness of the grace of God found in Jesus Christ, so that people begin calling on the name of the Lord to be saved?
I like your teaching today Pastor John, well I guess I like it all days. But it seems like the world events have had people start questioning where their beliefs really are. This opens up fields ready to plant seeds and some fields are ready to harvest. I guess in fishing terms the fish are hungry and are coming to feed it’s time to be fishers of men.