“In the last days…”
For Christians who believe the prophetic accuracy of the Bible, this is a phrase filled with both foreboding (i.e. increasing evil, trouble, and tribulation) and hope (fulfilled prophecy, promises, and a bright future because of the Lord’s return).
Here’s how Apostle Paul phrased it… “You should know this
that in the last days there will be very difficult times! …” (2 Timothy 3:1ff) Apostle John in Revelation watched as God pulled “the eschatological drapes” and gave him a glimpse of the future – both the bad and the bright, the frightening and the fulfillment of the believers eternal hope. Apostle Peter warned, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery trials that are coming upon you as though something strange were happening to you!” but also went on to say, “These trails make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world!” (I Peter 4:12-13)
So we live in the tension between increasing evil and bright hope!
Here’s what I read this morning in the Bible that Peter advised in light of that reality…
“The end of the world is coming soon! Therefore…
1) Be earnest and disciplined your prayers!
2) Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other!
3) Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay [In times of severe persecution, you never know who will show up at your door!]
4) “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of ‘spiritual gifts’… Use them to serve one another! [Let the rich variety of giftings given by the Spirit turn the fellowship of believers into “the body of Christ” – 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:1-8]
5) Let “everything you do bring glory to God through Jesus Christ”
(From I Peter 4:7-11 The New Living Translation)
Seems to me to be great advice for living “in the last days” – between times of increasing evil and trouble and the promised hope of a bright future through the Lord’s coming!