Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When are the Last Days? Are we in the Last Days now?

This week I'm going to write about the prophecies regarding the Last Days. I hope to shed some Biblical light on these prophecies. I'll do my best to show through scripture what the last days are, when they are, and why they must happen.



There are two kinds of last days. There are the Last Days which are now and which the Lord is not directly pouring out His wrath upon the unbelieving world or punishing Israel. Some people separate the two kinds as distinct and other people put them all into one general time frame.

There are the last days after the rapture when Jesus will pour out His wrath upon the unbelieving world and punish Israel. That time is also known as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 3:7), and The Day of the Lord or just The Day (Isaiah 2:12, Isaiah 13:6, Isaiah 13:9, Isaiah 34:8, Jeremiah 46:10, Lamentations 2:22, Ezekiel 13:5, Ezekiel 30:3, Joel 1:15, Joel 2:1, Joel 2:11, Joel 2:31, Joel 3:14, Amos 5:18, Amos 5:20, Obadiah 1:15, Zephaniah 1:7, Zephaniah 1:8, Zephaniah 1:14, Zephaniah 1:18, Zephaniah 2:2, Zephaniah 2:3, Zechariah 14:1, Malachi 4:5, Acts 2:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10).

Personally I think of the two as one general time frame, the wrath being generally revealed now in these last days (as per Romans 1:18) and then wrath being directly poured out during the Great Tribulation after the Rapture, as all one "last days". I think this because it is all the time between Jesus' two appearances, from His ascension to His second coming.

In the New Testament, Hebrews 1:2 acknowledges that "last days" are now and that God has spoken to us by His Son. 2 Peter 3:3-4 mentions the last days, so does 1 Peter 1:20, and Jude 1:18. John MacArthur preached that the last days are now, in the sermon Understanding the Seducing Spirit. MacArthur also includes the Millennial Kingdom as part of the Last Times.
All of these verses tell us that the last times are the times after Christ came in His first coming. When Christ came, He began the last times, the Messianic era. The Messianic era begins with the coming of Jesus Christ. So we are now living in the last times, between His first coming and the Second Coming when He sets up His glory on the earth and then into the eternal Kingdom, all of that is the last times. We are living then in the last times. "My little children, it is the last days now." It is the time of Messiah, He has already come, He is now building His Kingdom in the hearts of men and will return to establish it on the earth and then throughout eternity. We are living in the last times.
Over all, you can see that the last days are not some mysterious future days but are in fact happening now.

One distinctive quality of the Last Days is God's wrath when it is directly poured out. It is not popular to speak of His wrath. Christians today like to focus on His love. That is all well and good, God's love is a fine, wonderful thing. But so is His wrath. It is God's wrath that Jesus mentioned. It is wrath that we are warned to flee from.



His wrath is a holy, justified, perfect wrath that will cleanse the earth of sin and sinners and perversity and putridness it has been cursed with since the Fall. It will restore the earth to its perfect state, it will show the Lord holy and just. We must pay attention to the wrath. We must include the wrath in the Gospel message and warn that these are the last days.

God's wrath is part of the Last Days. Since the last days are now, the New Testament speaks of the wrath that already abides on those who do not believe, (John 3:36), rests on those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18), on those with impenitent hearts who are storing up God's wrath (Romans 2:5). The Lord has created vessels of wrath prepared for destruction (Romans 9:22). And much more. Do a BibleGateway search in the New Testament for wrath and you will find 36 verses discussing it.

As for the Bible's discussion of the wrath on the Day of the Lord, that also is sobering. Pasted below are all the verses I could find which speak of the Day of The Lord in the last times when His vengeance will be poured out. The Day of the Lord's anger is a real, coming event. He is holding it back now, and showing it only in indirect ways. Only the Lord knows when it will begin directly, and thankfully, Christians won't be on earth to bear it. However, just reading about the Last Days and His promise of destruction of those who live in unrighteousness is a very serious thought, which pierces my heart and makes me shudder.

Book of 1 Thessalonians discusses it at length
Book of 2 Thessalonians discusses it at length

Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Isaiah 34:8 For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

Jeremiah 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.

Lamentations 2:22 Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the Lord's anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.

Ezekiel 13:5 Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.

Ezekiel 30:3 For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.

Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

Joel 2:11 And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.

Amos 5:20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

Obadiah 1:15 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Zephaniah 1:7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

Zephaniah 1:8 And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.

Zephaniah 1:14 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

Zephaniah 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

Zephaniah 2:2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you.

Zephaniah 2:3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger.

Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 1:14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

The Lord's anger is burning against people now in these last days, he has revealed it in consciences and in circumstances and in weather...but then will come a day when all that dwell on the earth will know it is the LORD who is causing the earth's problems, and then, who can stand in the great day of His wrath?

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)

The takeaways are:
  • The Last Days are happening now
  • The wrath of God already indirectly abides on the earth and the unrighteous
  • The wrath of God will be directly poured out at the end of the Last Days during the Great Tribulation
  • Don't avoid talking about the wrath- both the OT and the NT promise it during the Last Days and the Great Day, so we should heed the warnings and include it in the Gospel Message.




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