Are we living in the Last of Days?
The Ascension of Jesus
6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
A few months ago I was visiting a church on a Sunday morning. It was a lovely church filled with the Holy Spirit and with people who love Jesus. On this particular Sunday the church had a guest pastor whose message wasn’t supposed to be about the end of the world but it meandered that way. The pastor was animated. He would jump up and down (I like animated speakers) he was motivated and passionate. His message included questions to the audience such as, “Do you realize that we are in the very last days? Are you ready for Christ to return today, tomorrow? Have you shared Jesus with everyone? Are you prepared to face the suffering?”
The teaching moved along and as I sat in the second row, I glanced around at the congregation and I could “feel” the anxiety of the audience rise. The more he spoke, the more the parishioners became freaked out. By the time the message was over, I wanted to run for the nearest fallout shelter, hunker down and wait it out. SHEESH!
Okay, perhaps I wasn’t that amped up but I literally felt sorrow for how this pastor, and he was well meaning and I believe a good man with a heart for God, but I felt regret about what had just happened to the body of believers.
So, I’m going to share my perspective. I’m hoping that by doing so, it will alleviate unnecessary anxiety that believers place on themselves over the Apocalypse and Christ’s return. And I pray with a fervent heart that my words release a fresh anointing of freedom into your heart, mind and life.
Let me state clearly here that Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
So NO ONE knows when. Period. The End. And I think that most of us have heard that every generation since the time of Jesus’ ascension, has fully believed they were the living generation in which Christ would return to earth. Why would we believe differently? Just look at how many prophetic realities have occurred in the past 50 years. But that’s just it. There are many more that wait to be fulfilled.
So I propose to you to consider and pray and ask God about a few things. Dineen and I have written about this Great Harvest in recent months. And so many others Christian leaders are also convinced we are sitting on the edge of the greatest harvest of souls in human history. In fact, when I talk to God about this, I hear over and over, 1 Billion Souls. 1 Billion Souls. 1 Billion Souls.
God is preparing the harvesters to bring into the Kingdom ONE BILLION NEW SOULS. And if that is where God’s Kingdom is focused and going, why in the world would Christ return before it happens?
Also, what I see happening when a message of urgency to the point of anxiety is preached about the end times it that it turns believers to be inward focused. We worry and dwell on things like survival supplies, and our unsaved family members and fret about what will happened and how it will happen and then guess what? Fear takes over and squelches the Holy Spirit. The Spirit does not dwell in fear. The Spirit wants our hearts and thoughts to be outwardly focused so we are thinking about how to love others and share with them the hope we have in Christ.
So as I sat in that auditorium I just prayed, “Lord, if the end of days is tomorrow. I’m ready. But I’m in tune with your will and purposes and I know there are one billion souls to reach. So, Father I release all fears I have over the end times and I trust that when that day arrives, I will go to be with you. Period. The End.
For now Lord, I want to be people focused, outwardly focused. I contain the best news in the universe, that You love people and want them to live in joy and freedom. Lord, make that my focus every single day and I know you will take care of every detail. Don’t let me get caught up in the frenzy of End Times but let me love people with Your love. We have much work ahead and Daddy, I’m up for it. Thank you for allowing me to be a vessel of love and hope too many. In King Jesus name. Amen.